Custom Search

Negotiating a For Sale by Owner House Sale

The negotiating a for sale by owner house sale steps on this page can make or break the deal. Please pay close attention. You have now reached the point where you have an offer written up,'s not quite there.

Before we get into the details I'd just like to remind you to make sure you have some for sale by owner contracts on hand. If you get to the point of negotiating a for sale by owner house sale and the buyer is ready to offer, don't get caught without an offer contract! Where do you get these? Go to this page for up to date state specific for sale by owner contracts.

Here are a few situations you may find yourself in and some advice on how to handle each one.

A) You are $2,000.00 apart.

B) You are a month apart on the possession date.

C) The buyer wants the fridge, stove, washer and dryer and you are saying no to the request.

D) Everything has been agreed upon, but the buyer wants to talk to their lawyer first.

E) The buyer has requested they move all of their belongings into the house, before the possession date.

For some more ideas about negotiating a for sale by owner house sale, just click on any of the photo links below.


Let's look at each one of these scenarios and use some negotiating a for sale by owner house sale steps, that you might want to try.

Negotiating a For Sale by Owner House Sale when you are $2000.00 Apart 

negotiating a for sale by owner house sale

I've used $2000.00 in this negotiating a for sale by owner house sale example but of course it could be any number.

If you are selling a 14 million dollar property, let's get serious. Close the deal and forget about the 2 thousand dollars!

If you are selling a house for $79,000.00, $2,000.00 can make a big difference.

Here is a guide of some negotiation steps you can try. You can use these as a for sale by owner when you are not quite there on the deal yet.

  • Split the difference 50/50.

- John and Mary, we really feel that $275,000.00 is a fair price for this house based on the appraisal. You folks seem like a really nice couple and we would really like to see you be the people to live here.

I'll tell you what, let's split the difference 50/50 and get on with our lives shall we? Offer your hand to shake on the deal and wait silently for acceptance.

This method will work almost every time. It is my belief when it comes to selling a house for sale by owner or through a Realtor®, that you should never lose an offer to purchase over a $1000.00.

  • Offer a tidbit

- John and Mary, we really need to sell at $275,000.00 but, I'll tell you what we'll do for you. Let's throw in our fridge and stove as part of the offer. OK? Reach out to shake hand and remain silent.

- John and Mary, I'll tell you what, let's do a trade. I know you really wanted to close a month earlier than we agreed upon.

We have to stay firm on our price, but we'll let you have that closing date. Fair enough? Hold out your hand...well, if you have been following these for sale by owner negotiation techniques from the beginning, you know the routine. :-)

- Use your imagination. If you observed the buyers closely, you might have a good idea what they would really like as a compromise for the $2000.00

Negotiating a For Sale by Owner House Sale when You are

A Month Apart on the Closing Date

Here's the problem. You want to close on the 30th of September because your new house will not be ready until then.

The buyer's want to close on the 31st August because they have made that agreement with their buyers.

This is another case of: Don't lose a good deal over a closing date. Here are some negotiating a for sale by owner house sale steps you may want to use.

  • Ask your buyer if there is any chance that the buyer's of their house might be able to close a month later. Long shot, but you might as well ask.

  • Agree to the earlier closing, have your belongings stored for a month and spend the time with relatives or at a hotel.

  • Ask the buyer's if they would be willing to move the possession date to your time frame if you were willing to settle for $xxx. off the purchase price.

  • If the house you are buying is a new house, call the builder, explain your situation and ask if they could help you out.

- This will probably only work, if your offer to purchase is conditional, on the sale of your present home.

- The builder wants to sell the new house as well and if it's sitting unsold, it's costing them money every day.

  • If the house you are buying is an occupied home, call them and see if they would be willing to change their closing date.

Negotiating a for sale by owner house sale warning: You may have to offer an incentive to make this happen.

Sign the offer and work out your solution later. There is always a solution in this case and at least you have your first goal met, an accepted offer to purchase.

