Even during a seller’s market, it’s important not to become overly confident when selling a home. In fact, some negotiation tactics can be detrimental if they seem too aggressive or greedy. Sellers might have the upper hand in the current market, but there are a few so-called strategies that could backfire and cause an entire deal to fall apart. Take the following no-no’s into consideration during contract negotiations.
Provoking a bidding war.
Did you receive multiple offers for your home? Great! Being able to basically choose your buyer is a fortunate situation to be in. However, problems can arise when multiple offers aren’t handled with care. Have each buyer’s agent advise their client to bring their highest and best offer, and choose the one that is most beneficial to you. Don’t keep going back and forth and extending negotiations. You may very well scare off potential buyers.
Not compromising about repairs.
We’ve all been there. A home inspection comes back, and the buyer asks for every little nitpicky thing to be fixed before they’ll agree to go forward with the purchase. While it’s perfectly okay to be choosy over small, inconsequential fixes, sellers should avoid turning down requests for legitimate repairs, especially if the buyer’s offer is a solid one. Trying to bargain your way out of making legit repairs could cause your buyer to walk.
Insisting on a specific closing date.
Every now and then the stars and planets align, and the perfect closing date works for both the buyer and the seller. Most of the time, though, that’s just wishful thinking. The seller might have a moving date that’s later than the buyer’s deadline to move or vice versa. Be as flexible as possible when it comes to closing and consider the big picture. Having to rent a place or stay with family for a few weeks until you close on your own new home is a small sacrifice in the grand scheme of things.
Fighting over fixtures.
It happens. Miscommunication occurs over a light fixture or appliance, and a deal falls apart when neither side will budge. The thing is, it’s reasonable for a buyer to assume that any fixture that’s attached to the ceiling, wall, or floor will stay when the seller moves out. If there’s a light fixture, ceiling fan, or appliance that you don’t intend to leave behind, either remove it from the house before showings, have your agent make a note of it in the listing, or attach a tag that clearly states that the item does not convey.
Refusing to pay closing costs.We beg you: please do not lose a deal over closing costs. When a buyer asks for closing costs, chances are they’ve added them into their offer, which pretty much nets the same price you would have gotten if you didn’t pay closing costs. A $200,000 offer with no contingencies is essentially the same as a $205,000 offer that asks you to pay $5,000 in closing costs.