The art of the negotiation; it definitely is an art form when negotiating for real estate terms between a buyer and a seller. The whole point of having a real estate agent help facilitate the deal is to negotiate and offer insight and suggestions throughout the process. A good real estate agent should be an expert in negotiations and while I’ve negotiated several transactions over the years, there are some things I have learned about the art of the negotiation. Here are 10 tricks to negotiating a real estate transaction.
#1. Don’t say too much.
If someone pauses on the other end of the phone line we feel like we have to fill in that dead airspace but that’s not true. By leaving questions open-ended, conversations simple, and to the point, it means that others need to talk and they may reveal certain things that will be a benefit to your real estate transaction. You don’t have to keep talking just because the other person has stopped. Sometimes the best thing to do is to stop talking or don’t speak first.
#2. Stay away from negativity.
Just about anything can be discussed without being negative. Even discouraging or upsetting inspection report ideas can be spun in a positive way. The home buying and selling process is an emotional process for everyone so it helps to tread lightly when it comes to saying anything negative about the home. If something is falling apart, simply don’t mention it but put it in the inspection report and leave it as unemotional as possible.
#3. Take your fiduciary duty seriously.
Buyer beware is definitely a thing and you need to make sure you do everything possible to understand what you’re buying, how you’re buying it, and the process before finalizing. It’s up to you to do your due diligence in finding out information about the property, the neighborhood, and if this is really the home you want.
Barbara Corcoran said that “negotiating is like dating. There’s got to be some romance. If the guy gets the girl on the first date, it’s too easy and the relationship doesn’t last.”
#4. Make them think that saying yes was their idea.
I love that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when the wife and the daughter convince the husband and father that the whole idea was his to begin with. While we don’t want to deceive anybody, we do want to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and that it’s their idea, regardless of whether it’s the price or something in the inspection report. Studies have shown that using language like “you’ll probably refuse, but…” actually leads to an increase in compliance.
#5. Always negotiate with a win-win perspective.
Everybody wants to walk away from a real estate transaction feeling that they’ve won whether it’s the real estate agents, the buyer, or the seller. This is tricky but if you put yourself in everyone else’s shoes within the transaction, you can figure out a way to make it work for everyone. Focus on solutions rather than turning everything into a crisis or a problem. Talk to your real estate agent about the best way to turn every real estate deal into a win-win for all.
#6. Keep control of your emotions.
The last thing you want is for your motions to get the better of you and for you to cry, be angry, or overly emotional on any part of the transaction. Remember that this is a deal between two people, buying a product. Yes, this is the home you’re probably going to raise your family in and have lots of great memories, but you can’t think that far down the line. Sellers are trying to get the most from the sale and buyers are trying to get the property for the least amount possible. If you keep that in mind, you can work towards #5.
#7. Be direct.
Don’t beat around the bush. Simply state in clear and concise terms what it is that you want out of the deal. You don’t have to be rude but you can be direct. People don’t want to guess what it is you’re trying to get out. Make it simple, clear, and again, keep control of your emotions and try to present in a win-win perspective.
#8. Know when to walk away.
This is tough. Sometimes negotiations and offers and counteroffers simply come to a head and go solution can be met. Rather than beating your head against the wall or compromising on your price and terms, know when to walk away. This can be a difficult decision but it also can be planned for ahead of time. Where is your limit? How low will you go? Don’t compromise your priorities.
#9. Use persuasion.
According to Dr. Robert Cialdini, a professor of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University, learning the rudiments of persuasion is key to getting what you want. For instance, did you know that if waiters include a mint or cookie at the end of the meal tips increased by 14% on average? So what does this mean in a real estate transaction?
- Consider giving something away if you plan on selling the property. People feel obliged to give if we’ve been given something.
- Consider yourself an authority or an expert in the field. If you are well-versed in particular construction, state that in a listing flyer about how well a deck is made or the fences constructed etc.
- Consistency. The more you post on social media about a listing, the chances are higher it will sell faster. People tend to gravitate toward situations that are consistent over time. Being consistent in your price, your marketing, and how you’re presenting a property gives people a sense of comparability and are more likely to take interest in the property.
#10. Learn the power of no…PERIOD.
Sometimes simply saying no and leaving it there, opens the conversation up for the other party. If you simply say “no, we’re not going to do that,” it almost forces the other party to come back with something else that might be accepted. Again, you don’t have to be rude, but you also don’t need to follow up every single response with a “but”.
Every real estate transaction is different and there are so many parties involved that it does take a certain finesse and hard to negotiate with everyone involved. This is why it is crucial to you someone that is familiar not only with the market but in dealing with people as well. The next time you need to buy or sell throughout Gilbert or Chandler Arizona please contact me. As an expert in negotiations, I can help you get the house you want, the price you want, and the deal to close.