Thursday, September 16, 2010

How Staging Helps Negotiations

Our condo sold, and we're reminded that every offer 
is a serious offer even if it sounds goofy.
Today I discovered yet one more advantage to staging your home for sale.

It gives you a distinct leg up in negotiations.

Two days ago we received an offer on the condo we have had on the market for 145 days.

It was a very low offer. The interesting thing is that the written offer came to our realtor with a $5,000 deposit and the verbal information that the buyer planned to put the same offer in to another unit in the same complex if we refused the price and terms.

The terms included the demand that we provide a home warranty, and that we accept a lower selling price if the property appraised for a lower amount.

We didn't like the price or the terms. Nevertheless, we countered by reducing our listing price a few thousand, still nowhere near his offer.  He countered by raising his offer a few thousand, still nowhere near our adjusted price. We refused to go lower.

Here's where staging helped. We knew the other unit was not staged. Both units were priced about the same and have the same floor plan.

The knowledge that our property showed well provided the confidence to hold firm at our price. It was a showdown, and the buyer blinked. He agreed to our price.

Know When to Take a Risk
We knew we were gambling, that the buyer could walk away, and we might wait months for another offer.  Rather than be hustled by his warning that he had a back-up plan -- buying the other unit -- we were comfortable waiting him out. We were comfortable because we staged, so we knew we had the competitive edge.

We've since learned that the reason our buyer opened with a low ball offer was that he had a relative advising him. When the deal looked like it wasn't going to happen, he told his adviser to step aside and he made what he knew was a more fair offer.

Lesson here: take all offers seriously because you never know where negotiations will lead.

Tomorrow we'll sign papers to seal the deal.  Another victory for effective home staging!

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