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July 12, 2018

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Buying a home isn’t like other transactions. It takes time, commitment, expertise, and negotiation.

How to Give and Take With Your Home Seller or Buyer

Know your values

Before any negotiation, you need to know what you want.

Sellers: What’s the minimum you’d be willing to accept for your home? What’s a realistic maximum?

Buyers: How much of a down payment are you willing to put down? What’s the most you’re willing to pay? What factors other than price (such as schools or neighborhoods) are important to you?

Listen to what the other party has to say

Negotiation isn’t a competition. It’s a collaboration. After all, you both want the deal to go through.

Sellers: Find out what’s important to the buyers. Is it the location? The backyard? The house itself? What factors are driving their asking price?

Buyers: Find out what the sellers believe adds value to the home. Are they touting improvements? Architectural style? Good neighborhoods?

It’s okay to speak first

Contrary to conventional wisdom, there’s no harm in making the first move or speaking first in a negotiation. In fact, it can even be to your advantage as it provides an anchor for further negotiations.

Sellers: State confidently what you believe your home is worth and why. Let your valuation inform further negotiation.

Buyers: Be ready with an offer, and to explain why you believe it’s a fair one. Also be ready to move away from that number as you negotiate.

Build to a win-win

Ideally the buyer and seller will both walk away from this deal happy with the result. Get to a conclusion that works for both of you.

Sellers and buyers: Be sure to have a range of selling prices you’re willing to work in. Try to feel out what the other party’s range is and look for where those ranges overlap. When you can find that overlapping range, you’re in striking distance of a satisfactory conclusion. But …

Be willing to walk away

If it becomes clear that you’re not going to come to an agreement that leaves both parties happy, be willing to walk away. Buying or selling a home is a big decision that can be emotionally charged, but don’t miss out on a home you love because you commit to a bad deal. Leave those behind and look for something that works for you.


Forbes: “7 Negotiation Tips For Success” http://bit.ly/2qoLdSo

Lifehacker: “Five Tips to Negotiate Better with Just About Anyone” http://bit.ly/28dqnpi

Northwestern Kellogg: “Negotiation Tips: Who’s on First?” http://bit.ly/2qKksL9

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