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Don’t let negotiations stress you out.

Are you in the process of selling your home?

It can be a stressful time, with potential buyers looking to bargain for the best deal they can get. So before your home, sweet home hits the market, consider these 5 tips1 to help you score the best final sale price:

  1. Price your home carefully: Expect buyers to barter, so consider pricing your home a bit higher than you think you’ll get. Real estate experts often suggest taking the most recent home sale prices in your area, factoring in the percentage of homes that are appreciating annually and splitting the difference. (For example, if the most recent sale price is $200,000, and homes are appreciating by 10 percent, price yours at $210,000.)

    : The list price is right — but have you factored in these 8 extra costs?

  2. Counter unimpressive offers: Providing a counteroffer may help bring a buyer’s low bid up to a more reasonable level. When you receive a less-than-ideal offer, don’t get angry or emotional. Instead, stay gracious and remember that even lowball offers can lead to a deal. Your agent should be able to help you come up with a strategic counter bid that’s closer to what you want.
     Related: 5 strategies for winning a home bidding war
  3. Pay attention to deal details: Full asking price (or over) bids look enticing. But the highest offer may not be your best option. Make sure to consider all the details of the offer. Does it include requests for you to pay buyer closing costs or make pricey repairs? If there are too many contingencies, you might find the offer isn’t as attractive as you originally thought.

    What comes first — buying or selling a house?

  4. Know the available negotiating strategies: If you receive multiple bids, you have options, according to the National Association of REALTORS®:
    • You can accept your preferred offer.
    • You can counter an offer to try to get the buyer to offer more, while either rejecting or holding on to other offers
    • You can inform all interested buyers that you’re getting multiple offers and ask them to come back with their best and final offer (the highest price they’re willing to pay).
       Related: 8 home-buying myths debunked
  5. Convenience can be key: It’s totally fine to favor decisive, responsive buyers with ample cash reserves because they’re easier to work with. Also, have your real estate agent or attorney review any contingency clauses the buyer submits. To keep things moving, it’s often best to avoid requirements that involve the buyer having to sell a home before officially purchasing yours. 
    If you’ve gone back and forth and can’t get a potential buyer to budge on price — but you really want to sell the property — try including extras like paying home inspection fees or performing property upgrades. Those may help sweeten the deal. 
    Related: 5 tips for staging your home to sell

1BMO Harris Bank and its affiliates do not provide legal or tax advice to clients. You should review your particular circumstances with your independent legal and tax advisors.

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