How to negotiate the sale price of your home

From Lawpack's Sell your own Home Kit.

Congratulations. You're selling your own home. You've produced property particulars. You've advertised your house for sale with a For Sale board. You've even splashed out on some local newspaper advertising. And now you have found a house buyer....

Once you've hooked a house buyer, you may have to steel yourself for some tough and nail-bitingly tense negotiations before you arrive at a house sale price you're happy to accept.

Unless there is a lot of competition for properties, your house buyer is likely to open the negotiations by offering a low price. For example, you reckon your property is worth £325,000. You put it on the market at £350,000, hoping to attract offers of between £320,000 and £330,000.What you get is an offer of £310,000.

The house buyer seems keen, but how do you nudge them towards the figure you want? The answer is to keep your nerve and launch a subtle psychological battle of wits.

Your house buyer knows that the asking price of £350,000 is more than the house is worth. You, the house seller, know that it's worth more than the £310,000 your house buyer has offered.

Now is the time to make sure that your house buyer knows just how desirable your property is. You must get over the message that if they doesn't move quickly, the property is likely to be snapped up by other house buyers.

A good technique is to empathise with your house buyer. Tell them that you would love to see them living in your house and it would break your heart to sell to anyone else, but sadly you can't accept their offer and you can't wait for ever.

Create tension and suspense. One technique is to remain incommunicado for a couple of days. Nervous house buyers will suspect that you have gone cold on them and may be discussing an offer from another house buyer.

Try sweetening the pill with an offer to throw in the curtains for free or leave a particular piece of furniture which your buyer has said they like, if they can only see their way to increasing their offer to, say, £330,000. They then come back with an offer of, say, £315,000, and you finally settle on £325,000 and everyone is satisfied.

Your house buyer thinks they have got a bargain, and you have got an offer in line with what you think your property is worth.

Once you have accepted an offer it's a good idea to keep in close contact with your buyer's estate agent to make sure that their own house sale is going through smoothly and to head off any potential problems at an early stage.

If you think selling your own home is for you, find out more here.

Published on: June 3, 2008

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