Part 6 of my series, “Don’t Make These Home Seller Mistakes” (view chart) discusses negotiating to get your home sold in the South Forsyth real estate market.
The South Forsyth real estate market is very competitive but some Buyers, usually those who are moving here from a more depressed area or listening to the national home selling reports, may feel that they can be get what they want for the price they want to pay. While there was a time that this was true, the Forsyth County real estate market has reached a point where buyers and sellers are now on a more level playfield.
With this in mind, I make every effort to prepare my home sellers for the possibility that they may receive at least one low ball offer. In some cases, the buyer has not been properly prepared by their agent, but in most cases the buyer is simply “fishing” to see how motivated a seller is.
Receiving what they consider to be a low ball offer usually generates an immediate and, often, very negative response from a seller. For many that response is “This is offer is so ridiculous that I’m not even going to reply!” But, any seasoned real estate agent will tell you “HOLD YOUR HORSES or you may lose a sale!”
TRUTH #1– A low offer is usually not a statement about the quality of your home, but about the buyer’s opinion of the current real estate market.
Before you choose to ignore any offer on your property you must realize that receiving a written offer means that there is a buyer who is seriously interested in purchasing your home. By holding your emotions in check, and responding with a counter offer, you may well turn that low price offer into a sale. You, with help of your real estate agent, just need to move forward with a bit of strategic negotiation.
No matter how low, every written offer deserves a response. In some cases the response may be a counteroffer, in others it may be an outright rejection. In order to determine which response is best in your situation, you will need to check your emotions and deal strictly with the facts. Your real estate agent can help you determine how best to respond while keeping the negotiations open.
TRUTH #2 - At the end of the day, it is your goal to sell your home so you, and your agent, must make every effort to keep the negotiations moving forward, if possible.
Make a Counteroffer! By making acounteroffer you signal the buyer that you are willing to negotiate. Curb the instinct to respond at full price.While real estate often “feels” very personal, you must keep in mind that it is simply a business transaction and the best response is usually a well thought out, reasonable response.
Every situation is different, but, in most cases, the best negotiation strategy is to determine a price and terms that you are willingly to accept and respond accordingly. This may mean lowering your price and removing any seller concessions (such as paying closing costs) or it may mean sticking to your asking price, but giving in on a few of the buyer’s requests (such as leaving behind the appliances).
Currently, the South Forsyth real estate market is stable, but in a more volitile market, you may want to ask your real estate agent for an up-to-date CMA so you can see which comparable homes in the area have sold since your home was listed or if any new properties have been listed for sale. This data is very important in not only in determining your response price, but the affect the sales will have on the appraisal price. Keep in mind: If the new CMA determines a lower price based on the changes in the market (recent comps), you might be forced to lower your price in order to sell.
Buyers now have real time access to real estate listings, and sales data, online and most are aware that certain circumstances may make a seller more receptive to a low offer. If your home is vacant or if the wording in your MLS listing signals desperation (motivated seller, seller says bring all offers) you are much more likely to receive a lowball offer.
If at all possible, try to make your home presentable and reduce any obvious clues that you are overly motivated and the next offer you receive might be more what you have in mind.