Most Sellers set their initial asking price at an amount somewhat higher than they are actually willing to accept, fully expecting a buyer to open the bidding with a lesser amount.
While price is the most frequently negotiated item in any home sale, you may be able to creatively provide financial value to your buyer - without lowering the price alone.
major appliances such as your stove, fridge, dishwasher and microwave offer good negotiating power - while you'll likely be including some of them in your asking price, consider excluding some from the listing (the washer and dryer perhaps) to use as a future bargaining chip;
window treatments, air conditioners, central vac, and ceiling fans are other extras that might entice your buyer and can be easily included later on in a counter-offer;
study your buyers’ personal situation and think of ingenious ways to sweeten the offer that makes sense for both of you - if they're first time buyers and you are moving to a condo, include the lawn mower and gardening tools (or other items you may be planning to dispose of) in your next counter-offer;
if your existing mortgage rate is lower than current market rates and your mortgage is assumable, consider offering it to your buyers for savings they can count on after the closing - they'll enjoy monthly savings over the remainder of the mortgage term;
If you are serious about selling, don't price yourself out of the market. Overpricing is, by far, the most common error sellers make. Although you might think of it as “leaving room for negotiation", you might only scare off potential buyers who could pass over it for more reasonably priced homes.
They can't buy it if they don't see it, so get them in the door. Better to stand firm on a lower asking price than risk discouraging buyers and creating a stale selling environment.
To help you determine your asking price, contact a CRA (Certified Residential Appraiser) for a full market analysis and property appraisal and then set your asking price accordingly.
© February, 2004 - XstreamRealty Incorporated
Amie Walton is the president and founder of Xstream Realty Incorporated, a Virtual Agent online real estate service. She has retained her ASP designation in Home Staging and is managing both XstreamRealty.com and XstreamStaging.com as complementary businesses for assisting homeowners to sell their homes quickly and profitably.