Find an Agent

How to Negotiate Price as a Home Seller: 4 Do’s and Don’ts

home sellers negotiating

If you’re a home seller, one of the toughest parts of the process is setting and negotiating the price.

Home buyers want to get a good deal, but you also want to make sure you get a fair price for your property. Because of this, the most critical part of your home sale often comes down to how well you negotiate price with buyers. As a seller, you can’t be too firm or you risk losing the deal, but you also don’t want to leave money on the table.

Read on to learn the three most important ways to negotiate price as a home seller.

Do: Set a Fair List Price

Even if you set a fair list price for your home, buyers who submit an offer may come in low, with the expectation that you will drop your price. What should you do in this circumstance?

Instead of dropping your price, consider offering alternative concessions. For example, you could offer to throw in certain appliances like the fridge or to pay for a portion of the buyer’s closing costs.

Alternatively, you could drop the price slightly to show that you are willing to negotiate, but that you will not entertain a bid that is well below fair market value.

Don’t Divulge Too Much

As a general rule, you shouldn’t talk about your personal life or selling situation with a potential buyer when you’re negotiating price as a seller.

Mentioning that you have a deadline because of a divorce or letting it slip that you have to move by a specific date for a job opportunity can be damaging to your negotiation power.

If a buyer knows you have a hard and fast reason you need to move, it will give them more ammunition to drive a harder bargain. That’s why it’s always in your best interest to keep the entire negotiation process as professional and neutral as possible.

Don’t: Let Bidding Go On Forever

You can expect a little back and forth as you work to come to an amicable agreement with your buyer, but you shouldn’t let the process drag on for too long.

If you notice a buyer is being nit picky or that they are dragging their feet over minutia, it could be an indicator that they’re stretching their budget or have other concerns about the home.

If a buyer is serious about your property and is qualified for financing, they should make a reasonable first or second bid. Anything beyond two rounds of revisions may indicate a bigger issue.

Selling your home is a process and you want to prepare for the negotiations with a clear idea of your goals and where you want to draw the line.

Do: Get Expert Help at a Discount

Let’s face it: selling a for sale by owner (FSBO) home isn’t for everyone. In fact, according to Clever Real Estate’s data center, about 36% of home sellers attempt to sell FSBO, but only 11% of those sellers actually succeed in selling their house.

Furthermore, home buyers think FSBO sellers are easy pickings because they don’t have an agent representing them. According to a Clever survey of 1,000 homeowners, 73% said they believed they or their agent could out-negotiate a FSBO seller.

Related Reading

Authors & Editorial History

Our experts continually research, evaluate, and monitor real estate companies and industry trends. We update our articles when new information becomes available.

Interested in buying or selling?

We've improved the traditional real estate model with modern technology to cut costs, not quality.

Get started today