When it comes to negotiating, this is probably the most difficult area for most "For Sale By Owners". If there is more than one person selling, don't allow any friction to be shown in front of the buyer. This can seriously "turn off" a good prospect.

The best time to enter into negotiations is when the buyer is in the house and "eyeball to eyeball" with you. So try and have the person who is most comfortable with this phase do the actual showing and demonstrating of the home. And, remember, always ask the prospect to buy. Don't wait and let them tell you they'll call you. Ask them before they leave.

Always make sure that ALL people involved in the Home Buying process are there.  Far too often, one spouse will be all excited about buying a new home, and the other doesn't even know they're looking.

 Also, don't commit to anything while you're showing the house. Say you'll "consider it". Later if the buyer brings it up, you can ask if they would like to include that in their offer. We all know everyone wants something, so we can feel good and say we got a "great deal". Be prepared to give the right buyer something. The time to do this is at the "negotiating table" and not before. If you give it away too soon, it has no value, and you will probably be asked for more. Just plan ahead and know what you can and cannot do.


Keep in mind that the person looking to purchase a "By Owner" home is doing it for the same reason that you save the commission money.  Since you can't BOTH save the same of you has to lose.  Be tough...and it will be them...  Waiver for even an instant...and it comes out of your pocket.  

Never if you can help it, tell a potential Buyer where or why you're moving.  They are looking to use that to establish how motivated you area and how low of an offer you'll take.   Phrases like "My husband has taken a new job in California" cost you about $5000 every time you say them.  

Having studied sales techniques for many years, and now teaching these skills to real estate agents from time to time, I have learned to always ask the question, after a proposed concession, "would that make you feel better about going ahead and making an offer to purchase this home today?" Or, "would you like to give it a try?"

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