This will almost certainly happen to you. When faced with an offer that is less than your asking price, you must decide whether to accept it or counter with something else. I generally do not play games with this process. If the buyer’s offer is acceptable to me, I accept it. Yes, I might have left some money on the table, but my time is too valuable to waste a month haggling. In addition, you run the risk of losing your buyer during that time. He or she might decide the house is too expensive, or he or she might continue shopping and find something he or she likes better.
If you decide to negotiate, try to find out whether or not the prospective buyers have miscalculated the value of your house or if they are just bargain hunters. Your approach will be different for each one.
A person who cannot afford your house might be a prospect for your next flip. Be polite, but find out what he or she wants, and what a realistic price range would be. If his or her goals are unrealistic, he or she might be a tenant prospect if you sell your house to an investor. Think about that route before burning any bridges.
People who miscalculate the value of your home and make a lowball offer can usually be persuaded otherwise. Indicate your willingness to be educated regarding their perception of the marketplace. Ask for details regarding other home sales they think are comparable or any evidence on which they base their opinion of value. Once you know that, you can usually demonstrate that your home is worth more than they thought.
The bargain shoppers fall into two camps, those who love the thrill of negotiations, and those who love the bragging rights of a cheap price. Both want you to put up a good fight and then lose gracefully but reluctantly and with mutterings about how you are not making any money. For such people, you must lower your price in small increments, but ask for something else in return. As an example, you could say, “I would be willing to reduce the price by $5,000, but only if we schedule closing within fourteen days instead of the typical thirty days.”