Just as you have a selling price in mind, so does the buyer/seller. The seller is looking to make as much profit as possible on the sale of their property while the buyer is trying to get the lowest price they can. There is always going to be some negotiating to ensure that everyone walks away satisfied.
A sticking point in negotiation is separating the emotional aspect of the sale from the financial one. Try not to let personal feelings or emotions get in the way of trying to negotiate a fair price. As a seller however, you need to realize that the buyer won't understand all the memorable times shared in your home. If a buyer has made you an offer, then they are clearly interested in purchasing the property and should be considered on their merit. You do NOT want to do anything that might cause the buyer to reconsider their offer.
Another important aspect to keep in mind is your "net" profit. Instead of focusing on the sale price of the home, be sure to calculate which deal will leave you with the most cash in your pocket.
You need to make sure your buyer is financially capable of purchasing your home. Many people waste time by having an unqualified buyer tie up their house with a contract that will never close. All relevant information about a buyer's income, debts, and available funds should be stringently researched prior to going to contract. If a buyer is not pre qualified for a mortgage and makes an acceptable offer on your home, be sure to have it put in writing that they must speak to your Solicitor prior to drawing up a contract.
Never divulge your lowest price to anyone. Simply tell all potential buyers to make you an offer. By revealing to anyone how low you are willing to go, you are giving them the opportunity to start negotiations at that point and then they will try to bring you down even further.
You should always consider all reasonable offers made on your home. You can either choose to accept it, reject it, or make a counter offer and negotiate the price. Counter offers usually go back and forth a few times before price is reached. Before accepting any offers in writing, be certain that you understand all the financial ramifications of the transactions.
Once you and your buyer have agreed on a price for your property you should ask your buyer for a standard booking deposit (which is usually between 5% - 10% of the agreed price of the property) which should be paid directly to your Solicitor. Your Solicitor will arrange a receipt of payment to the buyer. This deposit is refundable until the final contracts are signed. You should never accept the deposit yourself make sure all payments go through your Solicitor.
For more information on selling/buying a property on your own download our property guide