Closing the Sale

If you have done a good job in preparing and presenting your house, you will soon have a buyer who is interested in talking to you about buying it.

Successfully closing the sale depends on how you relate to, negotiate with and close the prospective buyer.

Work with genuine buyers
This sounds like an obvious statement if not for the fact that many sellers have invested time and effort in their prospective buyers only to realize they are property ‘tourists’. There are many reasons why these pseudo buyers view properties: curious; getting furnishing ideas; looking for out-of-this-world buys; establishing a negotiation position for offers to other properties; and because they have noting better to do.

*NOTE: Using Virtual Tours for your property showing can minimize this inconvenience, as prospective buyers are pre-qualified. The agent will analyze the sincerity, motivation, credit-worthiness and co-operation level of the buyers to ensure only the genuine ones negotiate with you.

Analyze the offer
When the prospective buyer makes an offer, make sure that it is not just a verbal offer to one that is not legally binding. The following are factors to consider in a Sale and Purchase Agreement, Option Money/ Deposit, Price, Terms & Conditions and Contingencies, i.e. stipulated conditions that must be satisfied before the sale subject to approval for financing from the bank. The above factors should be justifiable, reasonable and, not detrimental to your interests. If in doubt, consult your lawyer before responding to the buyers. Remember, the best offers in the world will mean nothing if the sale is not completed.

Evaluate your options
When an offer is made, you can accept it, reject it, hold on to it for a mutually agreeable or reasonable period of time, or make a counter offer to the buyer. Take time to analyze the offer and consider the consequences.

A word of caution: while it is the hope of every seller to get the best returns, it is wise to note that there may be valid reasons why you cannot have everything you want, for example, a sudden increase in interest rates may change the equation foe the sale. Ultimately, it is the market that determines the selling price of your house and NOT what you think you should deserve.

Build bridges with your buyers
Negotiation is about working with and through people. Your negotiation position will be stronger if you understand the objectives and motivation of the buyers. It also helps to move the sale forward if you listen effectively (always ask “Why?”) to the buyers’ objections.

Counter the offer effectively
A counter offer is a two-edged sword. It can get you the price you want or lower the price than what the buyer is prepared to pay. The deal may also fall apart if the counter-offer is perceived as being totally unreasonable. It is always better to negotiate face-to-face with the buyer as you can test the motivation level of the buyer and the price they are willing to pay. In a counter-offer never bargain for ‘small stuff’. By giving a little, you make the buyer feel a sense of victory and it will help close the sale. If you don’t, it may trigger them to reject the sale. This is because buyers are usually anxious and worried about making a wrong decision, and may be looking for a reason to back out from the deal.

Prepare a comprehensive inventory list
When a house is sold, it is usually sold with its permanent fixtures. These include anything that is fixed, built-in, extended from or deemed to e an integral part of the house. To avoid any misunderstanding, disputes and potential litigation, it is advisable to draft out a comprehensive list of what goes with the sale.

Strike while the iron is hot
In the new economy, you need to be first, fast and focused and this is principle applies similarly in the sale of a house. If you have prepared yourself and done your homework, you should be able to move quickly to negotiate, close the sale, prepare the necessary documents and, take the necessary action to complete the sale.

Beware of post-handshake dissonance
Many buyers go through an emotional dip where they suddenly become worried that they have made a wrong decision. It will intensify their desire to look elsewhere for a better buy. Some of their friends may even discourage them from proceeding with the sale. To prevent this, seal it with a legal binding contract as soon as possible. If you don’t, your competitors might.