Negotiating a For Sale by Owner House Sale When the Buyer Says;

"We Want the Fridge, Stove, Washer and Dryer"

Again, try not to lose an offer over appliances. Again, this negotiating a for sale by owner house sale guide will share a few ways you can proceed on this issue.

  • Use an alternative 50/50. John and Mary, I'll tell you what. We really would like to keep all of our appliances for our next home. However.....

- We would, however, be willing to let you have the fridge and stove and we will keep the washer and dryer. Fair enough? Hold your hand out etc.

  • Offer to give the buyers say $1000.00 cash at closing towards the purchase of new appliances.

Note: You might want to do this as a separate agreement, in writing, but not on the purchase of sale agreement for the house.

Let them have the appliances and buy yourselves new ones. You could use a portion of the money you saved not paying a real estate commission!

A Visitor's Comment

Your site is awesome! Loved the specifics (go to the kitchen to negotiate... etc).

Negotiating a For Sale by Owner House Sale when they say;

"We Want to Talk to Our Lawyer First"

This one is fairly easy. First of all, the buyer's are smart to request this for their protection. With this negotiating a for sale by owner house sale tip, I am going to suggest you follow this script.

John and Mary, We absolutely agree. As a matter of fact, we also would like to see our solicitor before proceeding. May I just point something out to you first?

Wait for the buyer to agree, then proceed;

Do you see this clause that I have included in the Agreement to Purchase Form? Let's go over it together and I'm confident, that you will have absolutely no worries. OK?

Go over the clause with the buyer.

You will find that clause on this page:  Subject to Lawyer Approval Clause

Did you take a peek? If you did, you can see how that protects you 100% if your lawyer finds any problems with the agreement.

Wait for answer and then pass the pen to the buyer and say OK, you need to sign right here...etc. etc..etc.

But, Why Not Let Them See Their Lawyer First?

You do want the buyer to be protected and you want yourself protected as well. The Subject to Lawyer Approval Clause when using this negotiating a house sale technique does just that.

When I had the for sale by owner company, I supplied the sellers a ready to use contract forms.

You want the buyer's to sign the contract before they trundle off. Buyer's get cold feet, buyer's remorse and far too much advice from friends and relatives.

By signing a contract, they feel more committed, more ownership feelings and they HAVE to come back if they want to nullify the contract or change it.

This gives you another chance to close the deal.

Every Agreement of Purchase and Sale should have the lawyer clause already there for both the buyer and the seller.

This is the clause that when real estate agents tell you how dangerous it is handling your own paperwork, you can say with confidence; "I've got it covered!"

Negotiating a For Sale by Owner House Sale when They Say;

"We'd Like to Move in Before the Possession Date"

This one is REALLY simple

The answer is;


Of course if you have been following this for sale by owner program, you know that you don't say it that way. :)

Here is what to say: John and Mary, We would love to help you with that, but if something should happen, our insurance would not cover you or us. It's far too dangerous.

I'm sure you can appreciate why we can't accommodate you on that point. Now, is there any other concerns that you have? Or, words to that effect.

Never, Never, Never let a buyer move into your house until the possession (closing date).

The only exceptions that I can think of would be a rent to purchase and on rare occasions, new construction.

If you are ever tempted to allow buyers to move in before closing, this real estate broker from Boise Idaho, pulls no punches about The Pitfalls of Possession Before Closing

The First Offer is the Best Offer

There is an old saying in real estate that is almost 100% true. The first offer is the best offer.

Work that first offer to the bitter end! Unless the buyer's are completely ridiculous, work it and work it some more.

If you would like to see any additional final negotiation steps added to this for sale by owner guide, please feel free to Contact Me  and I'll take them under consideration. 

For More Information about For Sale by Owner Real Estate Negotiations

Select any of these photo links

If you find this website of value to you, I would sure appreciate a like on Facebook. Just click the little "Like Page" in the green box.

If you know of someone that might find this information valuable either now or in the future, you can share it as well on any of the platforms that are shown to the left of this page. Thank you :)

This website was built and is maintained by Douglas F. Cameron

If you have a comment, suggestion or a question, you can go to my contact page found here.

Disclaimer                                                               Privacy Policy