Biggest Home-sellers Mistake #5 – Being Unwilling to Negotiate


Let’s address a major misnomer in real estate; not just by consumers, but also real estate agents!

Real estate agents DO NOT negotiate on your behalf. Unfortunately, you will hear a lot of real estate agents brag about their “negotiating” skills. So, let’s clear up the confusion.

Here is my definition of what I do as a real estate agent:

“As a real estate professional I provide buyers and sellers with factual information so that they can make informed decisions regarding buying or selling real estate. In the process, I explain in detail the pros and cons of their options. I consider myself a negotiating facilitator.”

By the way; here’s another shocker! Real estate agents don’t sell or buy houses (except for themselves).

  • Sellers, YOU decide the price, terms, and conditions under which you will sell your property. Buyers YOU decide the price, terms, and conditions under which you will buy a property.

So, now let’s talk about the seller’s “Unwillingness to Negotiate”.

I believe there are a couple of factors that contribute to the stalemate during negotiations.

Buyers sometimes think it’s a brilliant idea to submit an offer drastically below the listing price and unfortunately may include a personal item of the seller.

Buyers will often tell their agent that they just want to “test the seller.” Can we all say “Dumb decision!”?

Sellers contribute to the challenges of negotiating when they deliberately insist that their agent list their property above the range of value suggested by the agent.

Example: Listing Agents Market Range of Value is between $500K and $525K. The seller’s believe their property is worth $600K.

  • Buyers have looked at other properties similar to the seller’s property and know that the other properties are priced in the lower $500Ks.
  • So, based on the Sales to List Price Ratio Report, which indicates the percentage difference between the list price and sale price of homes similar to the seller’s property and the Price per, Sq. Ft. Report, the buyer submits an offer closer to what the market is indicating for a property similar to the seller’s property.

However the seller, who is living in another world, is offended and annoyed that the buyer is trying to “steal” their home. Folks I’m not making this up…this is what your real estate agents have to put up with day in and day out.

Sellers, if you list your property over the market range of value, don’t take a hissy fit if the buyer submits an offer that falls within the market range of value that your agent originally suggested.

Oh yes! Sellers if your agent is willing to list your property over their suggested market range of value, you’ve got an agent who is only interested in getting your listing. You should be prepared to hear in a week or a month or so that you need to reduce the price of your property. You and the agent should both be fired!

Hopefully you and your real estate agent will use the following as a benchmark for moving the selling process forward and have a positive real estate selling experience:

  • Your real estate agent should explain, in detail, the entire process from the signing of the listing agreement to the closing.
  • Your real estate agent should re-explain each element of the process whenever you reach another milestone in the process
  • When an offer is received from a buyer your real estate agent should review each item and explain it from a pro/con position
  • You should look at an offer from the strength of the buyer, which may not necessarily be the price
  • You want to make sure that your real estate agent provides you with market data that will help you understand whether or not the price is at fair market value
  • I suggest the sales to list price ratio report, as it indicates the percentage difference between the listing price and sale price that other sellers in your neighborhood are receiving from buyers
  • When you find yourself and the buyer stuck in the process of negotiating ask yourself: “Am I really willing to lose this buyer?” “How am I adding to the stalemate?” What am I willing to do to make this work?”
  • Everything is negotiable – Get your pride and ego out of the process
  • Price, deposits, inspections, mortgage commitment and closing dates are the primary items in the process of selling your property, that are negotiable
  • If your property is not new construction…Remember: you are selling a Used House!

Don’t get emotional – remember the buyer is doing exactly what you will be doing when you go to buy your next home…the seller will have a number and you will have a number…negotiating is the process of getting to the number!

Keep this in mind. If you price your property competitively within your market your property will sell faster, the deal will be cleaner and you will have a seamless transaction that is stress free!

Happy Selling!

Suzanne, welcomes your comments and opinions.

Whether a real estate agent or seller/buyer Suzanne will be happy to answer any of your real estate questions or concerns.  Contact her at: or leave a question below in the comments.

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