Negotiating a home sale is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your life. 

The process can be intimidating, especially for first-time sellers, but with the right help from a top-notch sales team, you will be able to walk away with your asking price.

How you handle the negotiation process with prospective buyers will determine how much money you make on your house. 

In this guide, we want to give you our insider secrets for handling buyers, counteroffers, and real estate negotiation tactics as a seller.

Counter Offer Strategies For Sellers

Counter With Your Asking Price

As a seller, your goal is to get as close to your asking price as possible. Most buyers will initiate the negotiation process, usually by making an offer below your list price. 

In almost all cases, the buyer’s initial offer will be lower than what they are willing to pay for your home. This is where the negotiation begins.

Normally, a seller will submit a counteroffer to the potential buyer that is lower than their original list price but higher than the initial offer. 

This tactic shows the buyer that you are flexible and willing to work with them on a price that both parties are satisfied with. 

BUT there is another way, a great real estate negotiation tip for sellers is to counter with your list price. 

It may seem like a bold move, but when handled correctly, it can be a powerful method that will secure the price you want for your home.

The key to this strategy is expressing value. You need to make the buyer realize that they’re getting a fantastic deal for the price your house is listed at.

Ways you can communicate the value of your property include:

  • Remind the buyer of any recent renovation work that you’ve completed on the property, thus saving them any immediate moving in expenses
  • Similarly, make this point again if your home has a perfect score on any recent surveying
  • Let the buyer know the recent sales price of other houses in the neighbourhood and how others will be willing to pay what you’re asking
  • If the home is in a good school district, let the buyers know. The value they will receive in a superb quality education for their children can help justify the listing price 

By listing all the value that your home will bring to their lives, you will make the buyer want your home even more. This in turn will make them reflect on your listing price and realize that it’s a good deal.

Reject the Offer

While you don’t want to scare away potential buyers, you can always reject the initial offer without providing a counteroffer. 

If you reject a buyer’s offer, they may come back quickly with a higher offer, especially if they want to move forward with the sale.

Get a Home Inspection

A good way to stay ahead of the curve during negotiations with a buyer is to get a home inspection completed before placing your house on the market. 

This will allow you to understand the ins and outs of your house, including major and minor problems. It will also make you well-equipped to address any of the buyers concerns and reassure them they are getting a good deal.

Furthermore, if a home inspection uncovers any major issues, such as a leaking roof, then you might be able to get these problems fixed and increase your list price. 

Every buyer who commits to a contract to buy a house will have to get a home inspection completed before the sale can be finalized. Already having a report on hand will help to sweeten the pot for them.

Set a Deadline for a Decision

If a buyer makes an offer and you propose a counteroffer, then you have entered into negotiations with that party. 

You are allowed to have multiple, ongoing discussions, but you should give your first prospective buyer a chance to propose another offer before accepting any others. 

While it is not illegal to do otherwise, it is sort of an unwritten rule in the real estate agent’s negotiation handbook.

To speed up this process and allow everyone a chance to propose their offer in a reasonable time, we suggest putting a deadline on your counteroffers.

This will show a potential buyer that you are serious and want to move forward with the sale. It will also indicate to the buyer that you may be fielding a lot of offers, which will put pressure on them to make a decision.

Offer to Take the House Off the Market

This negotiation tactic goes hand-in-hand with setting a deadline.

If you are speaking with a potential buyer who is highly interested and willing to make counteroffers, then you can offer to take the house off the market. 

This will show you are negotiating in good faith by removing the possibility of a bidding war while they make a decision.

You will also get the added advantage of creating urgency in your buyer!

All you have to do is set a deadline for when you will place the house back on the market, which will reopen it to other interested parties.

This will prompt the buyer to hurry up and get the deal closed, as anything could happen once it hits the open-market again.

Create a Bidding War

Photo of a White and Gray Bungalow House Under Blue Sky

If you have multiple offers from different people, you should try to create a bidding war between both buyers to drive up the sale price of your property!

You can act as the go-between for both bidding parties, informing both of the price the other is willing to pay.

A classic real estate counter offer strategy is to present the illusion that you have multiple offers, which may increase the buyer’s offer.

One way to generate interest in your property and spark a bidding war is to hold an open house after you put it on the market. 

If a lot of people show up to the open house, then this will give potential buyers the idea that there will be many offers and they must act quickly. 

By creating competition, you may receive higher offers and quicker responses to your counteroffers.

Agree to Pay Closing Costs

It is becoming more common for buyers to ask sellers to pay for closing costs. 

Many buyers may be strapped for cash when it comes time to close the deal.

The down payment alone can take up most of their savings, so they may not have enough funds to cover closing costs. You will generally find closing fees to be around 3% of the purchase price.

If a buyer submits an offer you are satisfied with and asks you to pay the closing costs, then you might want to counter with a slightly higher overall price to offset the closing fees. 

If you are on the verge of closing the deal and the seller asks you to pay closing costs, we think it is well worth it.

How To Negotiate Requests To Include Furniture Or Provide A New Roof

When people start scheduling appointments to see your home, they will start to get a full picture of how their life will be when they move in. 

Many times, a potential buyer will make requests that will increase their interest in the house and ultimately get them a better deal. 

For example, they might want you to include a new roof, furniture, or install a new fence. They may ask you to make repairs before they sign the contract or make an offer.

These requests are not always a bad thing. 

Perceived value is a common sales tactic used to add value to your home without it costing you very much. 

If you can accommodate a buyer’s request, then you should. It could be a great bargaining chip when it comes time to make a counteroffer.

Trusting Your Real Estate Agent to Negotiate The Best House Price

While all of our real estate counter offer strategies for sellers are highly effective, nothing can beat a top-notch and professional real estate agent. 

You should collaborate with a real estate agent who can take control of the whole selling process and negotiate on your behalf. Good real estate agents will be able to get you as close to your listing price as possible.

You might be concerned about paying extra commission fees, but studies show that “For Sale by Owner” homes end up selling for 30% less than homes listed by an agent. 

Most home sellers do not have a thorough understanding of all the paperwork involved with the sale of a home. A seller’s agent will be able to walk you through the process and help you understand the terminology and fill out paperwork.

One of the most important things a luxury seller’s agent can do for you is to help you market your property to sell it fast. 

As a seller, you may not have the proper knowledge of digital marketing and other sales tactics. 

Your agent, on the other hand, is a pro at marketing and making sure your home is getting as much exposure as possible. 

They’ve spent years making connections and any good agent will have an in-built audience of interested buyers.

Listing  your home on their agent’s page can increase exposure immensely, their social media channels will also have the same result.

Many people have a hard time negotiating when it comes to a sale. Seller’s agents are experts when it comes to negotiating for clients and getting them what they want. 

You might be surprised at how well a professional real estate agent can turn the negotiation in your favor.


In this guide, we have provided you with our top real estate negotiation tips for sellers to help you drive a hard bargain and get what you want. 

While these tips are useful, the best way to implement them is to hire a real estate agent who can guide you on how to negotiate when selling a house. 

Keep in mind, the current housing market is a seller’s market. 

If you are considering putting your house on the market, contact me to schedule a meeting and find out what a concierge realtor can do for you.

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