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How to Negotiate a House Price as a Seller

Zenyx Griffiths

Written by Reviewed by Graham Norwood

19th Feb 2020 (Last updated on 30th Aug 2022) 6 minute read

Whether you’re excited or disappointed with the offer you’ve received, it’s important to understand how to negotiate offers on your property. From researching the property’s value to providing a counteroffer, there are a variety of steps you can take to help your negotiation.

When selling your house, take the time to think about the situation and don’t respond to offers immediately. Negotiating an offer doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems. Be confident in your response and carefully consider the counteroffer you’re presenting.

This article will cover the following:
  1. 1. Research How Much Your House is Worth
  2. 2. Find Out What Stage the Buyer is At
  3. 3. Get Feedback From Your Estate Agent
  4. 4. Consider a Sealed Bid
  5. 5. Throw in Extras
  6. 6. Offer to Do the Repair Work
  7. How to Counter Offer When Selling a House
  8. How to Reject Offers on Your Property

1. Research How Much Your House is Worth

You should already have had your property valued to help you set your asking price. However, if you’d like a second opinion, now would be the time to get a second valuation. This can then be used as evidence to accept, reject or negotiate an offer.

Your estate agent should help you value your property. They will have a good understanding of the property market, local area and recent sale prices. Ask your agent to show you details of comparable properties sold in the same area.

You can also use the Land Registry to get a basic valuation of your house and the properties in the surrounding area.

Another option is to hire a surveyor. This can be a good alternative if you don’t believe your estate agent’s value is accurate or if you want a second opinion. This will be more costly but it can be a good way to rebuttal the buyer’s offer. Don’t forget to compare surveyors to ensure you get the best deal possible.

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2. Find Out What Stage the Buyer is At

Here are a few questions your estate agent should ask the buyer:

  • Are they a first-time buyer?
  • Are they selling a house as well or are they chain-free?
  • Is their house under offer yet?
  • Are they buying the house with cash or do they need a mortgage?
  • How far along the mortgage application process are they?
  • Do they already have a conveyancer to begin the process?

The more prepared the buyer is, the more reliable they’ll be. Lack of preparation can cause all sorts of delays for you and the process.

If the buyer has a conveyancing solicitor, then the conveyancing process can begin immediately. If they’re also selling a house, knowing how far along they are in the process is very beneficial. The longer the property chain, the more complex the transaction can be.

When considering the buyer’s situation, don’t forget to also look at your own. Make sure you compare conveyancers as soon as possible to move the transaction along.

3. Get Feedback From Your Estate Agent

If your estate agent has the necessary experience and knowledge, they should be able to advise you on what to do. They can also state whether they believe the offer put forward is the best the buyer could provide. They should have the local knowledge needed to compare it to other local properties.

They should also be able to tell you if there are other potential buyers interested. If there’s not enough interest surrounding the property, they may advise you to stick to the offer put forward.

4. Consider a Sealed Bid

If you have a lot of interest in your property, another option you can choose is a sealed bid. This is like a type of auction where your estate agent will invite interested parties to submit a single offer through a sealed bid. You can then either accept an offer or reject them all.

The buyers must only present one offer. Because of this, many will put in the highest amount they’re willing to offer. However, as the seller, you may not always wish to go with the highest bid. Other factors could influence your decision.

According to data by gov.uk, between 2013-2015 only 2% of buyers and 3% of sellers reported using sealed bids. Sealed bids usually work best with at least 2-3 serious buyers but few people are actually aware that it’s a process you can choose.

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5. Throw in Extras

If the extras included are worth it to the buyer, they may be willing to increase their offer. For example, if the buyer showed interest in a piece of furniture or specific fittings, you could offer to include them in the transaction.

This can be especially persuasive for first-time buyers as they’re less likely to have everything they need in advance.

6. Offer to Do the Repair Work

You may have already done quick repair work when preparing your property for sale. However, the buyer may discover other issues that are affecting their offer. By offering to repair the issues yourself, you’re giving them an incentive to negotiate the offer.

If you don’t want to complete the work yourself, you’ll likely have to accept a lower offer to compensate for the repair costs. Think carefully before you decide to offer to do the repairs as it may not actually be a cost-effective option if the work required is extensive.

How to Counter Offer When Selling a House

When selling a house, you should always expect to haggle and negotiate the price. Many sellers even add 5%-10% to their initial asking price, knowing that the buyer will likely lower it for their first bid. However, this should only be done after seeking the advice of an estate agent.

Research conducted by Zoopla in 2019 discovered that the gap between the average asking price and the average selling price has increased by 3.9%. This shows that British sellers are becoming more concerned about raising their asking prices too high.

With this in mind, you should be flexible and realistic when negotiating. Your counter offer will usually be lower than your desired asking price to help entice the buyer and not lose the sale. If the potential buyer is interested, they’ll remain engaged and continue to negotiate.

However, never go far below what your property is worth. It’s inevitable that the price will be lowered but don’t forget your property’s market value throughout the negotiation.

Tips for providing a counter offer

  • Give yourself time to think it through
  • Speak to your estate agent and discuss the property’s value in relation to the offer
  • Set yourself a desired amount that you’re willing to work towards
  • Compare any potential repair costs to the offer provided
  • Review the local housing market
  • Don’t let your emotions take control

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How to Reject Offers on Your Property

Ownership of the property doesn’t transfer to the buyer until the exchange of contracts. If the transaction is not yet legally binding, you can still walk away from the sale if you’re unhappy.

If you’re unsure about an offer, don’t immediately reject it. Take the time to think the situation over and try to negotiate with the buyer first.

However, if both parties still can’t come to an agreement, you’re within your rights to reject the offer. Simply tell your estate agent that you don’t want to accept it and they’ll do the rest.

If you’ve accepted an offer but then receive another, you can choose to reject the previous buyer and accept the new one. This is called gazundering and is often considered unfair. But it is an option if you’re still not content with the original offer.

Zenyx Griffiths

Before Compare My Move, Zenyx once wrote lifestyle and entertainment articles for the online magazine, Society19 as well as news articles for Ffotogallery.

Graham Norwood

Reviewed by Graham Norwood

Property Journalist and Editor,

With over 15 years of experience in residential property journalism, Graham is currently the editor for both Estate Agent Today and Letting Agent Today.