Proceedable buyers generally have mixed emotions about their impending purchase right now. On the one hand, they may be feeling a little invincible, being one of the highly sought-after minority that currently make up less than 25% of active viewers. As a consequence, they may well be looking at properties which were previously out of their price range, anticipating a hard-ball negotiation with the seller.
The other emotion they are probably experiencing is fear, or at the very least, nervousness. Has the market reached its depths? Is it going to fall further? Will they be trapped in negative equity?
Sellers – you need to appreciate your buyer’s motivations and issues in order to be better placed to negotiate with them successfully, and end up with a committed buyer and a good deal.
Here are my suggestions for a mutually beneficial outcome:
1. Don’t rush them – buyers are understandably a little jittery at the moment and they may need longer than usual to make up their minds.
2. Compete well – investigate your competition – buyers are now looking at one average, 15 – 20 properties before deciding to offer on one, so you need to be the best in your category. If you offer the best deal in the area, you can be more confident about your asking price.
3. Give a little away – house buying and selling is a very fraught time, with many obstacles to be overcome before completion. If you have the foundations of a good relationship with your buyers, they will feel more willing to make compromises and be flexible over say, included fixtures and fittings or completion dates.
4. Communication – if things start getting a little tense, ask your agent to facilitate a ‘round table meeting’ if you discuss matters face-to-face with your buyers, there is less chance of misunderstanding occurring and third party corruptions of conversations.
5. Expect the unexpected – in this market, there is every chance that your buyer may get cold feet, may lose their buyer, have their mortgage offer withdrawn or may try to gazunder you. The latter is when a buyer deliberately waits until you are ready to exchange contracts then drops their offer, often significantly. Decide on an action plan for each and all of these eventualities, and don’t start packing until it’s signed.
By following these 5 rules, you will keep your buyer ‘on side’ and the obstacles and challenges you meet along the way won’t seem so insurmountable.
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