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Negotiating with the Buyer

June 8th, 2015 by Geoff Baldwin

The best advice for sellers is to always negotiate through your real estate agent. A potential purchaser will sometimes attempt to negotiate directly with the property vendor, perhaps to establish what is the lowest price you are prepared to take. It is wise to politely refer the purchaser back to the agent you have appointed to act on your behalf.

Any agreement to purchase your property will be made in writing on the standard form and signed by the purchaser. Offers made verbally cannot be legally enforced and are therefore worthless.

When your agent arrives with the customer’s written offer, you should clarify every clause ensuring you completely understand what is proposed. You may then decide to accept the offer by signing in the space provided, or to “counter” the offer at a higher price that is acceptable to you. Inserting the new price on the contract and initialling the alteration usually achieves this. Your agent will then present your “counter-offer” back to the purchasers for their acceptance or rejection.

You should be aware that if the purchasers do not wish to accept your “counter-offer”, they can withdraw their original offer leaving you without a purchaser. Therefore your decision to counter the original offer at a higher price should be made with the clear understanding that you may run the risk of losing your purchaser altogether!

Important: When a property is placed on the market, the fact is it is in competition with other properties and not in isolation. Buyers will always compare your property with others that offer what they are seeking and they will then make their offer and negotiate with that in mind. When confronted with a offer rational and balanced response is important. Your agent should have been providing you with feedback and guidance and also market evidence including the median or average price for homes in your area. It is then a matter of how your home compares and remembering that in the end result, it’s worth what a willing buyer will pay.