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Should I Negotiate My Home Sale In Person?

Steve Flanagan May 11, 2023

When you receive an offer on your home, you have several choices. The simplest choice, of course, is to accept the offer and move on to the closing process. Choice #2 would be to reject the offer and refuse to entertain offers from that same buyer. Likely you would only do this if the offer was so ridiculously low that you don’t feel it’s worthwhile to continue. Your third option is to submit a counter-offer and anticipate negotiating with the buyer from that point forward. As you move through the negotiating process, is it better to negotiate online or in-person?

Experts’ advice? As much as possible, negotiate in person.

“The most effective way to influence or persuade — which is what negotiation is all about — is to do it face to face,” said Tom Hayman, the president of Negotiation Expertise, which trains people in negotiation techniques. “Because then you get your words, you get your voice and you get body language — or nonverbals — all into the equation.”

In order to avoid being intimidated and to maintain power and control in negotiating situations, it is a good idea to prepare the setting, and you can only do that if you plan to meeting in person. When you’re comfortable and confident, it’s easier to start negotiations in a winning position. Think about where you want the negotiations to take place, who you are negotiating with, how to best present your case and the timeframe you are working within.

With the agents out of the way, you have more room to negotiate unusual elements in to the deal; for instance, if you need more time in your place before you move, talk to the buyer about it face to face.

It’s easier, too, to go over the fine points of the sale contract if you do it in person with the buyer. Download a sale contract for your state here, and bring it with you to your negotiating sessions to be sure all issues are covered.