Trulia Denver, Other/Just Looking in Denver County, CO

What is the best advice for a home seller negotiating directly with a prospective buyer?

Asked by Trulia Denver, Denver County, CO Mon Dec 17, 2012

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Jerry Ranum, , Aurora, CO
Tue Jan 15, 2013

The old saying about a similar issue says "A man/woman who represents themselves in a court of law, has a fool for his counsel.
2 votes
Gene Platt, Agent, West Palm Beach, FL
Wed Jan 16, 2013

That is corect, either use a reputable agent/broker or perhaps hire a reputable R.E. Attorney. Call me or we can meet at my office to talk about referring you to the most qualified Real Estate Broker / Agent in your area. We are a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of The World (The largest Relocation Network).


Gene Platt REALTOR®
Illustrated Properties
(561) 632-5400
1 vote
Dena Schlutz, Agent, Boulder, CO
Wed Jan 16, 2013
Of course you can expect all of the brokers here to tell you to hire a Realtor. But with all 'hire me' jargon aside, let me give you an honest response. I totally get the idea that you are a smart, well educated person (probably working in high tech) and have the capacity to understand real estate -- it is not brain surgery.

Wash Park is a spendy zip code. Know who else lives in a spendy zip? Donald Trump. He always recommends hiring a professional broker to do the job. The problem is that YOU don't know what you don't know. And those holes of missing knowledge can cost you more than you think. If you are upside down on your house, short sale is an option.

Otherwise, get your real estate license so you can properly represent yourself and comply with laws that are written to protect the buyer -- after all.... it's not brain surgery..... right? There is no substitute for education.
1 vote
Mark Nadler, Agent, Larchmont, NY
Tue Jan 15, 2013
First, It is advisable for people to have someone negotiate on their behalf. I even encourage agents to have another agent negotiate for them when buying or selling their own properties. It is too difficult to not become emotional otherwise.
Second, Know what you are talking about. Know facts and accurate information aboutr what other properties are on the market for sale and the condition they are in. If you know your facts, you will be much more believable and successful.
1 vote
Ritchy Haynes, , Denver, CO
Wed Sep 25, 2013
You may want to consult a selling agent or attorney for this
0 votes
Julie Montgo…, , 80238
Mon Jan 21, 2013
Unless you fully understand the legal consequences and/or what you and the buyer's rights are within that contract, hire a seller's agent or a transaction broker to assist with the closing. You're selling on your own because you don't want to pay the realtor's fee, yet where do you go when you need advice? LOL!! Seriously .... IF the deal stays together, which if I'm betting, it won't, you could be setting yourself up for major legal consequences.

If what you're trying to do was that easy, there wouldn be NO realtors. It's like taking out your own toncils -- you can do it, but you probably won't like the end result.

Julie Montgomery
RE/MAX Masters, Inc., Greenwood Village, CO
0 votes
Robert Kacza…, , Loveland, CO
Wed Jan 16, 2013
1. Take the state licensing class (don't have to take the test) and learn all about the process.
2. Make sure they are pre-qualified with a major-reputable lender.
3. Hire an agent on a per-fee basis (or attorney)
4. Check the backgound of the buyer (are they an agent, attorney, etc.) with specialized knowledge that leaves you at a SEVERE disadvantage.
5. Pickup a book on "selling your house for dummies" (really)
6. Read a good negotiating book.
0 votes
Sonja G Nagel, Agent, Arvada, CO
Tue Jan 15, 2013
I honestly would tell you what you are saving by doing it yourself , could end up costing you more. If you are not A Realtor it would be like having your dentist build your basement. Getting a listing agent will get you more return on your investment, also be a lot safer for you then showing the home yourself. Even as a Realtor it is scary at times to show property. I would not do it knowing nothing about the people coming in alone with me.
0 votes
J, Agent, Greensboro, NC
Mon Dec 24, 2012
Agents are aware of the ends and outs of real estate transactions, errors and omissions, and fair market value of properties in various locations. Majority agents are very familiar with real estate law and contractural agreements and already have real estate attorneys lined up to guide them through complex transactions. However, if a home seller wants to work directly with a prospective buyer without an agent I would encourage a seller to work with a real estate attorney for guidance and to expedite the transaction. Thanks for the question, Trulia.
0 votes
Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Tue Dec 18, 2012
There are many reasons why it is just not a good idea.
A real estate sales contract is a legally binding document, with a variety of different clauses and
terms and a multitude of items to make mistakes, forget, overlook etc. etc. There is a good reason
way all licensed Realtors have to have and pay for an Errors and Omission insurance.....

But besides the legal side of it...... the emotional side is what is usually not a good influence on the
tempers during negotiations, when the home owner is protecting and fighting for the highest possible sale price for his beloved "castle" and often "longtime home", forgetting that during the
negotiations of a sale contract price and terms, his home has become an asset..... and the
emotions on the side of the buyer also do not help, because often in order to get a better price or
terms or whatever is on their mind, they will point out all the bad and the ugly and the short comings
of the home (although they still want to buy it, they just want to pay the least for it) and that in turn will
anger the proud home owner.

Work with Realtors, they are experienced professional negotiators, and they take the personal out of the negotiations... Believe me having been a REaltor on both ends on behalf of Buyers or Sellers
I know, and I also am fully aware that we as Realtors earn every penny during negotiations, before and after.

Good luck to you.

Hope this helps...

