Main Content

3 Common Negotiating Mistakes Home Sellers Make

3 Common 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.

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.

But, it’s 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 the 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 Common Negotiating Mistakes Home Sellers Make and How to Avoid Making Them

On the surface, the offer may appear not worthy of a reply; however, offers rarely come in made to order, or packaged perfectly – most will need some work.  Read and consider each offer, your real estate professional will provide an outline with each deal point, what they mean to you and how each will play out.  Understanding the Buyers motivations will be helpful, are they a disinterested investor or are they looking for their forever home?  Stay open to different ways to look at it and draft a counter offer that you think can work.  Stay focused on the big picture, not who keeps the drapes. Don’t let an offer die on your side of the table.


The offer came in way below what you think your home is worth. Yes, it can be tough to do, but don’t take it personally.  Buyers usually expect a back and forth negotiation.  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 behind the low offer.  Perhaps they’re using an inaccurate comparable. They could be trying to buy above the price they qualify for, or maybe they’re an investor using a low-ball formula.  No matter, work with your agent to draft a counter offer.  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 aren’t getting Buyer traffic and you aren’t 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 discover their back-story and 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 market, home sellers in virtually every market across the country came to expect multiple offers from multiple buyers.  However, the post-pandemic market dynamics are different.   Yes, we have lower than “normal” inventory, but inventories are rising and buyers can see that.  We also have higher interest rates constraining the buyers purchasing power making them more hesitant.  Evidenced by the lower number of sales in most categories.

Home Buyers are buying, but they see they have more options available and expect that to continue.  They’re also slow to jump into a 7%+ mortgage interest rate.  In a softer market, Home Buyers are okay to wait, or they may not make the offer at all.  Choosing to write an offer on another home that’s priced for the market, maybe 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.

These 3 Common Negotiating Mistakes Home Sellers Make are just a few examples, we say be as flexible as you can on the points that count most with the buyer.  Closing and possession dates,  personal property, or contingencies.  These are some of what can help make negotiating price and repairs easier as you move through the contract timeline.

If you would like to talk more about what you can expect as you consider selling your Desert Home contact me today.


Cathi Walter DesertAreaHomeFinder

Cathi Walter

Broker Associate | LUXE Director
Bennion Deville Homes