Biggest Mistakes Home Sellers Make - (Negotiating)

Real Estate Agent with BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY Georgia Properties 157561


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 #1A 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.


Read Part 1 in the series - Pricing

Read Part 2 in the series – Staging

Read Part 3 in the series – Showing Availability

Read Part 4 in the series – Odors

Read Part 5 in the series - Repairs


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Praful Thakkar 04/04/2016 06:00 PM
Home Selling
Georgia Forsyth County
home price
pricing my home
home price negotiation
negotiating the price
price of a house

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David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

You hit the nail on the head with your two Truth's, always counter offer.

Mar 02, 2014 08:44 PM #1
Gayle Barton, Forsyth County Real Estate
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY Georgia Properties - Cumming, GA
Cumming GA Homes For Sale (404) 710-0204

Thanks David.  Hopefully, it will help a few sellers (and a few agents ).

Mar 02, 2014 08:52 PM #2
Winston Heverly
Winston Realty, Inc. - Atlantis, FL

Gayle, loved your post today, it really made me think about some of the issues facing our industry. Looking forward to others from you.

Mar 02, 2014 08:53 PM #3
Gayle Barton, Forsyth County Real Estate
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY Georgia Properties - Cumming, GA
Cumming GA Homes For Sale (404) 710-0204

Thanks Winston, I appreciate the input.  Hope you have a productive week!

Mar 02, 2014 09:00 PM #4
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
I know this how hard negotiating can be at first because you want to make the sale but you have to make a living and there seems to be a conflict, but the best thing to do is just to be your natural self. all things will take care of themselves I believe.
Mar 03, 2014 12:55 PM #5
Jeffrey Hogue
Weichert Realtors Neighborhood One - Wyomissing, PA
Berks County Real Estate Pro

Nice post. Evert agent has their own style (even if it is a terrible one). My style is to price right and hold that line. Milnnials and next geners get what they want even if it is at almost asking price.


Mar 03, 2014 04:55 PM #6
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Agent

I always make sure to guarantee the home seller at least one ridiculous or low ball offer. I had doozie last week and said to a seller ... Remember when I promised you a low offer?  Let's see if we can turn this one around  a little bit ...

Mar 03, 2014 06:21 PM #7
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Gayle, excellent advice! A seller should never reject a low ball offer. At the very least counter the offer at full price.

Mar 03, 2014 09:26 PM #8
Gayle Barton, Forsyth County Real Estate
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY Georgia Properties - Cumming, GA
Cumming GA Homes For Sale (404) 710-0204

Laura - I am one of the lucky ones, negotiating isn't an issue for me.  I believe doing your homework and being confident with your pricing is the key to success.

Jeffrey - That is usually my style as well, but we all have sellers who have received a low ball offer and want to walk away without discussion.  I say responding professionally is the key.

Chris - I do that as well so we can waste less time handling the shock and get on with the deal.

Michael - Not responding guarantees failure. I at least want a chance.


Mar 03, 2014 09:31 PM #9
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

The buyer's horsepower to only be able to offer, pay this much is not the value of the home. The market helps determine the value but the buyer reaching beyond his wallet or purse size can make a seller flinch. You explain what to expect at the kitchen table house listing that this happens, have to convey them and don't get too shook up.

Mar 03, 2014 09:48 PM #10
Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407

I have found that emotional dis-attachment is the key for sellers.

I've had to do it myself!

All the Best,

The Ralphster

Mar 03, 2014 10:04 PM #11
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Yes to this post and subject matter..all roads to lead to ROME if we keep traveling

Mar 03, 2014 11:01 PM #12
Jill Saddler
Draper, UT
Draper Utah Real Estate Professional - 25 years+!

I completely agree - it's such an emotional game though, isn't it?

Mar 03, 2014 11:48 PM #13
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

I'm always surprised how unwilling buyers and sellers are to negotiate. 

Mar 04, 2014 01:32 AM #14
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

It's so hard for a seller to put their emotions aside about their home. But with the right agent by their side, they can be reminded of the fact to look at it as just a transaction, not the sale of your home. 

Mar 04, 2014 02:11 AM #15
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

This looks like a pretty good series!  I'm not sure how I missed it.  Hopefully I'll have some time tomorrow to read it.  Thanks for sharing!

Mar 04, 2014 08:17 AM #17
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Gayle, good points on responding to an offer. However, sometimes, its really not worth it! Low ball offer on reasonably priced home is not something the seller would expect or want to deal with!

Mar 04, 2014 01:44 PM #18
Gayle Barton, Forsyth County Real Estate
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY Georgia Properties - Cumming, GA
Cumming GA Homes For Sale (404) 710-0204

Wow..  had a very busy day yesterday and came to so many comments.  Thank you all for taking the time to read my post and leave your input!

Mar 04, 2014 09:05 PM #19
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Gayle Barton, Forsyth County Real Estate

Cumming GA Homes For Sale (404) 710-0204
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