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7 Tips for Negotiating Your “For Sale By Owner” Contract

tips for negotiating for sale by owner contracts

You’ve been trying to sell your For Sale By Owner property in the Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Niceville of Fort Walton Beach of Florida area for a while, and finally, there is an interested buyer! In fact, you just finished showing your home and he’s standing in the foyer by the door.  He said he really likes your property, and you can tell that he has an air of excitement he is trying to hide…. What should you do?

Here are considerations for negotiating your sale:

  1. CLOSING:  You say, “Well, what’s next?” Now be quiet!!!!!!!! You have just asked the buyer a closing question. This is the moment of truth.  Do not say another word, just allow your buyer “think”.  This is a professional sales technique. (Many a sale did not happen due to the interruption of the buyer when he was about to say “yes”.) Good news! The buyer, after an unbearable full minute of quiet, says, “I would like to offer you $530,000 for your home”.
  2. GET IT IN WRITING:  The buyer just made a verbal offer. What does it mean? Nothing, really.  Anyone can just toss out a number, but until you get it in writing in the form of a contract, there is no agreement.  The thoughtfulness that goes into a written offer is much more than words at the door.  On a contract, the buyer will have to specify exact financing terms, inspection periods, earnest money amount, closing date, and so on.
  3. PRICE IS NOT EVERYTHING: If a buyer offers you your asking price, would you take it? For example, would you still do so if he wasn’t going to close until his house sold?  Or would you take slightly less from another buyer who didn’t have a house to sell? Just a thought!
  4. EARNEST MONEY: Would you accept the buyer’s offer if he gave you no earnest money deposit? If you do, and he decides to cancel for no reason, you will have lost valuable marketing time and have nothing to show for it. The buyer has no “incentive” to stay in the contract if there is no  earnest money deposit.  You, on the other hand, have a lot to lose.
  5. HOME INSPECTION:  Is the buyer accepting your home “as is”, or will he require you to make repairs? Will repairs be determined by a professional home inspector? What if you don’t agree with the findings, what happens next?  Is the buyer’s repair amount reasonable? Most contracts have a repair limit, a method to counter home inspection findings and a time frame to inspect.
  6. FINANCING:  You already obtained a pre-approval letter from the buyer from a local Emerald Coast Destin or Santa Rosa Beach (or Fort Walton Beach) lender, correct? Make sure the time period to obtain financing and terms make sense. For example, you don’t want to allow the buyer 90 days to get a residential loan, that’s far too long.
  7. OTHER CONTINGENCIES: There is so much more that goes into an offer other than price. I suggest you review a sample contract in advance and familiarize yourself with it. Then you will be prepared for any possible contingency the buyer may come up with. Believe me, you may be surprised!

For more tips on selling your For Sale By Owner property or a sample contract, give me a call!

“It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!”

Wendy Rulnick, Broker,  Rulnick Realty, Inc.
850-650-7883 ext 204
email [email protected]

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