There are many good reasons why you should negotiate directly, among them you will know exactly what the other party is thinking. To be more clear when you negotiate directly you eliminate any chance of a middlemans interpretation not being what you meant.
In a normal expensive real estate transaction one of the services your real estate agent provides is negotiation.
What that means is the buyer goes through their agent and makes you an offer on your house. Your agent then tells you what that offer is and what his/her opinion of it is. Then you tell your agent that you either accept or you counter offer. And so on and so forth until you come to an agreement.
The agent is really just a middleman simply passing information back and forth. They may have some experience in negotiating but it isn’t anything you can’t easily learn yourself. Just google it! Seriously, there are many places online you can learn the basics. Dozens of entire books have been written on the subject. I’ll teach you specific real estate negotiation tactics in our Sell Your Home Yourself course.
A buyer without an agent is the ideal situation. You both then work out a deal. With no agent there are no commissions, you keep your money and the buyer gets a great house.
What If The Buyer Has An Agent
But sometimes a potential buyer interested in your house will have a real estate agent and they’ll have an agency agreement with that real estate agent. The real estate agent gets paid when they have an agency agreement. It doesn’t matter if the home is a For Sale Owner or listed on the Multiple Listing Service.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to pay the agent. It’s simply the way it usually works. An agent is paid to sell a house by a seller then splits that commision with the other agent that brings a buyer. But in this case you are selling your home yourself? You are the “listing agent”.
Theoretically the buyer should pay their own agent since they signed the agreement. And that’s what the agreements say. The buyer shall pay the commision if the seller doesn’t.
The buyer really has no need of an agent so won’t want to pay. You certainly don’t have need for an agent since your a For Sale By Owner. So what happens? The agent will try and steer the client away from you.
The benefit of having the agent is they will do all the paperwork for the transaction but you have to decide what that is worth to you, if anything.
If you decide that you will work with the buyers agent make sure your buyer is present during all and any negotiations. Insist on negotiating directly with the buyer. You may have to broach the subject when both buyer and agent are present.
Because the buyers agent is definitely not going to like that idea.
You want to know exactly what your buyer is thinking. Not what their agents interpretation of that is. The agent wants to be in control of the transaction and they won’t be if it’s a good ole fashion sit down and hash it out between a buyer and a seller.
How To Negotiate Directly
Since you have elected to work with an agent one on the things that can be negotiated is the agents pay. Say your buyer offers you less than what you want and you say OK but I’m only paying your agent this amount. Or you simply may not think the agent has earned a huge sum of money for doing paperwork.
After all you got the house ready for market. You marketed the house. You attracted the buyer. The buyer just brought an agent along that is costing you money. Does that make sense?
When you offer less of a commission the agent is not likely to bring that part of the negotiation up to the client if the client is not present. In this case the agent is more looking out for him/herself than the client. That’s one reason you want to negotiate directly with the buyer.
You can look them both in the eye and say, yep, it’s a really great house and I’ll accept that price but I’m only paying your agent 1.5%, or whatever.
Or you can figure out the agents commision before you even start on the house terms.
Most of all this is your house and your deal. You elected to go it alone to save money. You’ve studied, you’ve worked hard and you know what your doing. You should maintain control to make sure you get the best deal possible.
When you negotiate directly with your buyer you’ll be able to read the buyers facial expressions and body language. That can be huge. You’ll know the difference between “I’d take this house at this price” and “I love this house so much I just have to have it”.
Those are important things you’ll miss if you negotiate at a distance through a real estate agent.
Negotiate directly, make more money.