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Tips for Seller Negotiations


  • Be familiar with the entire sales transaction in advance, including closing costs, so you can negotiate from knowledge.
  • Be respectful and fair. Consider offers carefully and let the potential buyers know you have studied what they submitted.
  • Do explain how you determined your asking price if a buyer considers it outrageous.
  • Remember that negotiations involve two parties. Both should budge a bit. Get something in return if you accept a concession.
  • Put restrictions in your counteroffer on the number of days the buyer has to obtain financing and have inspections completed. Thirty days or less is typical for obtaining a mortgage. Ten days usually is reasonable for removing the inspection contingencies.
  • If the buyer's inspection uncovers something in need of repair, offer to drop the price enough to cover the repair or offer to get the work done at your expense. (Most buyers would prefer the cash, and that might be easier for you in the long run since the buyer will get to approve the repair work, which might not be done to his or her satisfaction.)
  • Know that even in the hottest markets all homes do not fetch more than the asking price or get caught up in bidding wars.
  • In a buyer's market, sellers have to be more flexible. Expect more negotiation about contingencies.
  • Don't dismiss a buyer's objections to your counteroffer. Keep the lines of communication open and try to understand the buyer's point of view.
  • Remember your goals. An offer under your asking price that has no, or few, contingencies might be better than a full price offer with a web of strings attached.
  • You invested time in doing homework. Don't rush, or be rushed, into a decision.

By Diane Tuman

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  • Last edited October 12 2012
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