How We Negotiate
Finding the home you love and submitting an offer is like riding a roller coaster, where your excitement hits a peak after building and building. You and your agent have worked together to put together a strong offer using strategies that work for us again and again. You have every reason to be confident that the seller will accept your offer. Then you come speeding down as you enter the period of negotiation. All you can do at this point is wait for news, which can be very stressful. We’re here to make every part of buying a home as straightforward as possible, so we’re sharing how we negotiate. The process will never be stress-free, but we can make it as easy as possible.
Negotiation happens between your agent and the home’s listing agent, who represents the seller.
Our approach? We treat listing agents as they want to be treated. Our agents are trained negotiators who will consider who they’re working with and adapt accordingly. We build relationships with these agents and customize our strategy based on that relationship and the listing agent’s preferred communication style.
Questions we ask
We communicate with the listing agent before submitting your offer to gather information that will help us make your offer the strongest one they receive.
Are there any offers? Many homes are listed with a set date to review offers. The listing agent will keep every agent that showed the home posted if they receive an early offer, which may help you decide to move forward.
Are any other parties that are taking a serious interest? This is a gauge for how much competition your offer may be up against. We ask if any other parties have taken steps that indicate they’re serious about the property such as scheduling pre-offer inspections.
Are there certain terms that will sway the seller? We’ll tailor the offer to the seller’s goals. A seller who’s lived in a home for a long time is likely looking for a buyer who will cherish the home as much as they did. We may recommend you write a letter or create a video to the seller to accompany your offer.
How we communicate. We like to know whether an agent prefers phone, text, or email so we can stick with their choice. We also like to know when the listing agent will meet with their sellers to review offers. Then, we pay attention to how much we’re hearing from the listing agent at that time. If we’re not getting questions about our offer, it’s likely that they’re busy negotiating with another buyer, which may prompt us to send in an update to your offer before it's too late.
What you should expect
Our job (and what we love to do!) is helping you understand the strategies that have worked for our clients again and again. We’ll be thorough in discussing both price and terms offer to help you draft your strongest offer. Two situations may require special expectations during negotiation: lower offers and competitive homes.
The most important thing with a lower-priced offer is to be thoughtful. It’s unlikely that the seller will accept your first offer if it’s below list price, so understand how much higher you’re willing to go and what terms you’re willing to compromise on. Be realistic about the value of the home, too. If the initial offer is too low, the seller may not believe you want to make the sale happen. We’ll work with you to find a price at your comfort level that feels respectful.
Some sellers will set a low list price with the goal of creating a bidding war. No matter the list price of a home, market conditions will dictate the ultimate sale price. Just like buyers use websites like Zillow to estimate what a home is worth, sellers also use these resources to set the value of their home. If there are multiple offers, a seller will need a good reason to settle for less. We’ll discuss your best offer to avoid this situation.
Before you sign a contract, we’ll walk through every term with you to be sure you understand the risks and benefits. Our contracts protect you and we want to make sure you fully understand and are comfortable with any contingencies you’re removing and other terms the seller may request. It’s rare for issues to come up in contracts, so many agents don’t do a contract walkthrough with their clients. But we don’t want you to be the one person that has an issue we could’ve found!