One of the aspects of selling property that many dread is the negotiation over price. Our innate British politeness can get in the way as we find it hard to disagree with a buyer over their offer.

For many, it feels a bit like confrontation and, if you’re not into sales, you can feel a bit of a fish out of water. Some compensate by being too tough, refusing to budge an inch; others collapse too easily perhaps accepting a deal they know in their hearts is less than they were hoping for simply because they want an end to an uncomfortable experience.

Of course, most of us do our deals one-step removed because an estate agent’s services really ought to include communication with any potential buyer; the vendor’s response should go the same way too. But, at the end of the day, that means the decision on whether or not to accept an offer is still yours and, unless you’re pretty savvy about the market, it’s hard to know if the decision you’re about to make is the right one.

So, with that in mind, perhaps a five tips on negotiating your house sale would help:

1/ Put a realistic value on your home before you start. Your estate agent should be able to help with that but bear in mind some will try to pitch too high. Check the Land Registry’s website to see what homes in your area have actually sold for recently, not what they were on the market for.

2/ When it comes to setting an asking price include some wiggle room so, if a buyer wants to haggle, you have room to manoeuvre. Don’t go too high though as you may scare people off.

3/ A buyer may come in with an asking price quite a bit lower than your ideal figure; they may even try to apply a little pressure by suggesting your asking price is way too high and you’re at risk of your home remaining on the market for a long time. They may suggest you’ll have to come down in price eventually and, by then, they’ll have bought something else …. etc etc. Our advice would be to use your wiggle room – but don’t come down below what you know is a fair price, even if it means you don’t get the quick sale you were hoping for. You will be surprised how many buyers will stretch their own budget to secure a home they’ve set their hearts on – and, if not, then there will be others out there.

4/ Don’t be pig-headed on price though. Refusing to shift more than a tiny percentage or even at all on the asking price can drive buyers away.

5/ Be prepared for requested “extras”. Some buyers will make a provisional offer based on things they like or don’t like and may ask that you bear the cost of adding – or removing – aspects of your property. It’s actually quite difficult to be objective in the face of applied criticism of a property that has been your home for years but try to remember it’s now a commodity so keep any emotions in check. Again, have an idea of what see you as a fair request. Small repairs or even a lick of paint are probably acceptable. New carpets throughout, a complete makeover or extensive restoration is not.

We hope that helps but, as ever, feel free to give us a call or drop us a line if there’s anything else you think we may be able to assist with.

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