Attention Buyers: It Pays to Think Like Your Seller

Buyers who know how to think like a seller are ahead of the game. They’ll understand a homeowner’s bias; they’ll be more comfortable with negotiating, knowing it’s just another human being on the other side; and best of all, they may even save themselves money – just by being prepared.

Understanding bias

Often pride of ownership outweighs a seller’s objectivity; someone who has lived in the home for a while likely has an attachment to the property that could skew his or her sense of the home’s worth. This also happens when substantial improvements have been made to the property and the seller expects to recoup this investment in the sale price.

Bringing ‘reality’ to the table

Buyers – particularly if they are now or have been sellers themselves – will “get” this. But that’s not to say they’ll agree with the sellers’ valuation. Instead, with the help of their agent (and maybe some effort on the part of the listing agent to bring “reality” to the discussion) they’ll reference area comparables indicating the true market value of those improvements.

Condition savvy

Smart buyers will also know that sellers may attempt to cover up condition problems, and will walk around the foundation or check for evidence of water damage during the Open House.

Despite appearances, the seller does want to end up at the closing table. And he or she will have a good idea of what must be done to get there. The smart buyer will know this and be prepared for some degree of compromise.