When a potential buyer has made you an offer you can choose to accept it, negotiate the price or conditions, or throw it out.
If you choose to negotiate, your agent or lawyer will go between you and the buyer with counter-offers until you’ve reached an agreement - or if it’s a private sale, you may wish to negotiate directly with the buyer. Negotiations could take half an hour, a few days, or longer if things become complex.
Once the Sale and Purchase Agreement is signed there may be more negotiations to come, for instance if a problem is identified with the property and the buyer wants it fixed or the price reduced. Again, your agent, or your lawyer, will negotiate between the buyer and you - or you may choose direct buyer negotiation if you’re selling privately.
Once these issues have all been settled, the sale will go unconditional and the buyer will have fully committed to buying your property.
Negotiating at auction
If you’re selling by auction and your property doesn’t reach its reserve price, never fear - there is still the option of post-auction negotiation.
Typically the highest bidder will be invited to negotiate on the price, and the sale will be negotiated privately between yourself and the buyer, with your agent managing the negotiations. If the highest bidder doesn’t come to the party, other bidders may also be invited to get involved.