Put a human face on it
"Remember, this is not a company merger or acquisition; it's the sale of a family home to another family," Phipps says. "You'll get a better outcome if you negotiate with that in mind."
One example of this style of negotiation: "Send a personal letter with your counteroffer," Phipps recommends. Say something along the lines of, "This is a great house, we've really enjoyed it, and here's why we've really enjoyed it."
Understand your buyers, and remember that money is not the only motivator as you negotiate the best price on your first home.
One seller discovered that a potential buyer was a golf fanatic. So instead of discounting the price of the home, he sweetened the deal by offering to pay the buyer's initiation fee to the country club.
The result: sold. The seller benefited because the initiation fee was less than the price reduction he was contemplating. The buyer loved the idea of buying both a home and membership to the club.
"Figure out what the motivator is," says Phipps. "And remember that price isn't the only thing that matters."