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3 Common Negotiating Mistakes Home Sellers Make

3 Negotiating Mistakes Home Sellers Make

So you’ve priced your home right, staged your home beautifully, and timed the market perfectly for a quick sale.  Now it’s time for all those full price offers to start rolling in, right?

Here’s the thing,  buyers are full of surprises and nearly all of them are predictable. Here are 3 common negotiating mistakes many home sellers make and ways to avoid making those mistakes yourself.

3 Negotiating Mistakes Home Sellers Make

Probably no real surprise here, Home Buyers don’t want to pay full price.  The current average List to Sale Price Ratio in the Coachella Valley Real Estate Market is 97%.  That means Home Sellers, on average can expect to negotiate about 3% off their asking price.

Home Buyers tend to conveniently discount or over-look improvements you’ve made. Their home inspection will likely turn up something to fix,  and their offer may have terms you didn’t anticipate.


Good news – a potential buyer has submitted an offer on your home, that means you’ve done something right or you wouldn’t have an offer to entertain, but a sale isn’t in the bag yet.

Whether you planned to or not, you need to negotiate to bring the deal together.  That doesn’t mean seller wins and buyer loses or vice versa. It’s simply a way to make smaller concessions to find common ground so you don’t lose a sale. Negotiation is designed for both parties to get what they want, or as close to what they want, as possible.

3 Negotiating Mistakes to Avoid


Yes, the market is better than it was pre-pandemic, however, an older home that hasn’t been updated or maintained to perfection can’t compete with refreshed or newer homes.   Taste-makers suggest that interiors need updating every 10 years because color, patterns and textures define each decade.

After living in your home for a few years, you no longer see the dings, scuffs or aging finishes and fixtures that make a home look used.  But the Buyer does, even if your home is in good condition, the Buyer sees what needs to be replaced or updated.


The offer came in way below what you think your home is worth. It can be tough to do, but don’t take it personally.  Buyers usually expect a back and forth negotiation, so their initial offer will often be lower than your list price and lower than they’re actually willing to pay.  Low ball offers are a negotiating tactic that you may have used yourself when you bought your home.  Your real estate professional will ferret out the reasoning is behind the low offer.  Perhaps they’re using an inaccurate comparable, they could be trying to buy above the price they qualify for, or they may be investors using a low-ball formula to acquire properties.  No matter, work with your agent to draft a counter offer, don’t’ let a potential sale die on your side of the table.  In the end it’s business, don’t get insulted and fail to counter.  You really have no way of knowing at this stage if there’s a deal here that can work. It may just need some work.

If you’re not getting any offers, or extremely low offers – that’s a signal that your home is over-priced compared to similar homes in your neighborhood. If your agent gave you a price range for what homes similar to yours are selling for and you priced above that range, it’s time to rethink your price and lower it to match current market expectations.  A series of low offers can also mean the market has slowed or shifted since you originally listed your home.  It’s time to re-evaluate your position by taking a new look at the current comps for your neighborhood.  The secret to pricing correctly is pricing into the market you’re headed into.


Negotiations keep the dialog going and the buyer interested.  That’s why your real estate professional will ask a lot of questions of the buyer to find out their motivations.  If you know what the buyer really wants, it’s easier for you to draft a counter that can work for both parties.

In the COVID seller’s market, home sellers in virtually every market across the country came to expect multiple offers from multiple buyers.  However, post-pandemic market dynamics are different.   Yes, we have lower than “normal” inventory, but inventories are rising and buyers see that.  We also have higher interest rates constraining the buyers purchasing power, making them more hesitant to buy.  Evidenced by the lower number of sales in most categories.

Home Buyers are buying, but they see they have more options available, and they’re slow to jump into a 7%+ mortgage interest rate.  In a softer market, your buyer is more likely to simply walk away and find another home that may be priced better with more features or better condition. This reluctant buyer is willing to walk if the house doesn’t check all the boxes, or maybe there’s a few too many repairs to make.

Be as flexible as you can on the points that count most with the buyer; closing and possession dates,  personal property, or contingencies.  These can help make negotiating repairs easier as you move through the contract timeline.

These are just a few of the things you’ll want to keep in mind as you negotiate. If you would like to talk more about what you can expect as you make your decision to sell your home contact me today.


Cathi Walter DesertAreaHomeFinder


Broker Associate | LUXE Director
Bennion Deville Homes