Negotiation is a skill which pays. Here are a few ways you can become a better negotiator and avoid cutting the asking price for your period home.
- Make sure you know what you are talking about and show you know it. Let viewers know that your property has been viewed by numerous people and that you understand the restoration work and its worth. Being prepared and answering all questions with well-informed answers is one way of showing you are not a soft touch who can be easily talked into accepting a lower offer. Being firm, well briefed and relaxed helps avoid potential purchasers from trying to take advantage.
- Encourage the viewer to talk by asking of open-ended questions - questions which then allow you to raise the positive aspects of your property, its features and location. Indeed, when you have your initial conversation with a viewer ask them what attracted them to view the house, then ensure that you demonstrate how these needs are fulfilled while the viewing takes place.
- Focus on satisfaction. Help the viewer feel satisfied. Satisfaction means that their basic interests have been fulfilled. Don't confuse basic interests with positions: Their position is what they say they want; their basic interest is what they really need to get.
- When you discuss the price of your property always try to negotiate face-to-face. If you are a confident communicator, you are likely to have much more success in your dealings if you conduct them in person than over the phone. It is easier to ascertain reactions when you can see facial expressions and read body language. Important - if your property is at the top end of the accepted price range for its location ensure you have three strong reasons to justify the price if the viewer infers that the property is expensive. Let them ask the question, pause and wait, and then outline the reasons underpinning the price and move on.
- Keep cool and don't look overly keen. If a potential buyer sees how much you want to sell your property, they know you will be willing to accept less. Play a bit hard to get and make sure they know you have other options if you don't sell the property. Don't rush into accepting an offer, take time to think about it. Don't show over-strong selling signals. You don't want to give the potential buyer any reason to believe you might accept a lower price.
- Keep your emotions in check and don't let them get in the way. Don't get panicked into accepting an offer when you are not sure about it, and don't let your personal feelings cloud your judgment. Be confident and calm - it's time to use charm and humour or put on that hard as nails persona. But remember, above all, be nice to the potential buyer because a sound relationship now will be worth its weight in gold as the selling and exchange of contracts process gets underway.
- While it is good to play it cool, don't be overly cautious or evasive, especially if you know the buyer has alternative properties that he or she is interested in. Assess your own and the buyer's positions and act accordingly - if your position is not that strong worrying over a relatively small sum of money could lose you your dream home. But, if you do decide to reduce the price don't give it away for nothing. For example insist that the price reduction only stands if the survey of the property is completed in a fixed time frame.
- If you are sure that the your house is sought after and other parties are interested, don't rush. Let the buyer sweat and don't rush back with an answer as soon as you get an offer. Leaving making a decision for a few days can help break the resistance of a potential buyer. But, make sure they know you intend to consider their offer over a few days and will still be allowing viewings during this period. At the same time, don't be over cautious or too clever.
- Finally, don't make the first move. If somebody says 'what price are you willing to offer?', don't reply back with a reduced price. Simply bat the question back and ask them what price they were considering. They may offer more than you expected. If you open first, you may give away more than is necessary.
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