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Military & Veteran Home Selling Resources

How to Negotiate a Home Sale


You've received an offer (or multiple offers) for your home — congrats! Though exciting, this phase of the home-selling process can bring a new form of stress: Negotiation. When it comes to such a large financial investment, it’s important that you get the most money you can for your home.

Preparing in advance and understanding the unique financial details of your home sale can help ensure the negotiation goes smoothly for everyone. Read on to learn how to negotiate a home sale.

5 Strategies for Negotiating Your Home Sale

Negotiation is part art and part skill, requiring immense preparation and strategic planning. Consider these five strategies when negotiating for a better price for your home:

1. Provide a Counter Offer at Your List Price

Most buyers will try to lowball your property value, expecting a back-and-forth negotiation. You may need to play hardball and counter their offer at your list price.

A buyer that is truly interested in the property will continue to engage and present a higher offer. To help you determine if they are serious, you can opt to reject the offer and request they provide a new bid.

You should remember, however, not to appear so aloof that you lose the attention of the buyer. An experienced real estate agent can help prepare effective counter offers that ensure you get the most for your home

2. Carefully Weave Through the Contingencies

Contingencies are potential landmines for any property negotiations. You will need to learn how to negotiate a contingency on the sale of a home without the deal falling apart.

For example, you can reject contingencies in their totality with a straightforward approach. However, standing your ground can risk making a buyer walk away from purchasing your property. Alternatively, you may use a more diplomatic approach, countering with fewer contingencies. Removing some of your own contingency stipulations can also help you sweeten the deal.

3. Prepare for Concessions

As you continue learning how to negotiate a contingency on the sale of a home, you should remember to appear flexible without ceding ground. Most buyers use a homebuying checklist to assess different homes in the market. Their selections may determine what they are willing (or not) to accept.

You, too, have a choice. For instance, you can agree to make some major repairs they request, with clauses restricting the time required to complete the work. Capping the maximum expense you’re willing to apply to honor the buyer's concessions can also work.

Most buyers’ interest will increase if you offer to cover the closing costs, partially or fully. Creating a win-win scenario in a buyer's mind can help convince them to fork out more or opt for a faster closing.

4. Include an Expiry Date on Your Counter Offer

You can raise the stakes in the bidding war by including an expiry date on your counter offer. Buyers financing the purchase with a mortgage may drag out the negotiation process as they try to fulfill the lender's requirements. A fast-approaching deadline can help motivate buyers to work more quickly.

Moreover, the expiration period provides an excellent way to get your home back to the market. Other buyers may hesitate to submit an offer when a negotiation is underway. The deadline allows you to get your home under contract or get it back out in front of more serious buyers.

5. Use Escalation Clauses to Increase Competitive Bids

It can be challenging to learn how to negotiate home prices for sale by the owner. Working with a real estate agent can make your work easier. The agent will be your representative as you organize open houses and negotiate with the buyer's agent.

For example, a buyer can include a $4,000 escalation clause over the highest bid for your $500,000 home, up to a maximum of $550,000. Using such a clause can result in higher offers for your home.

How to Negotiate Home Price with For Sale by Owner Homes

You may need to understand some core factors about property selling before delving into how to negotiate a home sale. When you want to learn how to negotiate the home price of a for sale by owner property, here are three factors to keep in mind:

1. Comparable Homes

Before setting your asking price, research the current value of homes within your local housing market. Choosing a price slightly higher than present market valuations provides an excellent starting point that can help you achieve the price you want a buyer to pay, when you’re still learning how to negotiate a home sale.

2. Number of Bids

You may need to assess the number of offers you receive for your home before the negotiation. The number of bids can help you determine whether you will use an aggressive or relaxed strategy to woo a buyer to purchase the home.

3. Timeline

Remember that you need plenty of time to assess all of the offers you receive. If you are tight on the moving schedule, you may fall under the mercy of the buyer. Aim for a flexible closing date to maintain a more relaxed negotiation process.


Before negotiating, it’s smart to research and identify the prevailing market conditions, determine the number of bids you receive, and develop a personal timeline for closing. If you’re selling, you’re likely in the market to buy a new home too and it’s important to have a reliable, trustworthy mortgage lender in your corner.

Take a look at AAFMAA’s military mortgage options, then get connected with a Military Mortgage Advisor who will help you determine the best mortgage for you and your family. Contact us online or at 844-422-3622 today to get your free mortgage assessment.