Negotiating with buyers is a skill-set that real estate agents really need to improve. In our opinion this is a key part of the service we’re paid for: the ability to secure our seller clients a higher price and on better terms. So if you’re about to sell your property ask your preferred agent to demonstrate their negotiating skills – before you appoint them.
And one area often overlooked in getting an offer from a buyer is a sizeable deposit. In new projects developers ask for 10% so why do agents and sellers often settle for a measly couple of thousand dollars? Buyers may not have buckets of cash lying in their account but if they aren’t prepared to put down a large amount (and closer to 5% where at all possible) the seller must ask: “Should I take my property off the market while we wait to see if they will settle?” A contract is a legal commitment but money held as deposit is the real show of good faith.
Even in more balanced markets like we have now, a seller should expect this from a buyer. Time on the market is critical and if they have finance limitations or are going to have second thoughts it’s better you know up front. And a tip for buyers – if you offer a decent deposit it may help you secure a better price.