When it comes to buying or selling a home, the idea of having to negotiate can be intimidating. Most of us aren't aware we have negotiating skills even though we skillfully negotiate daily. (Who walks the dog, takes the children to school, goes out to pick up lunch, prepares the report, etc., etc.?) Let's debunk some myths about negotiating, shall we?
This Is Not Negotiable
Sellers often say to themselves, "This is the deal I'm willing to make. It's not negotiable." That's not necessarily because there is no room to negotiate. It is the simple result of anxiety about negotiating.
Take this approach and you may be chasing away otherwise good potential buyers. The buyer gets into a huff about the seller's inflexibility and everything goes down hill from there. This need not happen. Sellers should be willing to enter into reasonable negotiations and just remember that they can say "no" at any point along the way toward working out a deal. However, they need to ask themselves when each subject comes up, "Am I willing to lose this deal over this point?"
The buyer needs to have a similar mindset. When seller and buyer are thinking along the lines outlined above, and each acknowledges the possibility of working out a deal in which both buyer and seller come away feeling like winners, the stage is set for successful negotiations. It is fortunate that most folks do think along these lines.
It's also helpful that buyers and sellers are not always focused on the same things to the same degree. Price might be more important to one, and the time of the sale's completion more important to the other. Sometimes negotiations are just a matter of balancing things out.
Successful negotiations don't usually drag on for a long period of time. There's usually an offer, and a counter-offer which is accepted. Many times the first offer is actually accepted if it is the result of a conversation between buyer and seller where subtle negotiations took place. At most, successful negotiations are usually concluded with an offer, a counter offer, and a counter-counter offer. It's usually a sign that the deal is not going to work out if negotiations continue much beyond that.
There are exceptions to everything, of course, and the minuet of negotiations can go on for quite some time where two people who love to negotiate are involved. However, even in those cases, most of it tends to be verbal with the written sales contract changed very few times.
The biggest point of this article is don't get intimidated. If you stay objective, you will be able to get what you need from your home.
Raynor James is with www.fsboamerica.org - providing FSBO homes for sale by owner. Visit www.fsboamerica.org/buyer.cfm to see homes for sale by owner.