For Sale By Owner – Learning and Employing the Craft of Negotiations

A successful conclusion of the sale of your FSBO listing will be much more likely if you are one of those people who has mastered the fine art of negotiation. This is not normal in the American culture, since most people in this country can communicate with friends, family and co-workers, but are not skilled in the same way that foreigners are. Mastering the skills needed to successfully conclude a property sale should be practiced so that they become automatic.

A key factor in doing a successful negotiation is attitude. Remember that courtesy and respect toward the customer will probably result in the same attitude toward you. The potential buyer should never be viewed as an enemy that must be argued into submission. Communication works both ways and is a critical part of the negotiation process. One of the ways in which you must protect yourself, though, is to make sure that you do not spend a lot of time negotiating with someone who doesn’t have the financial resources to meet your asking price. Remember, too, that a buyer may have their own viewpoint about your choice of carpet color. Don’t allow yourself to be insulted or become angry at such comments. Color choices are rarely a good bargaining chip for a buyer to use to attempt to reduce the asking price.

Arriving at a price agreeable to both buyer and seller is the crux of the negotiation process. The buyer may offer a price that is lower than the asking price with the knowledge that a similar house in the same neighborhood sold for a lower price. The home owner may point out that the FSBO property under discussion has a brand new roof and has had an automatic sprinkler system installed to make lawn and garden care simpler. In either case, negotiations between the buyer and seller can continue with offers and counter offers until both parties are satisfied. The ability to determine the basis of the other parties terms is the key to good negotiation techniques. Certainly, there is value to each in identifying the non negotiable factors for both the buyer and the seller. Good negotiating means understanding and allowing for those things that are must haves on each side.

FSBO negotiations on the issue of a price reduction when there is a significant repair in question can be tricky. For example, if a buyer reduces the price offered by an amount equal to the cost of a new roof, but the seller believes that the roof is in good condition, good negotiation techniques might have the seller offer to reduce the price by a certain amount if the buyer pays for an outside inspection of the area in question and it is found to be less than satisfactory. Communication between buyer and seller during the negotiation process will allow such issues to be addressed in a courteous manner and agreement can usually be reached between the two parties.

Finally, the successful negotiator for FSBO property will recognize the importance of flexibility in the amount of the asking price and the terms of sale. If you receive an offer from a qualified buyer for $2000 less than your asking price, you should consider whether you are prepared to hold out for a higher offer which may or may not occur. Even if the higher bid is received, it may take weeks or even months of marketing the property. Only the individual circumstances can tell the seller which is the necessary course of action.

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