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How to negotiate home price

Negotiating The Real Estate Deal

The key to knowing how to negotiate a home price is to remain focused, objective, and avoid allowing emotions to rule the moment. Ted Weaver has negotiated literally hundreds of real estate transactions. He has the experience, know-how, and time-acquired negotiating skills to bring about a win-win scenario for everyone involved. Here are some critical steps to negotiating a typical real estate transaction from the seller perspective:

  •  First, as the sellers’ agent, I must have a solid understanding of your financial and timeline goals in advance of any offer received; these will help drive our negotiating strategy and response to any offers. I need to know;
    • Your preferred selling price.
    • Your bottom line number.
    • How quickly you wish to close.
    • And, any other terms important to you (i.e., reserved items you’re planning on keeping, such as a play set in the backyard, washer/dryer, etc).
    • Frequently, ancillary terms such as seller paid closing costs or the closing date, can be just as important as the purchase price to the buyer so I need to understand your selling goals to help us respond appropriately.

  • A common misconception is that a “low-ball” offer is insulting to the seller. In reality, all offers are compliments because it means the buyer thinks highly enough of your home that they wish to purchase and live in it. It may not be at your desired price, but there is no higher compliment than an offer to buy your home. The actual insult is when a buyer walks through your house and doesn’t like it enough to write an offer.

  • If we do receive a low offer, don’t fret. We will negotiate accordingly and try to bring the buyer up to your desired price point. If they don’t respond as desired, then they weren’t serious buyers, and you’ve lost nothing. However, in many cases, the buyer is merely “fishing” to see how much the seller will come down. I’ve negotiated plenty of deals where we started with a “low-ball” but ended up with a close to full price contract.

  • When an offer is received, I will immediately email a copy to you for your review and request a good time for us to speak on the phone to discuss it verbally. My objective on our call will be:
    • Discuss all of the offer terms and ensure you understand their ramifications.
    • Provide multiple options for response based on the situation and our negotiating strategy.
    • Respond to any questions or concerns you may have.

  • Most offers will have a “deadline” written into them. Sellers are NOT required to respond by this deadline. Its purpose is to ensure the contract is not open-ended and thus releases the buyer from the obligation after expiration so they can move to another home. Practically what this means is that if you intend to accept the buyer’s initial offer without a counter, you should sign before the deadline to lock them into the contract. If, on the other hand, you intend to counter, there is no requirement to respond to the buyer’s deadline. However, it is considered a professional courtesy to let the buyer’s agent know if we plan to respond after the deadline.


  • In the Des Moines real estate market, it is customary for counter-offers to be negotiated “verbally” – meaning either via phone, email, or even text message – to expedite the process. Of course, none of this is binding, and until final terms are in writing and signed by all parties, nothing is considered legally binding. Once final terms are agreed upon, all the original contract changes must be written and initialed, and all parties sign the final contract.


  • Once fully signed and initialed and delivered to both parties, we then (and only then) have a legally binding contract. Thus it is imperative we sign/initial & deliver all documents as quickly as possible to finalize the contract.

  • Generally within 24 -48 hours we should receive the buyer’s earnest money, which will be deposited into the RE/MAX Concepts trust account to be held on your behalf until the closing date.

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