What do you think would pop into a buyer’s head if they heard this out of a seller’s mouth? “We must sell the home because it’s in foreclosure, and if we don’t sell it by June 23, the bank will foreclose on it.” Immediately, the buyer would think the seller is desperate. “I wonder what they owe on the house. Because if it doesn’t sell, they will have a foreclosure. The sellers probably just want to get what they owe on the home, so they can avoid foreclosure.” This is an extreme example, but it shows you how a simple slip of the tongue could cause a seller to lose a large amount of their hard-earned equity. A seller facing foreclosure might be desperate enough to get out with none of their equity just to avoid foreclosure. But, what if the buyer would’ve been willing to pay the market value for the home? That seller just lost all their equity! When a buyer asks why you’re selling, answer without giving away any extra information. You could say, “Oh, we would like to move to Omaha.” (Or wherever you’re moving to.) You don’t need to say much more than that. Don’t divulge details. Don’t imply desperation. And don’t tell them you have a job transfer! COMMON NEGOTIATING MISTAKE #4: Making the First Move Many buyers will ask what your bottom line is. They know they can usually negotiate a home seller down to an even lower price. Don’t fall for it. You’ve already made the first move by setting a price for your home. Tell the buyers you need to think it over and get back to them. Then, ask them what they like about your home. If they tell you, you can determine their motivation to buy it. After that, ask them what they’re thinking of offering on your home. This rule is important because in some negotiations, you may offer more at the beginning than the other party is willing to accept. Here’s an example. A person I know was trying to buy equipment. He thought the best price he could get was $1,500, but he was willing to pay up to $2,000.
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