Most Sincerely yours,
Edith YourRealtor4Life and your Chicago and Northern Illinois
and RElocation Expert
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients
at @Properties North Shore
Edith speaks French, German, Spanish & more
Get to know Edith and her Service her website is
0 votes
Bob Gordon, Agent, Boulder, CO
Mon Dec 17, 2012
Hire a Realtor. That's the best advice.
0 votes
Robert McGui…, Agent, Denver, CO
Mon Dec 17, 2012
Trulia Denver,

My best advice is 'don't do it'. There are too many pitfalls that you would never consider. It is way too risky and in the end the statistics show that over 80% of the time you will net more proceeds from the sale if you use a qualified Realtor to represent your interests. It is very much like the old saying about the man who is 'his own attorney'. Experience, expertise and understanding is priceless in the process of selling a home.

I often mention to FSBO's that we as Realtors have a minimum of $1,000,000 in Errors and Omissions Insurance for a good reason. How much do you have? We also have hours and hours of continuing education in order to be at our best in representing our clients. Please don't make the mistake of stepping into this arena alone. You could lose more in a lawsuit, aggravation and sleepless nights than what you would pay for professional representation. Best of success with your sale.

Robert McGuire ASR
Your Castle Real Estate
Direct - 303-669-1246
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Mon Dec 17, 2012
Sorry folks, question is asked by Trulia not a real seller. In the haste of a seller to try and save money they often sell for a lower place in a longer period of time than if they would have listed with a leading Listing agent in their area. A good agent can save the seller money with a sale at a higher price and in a quickler amount of time.
0 votes
Kelly Huffst…, Agent, Wake Forest, NC
Mon Dec 17, 2012
I disagree that everyone has to hire an agent. In rare circumstances, it is possible for a seller and buyer to work directly with one another without the assistance of an agent. Since I don't work in your state, I don't know the laws governing real estate transactions but I'm sure you can find an attorney who can help you out there.

As for negotiating advice, the most important thing is to know your home's value. It is not worth what you paid for it plus whatever improvements you have put into it; nor is it worth what it was at the market peak; nor what you owe the bank. It is worth what the market dictates its value to be. You can find this out by looking closing at recent sales in your area that are comparable to yours. By comparable, it should be around the same age, size, number of rooms, relatively same upgrades, condition etc. If you can't find enough sales that are directly comparable, you can use ones that are less like your home but account for the differences when calculating the value. This is a detailed process and one that takes a lot of time if you don't have a working knowledge of the market- thus one of the reasons everyone says you need an agent.

Once you have an offer from a buyer, do your best to stay unemotional. That may be the toughest part of negotiating your own home sale. I have come across quite a few clients who would have killed a deal if there hadn't been a buffer between them and the buyer. A seller's emotional reactions to a buyer's emotional request can be a recipe for disaster!

If you decide to go it alone, I wish you all the best!
0 votes
Pacita Dimac…, Agent, Oakland, CA
Mon Dec 17, 2012
Too many unknowns. Here are just a few of the questions to ask

Is buyer paying fair price, or under what the property would sell for

What are the terms and conditions of sale -- will seller allow buyer to move into property before close of escrow? What if it doesn't close escrow? How can seller evict?

What contract will be used, and will it be legal in the state where the transaction will occur?

Too much likelihood of errors and omissions -- does seller know enough what the disclose and how much to disclose

How will seller handle lawsuit filed against him by a buyer claiming fraud, failure to disclose latent faults, etc of the property
0 votes
Wendy Glazer, Agent, Denver, CO
Mon Dec 17, 2012
I think we are all in agreement, you should hire a real estate agent. Transactions are very complicated and situations can arise that a trained professional agent will be able to get you through smoothly.
If you decide not to hire an agent, I would suggest to hire a lawyer.
Good luck.
Wendy Glazer

Kentwood Company
303 906 9000
0 votes
Ethan Besser, Agent, Englewood, CO
Mon Dec 17, 2012
Hi Trulia Denver,

Statistically, houses usually sell for more money when the listing is represented by an experienced agent like myself. My best advice for you is to get an agent on board who knows the ropes and can represent you. Frequently, you will end up making more money even with paying the agent than selling it on your own.

Go to my website if you would like to list your house For Sale by Owner free of charge at…


Ethan Besser
Keller Williams
0 votes
Marianne Ban…, Agent, Lone Tree, CO
Mon Dec 17, 2012
A home purchase is likely the most important and largest purchase you will make. You can hire a lawyer, but most real estate agents will do it just as well and for less money. A home purchase is too complex to be learning as you go.

Marianne Bandy
The Bandy Team
RE/MAX Professionals - Denver, CO
"From Our Heart to Your Home"

303-746-7799 cell
Web Reference:
0 votes
Chris Eisenh…, Agent, Denver, CO
Mon Dec 17, 2012
Hire an agent. I heard a stat earlier this year that was something like 78% of all RE transactions in litigation right now are for sale by owners. So I guess I should say hire an agent or hire an attorney :)
0 votes
Benjamin Gri…, Agent, Denver, CO
Mon Dec 17, 2012
Hire an agent. The real estate contract is complex, and many times the "boiler plate" contracts you can find don't actually have all of the necessary items in them to actually make them legally binding in the State of Colorado. Some agents may charge just a flat "negotiating" fee.

You need to know things about title insurance, inspection deadlines, loan condition deadlines, off record title matters, HOA documents, lead based paint disclosures, what information must be disclosed, what information doesn't need to be shared, etc, etc, etc... If you are planning to do it alone, you really are setting yourself up for a potential lawsuit some where down the line.
0 votes
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