Property Negotiation – Tips for Sellers

When you’re selling a property, it’s important to tackle the negotiation in a professional and balanced manner. The advice here should help you ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome.

Consider Each Offer Carefully

Fast decisions are often bad decisions; so, take the time to consider any offers carefully. It may be that you have a figure in your mind which you’re happy to sell at; even so, it pays to consider the buyer’s circumstances, as well as the offer amount. Never allow yourself to be bounced into a decision you’re uncomfortable with.

Notwithstanding the need to reflect, it can be dangerous to leave a buyer hanging for too long, so aim to provide an answer within 48 hrs. or so. If this isn’t possible, at least open a dialogue with the buyer, to keep them engaged.

Think About the Buyer – as Well as the Numbers

As a seller, it’s easy to look primarily at the numbers, but the buyer’s position is also important. A cash buyer is often the best type of buyer, failing that, a buyer who already has an offer on their own property should be considered well placed to move. An offer from a buyer who has not yet secured an offer of their own is least attractive; you may prefer to continue to market your home in the hope of finding someone more likely to proceed.

Take Advice from Your Estate Agent

It’s in your estate agent’s best interests to achieve the best sale price for your property, they may also have had more contact with the potential buyer than you have – so reach out and get their advice on any offers received. Questions to ask include:

Is the buyer in a strong position, and genuinely motivated to buy?
Has the buyer lined up alternative properties to view or offer on?
Does the agent think that this represents the buyer’s best-and-final offer?
How much interest has there been from other buyers – and does the agent believe another buyer may pay more?
Is the offer in line with the prices being achieved for similar local properties?

Consider Sealed Bids

If you’re faced with the ‘nice problem’ of having several offers, then you may wish to consider a sealed bids process. This will allow all interested parties the chance to submit an offer before a pre-agreed deadline. The ball would then be in your court as to which offer to accept.

The Sale Process

The negotiation is really just a prelude to the sale process itself. This involves your agent issuing a ‘Memorandum of Sale’ – a document which confirms the details of the involved parties – you, as the seller, your buyer, and both sides’ respective conveyancers/solicitors.

At this stage, your estate agent will categorise your home as being SSTC – ‘Sold Subject to Contract’. Unfortunately, the sale process is anything but fast, and the confirmation only comes at the point when the solicitors exchange the legal documents.

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