When you are buying a home or selling a home, it’s important not to come off overly demanding and adversarial. Instead of digging in your heels, why not try to take a positive step forward and see if a “win-win” can be reached?
That doesn’t mean you are negotiating from a position of weakness. You never need to accept a price or other terms you are not able or willing to accept. On the contrary, I have found in my 30 years selling real estate here in the Louisville, KY area, that negotiations work in your favor the overwhelming majority of the time when you are able to find common ground. It’s truly an amazing thing.
Often times Buyers get themselves all worked up over repair items that they need the Sellers to address. It can be an understandably nerve wracking part of the process. They are thinking the Sellers will tell them to take a hike if they ask for these items to be repaired. The Sellers are worried that if they don’t make every single repair, the buyers will walk away from the contract. Amazingly, even if the Seller is unable or unwilling to make all the repairs, if he simply shows the Buyers his willingness to do what he can, it almost invariably works out well for both parties.
They Don’t Call It The “Art” Of Negotiation For Nothing
Buyers want to buy. Sellers want to sell. How do you get them together on price and other terms such as closing date, repairs, etc.? How do you keep things friendly and moving smoothly all the way up to the day of closing?
It Starts With Your Realtor
When you are interviewing Realtors for something as important as buying and selling a home, you need an experienced Realtor who understands the art of negotiation. It truly is an art, and it can be learned. The more experienced and highly trained your Realtor is, the better they understand just how powerful and helpful this can be for all parties concerned.
Long before you decide on your Realtor, check him or her out. Before they even come out to interview, ask them to send along references, and follow up with calls to these people. Ask them how they handled themselves through all the negotiations. Did they maintain calm and encourage all parties to work together? If there were bumps in the road along the way, did they work through each challenge like a professional?
Any Realtor you interview will have great marketing tools in his or her toolbox, and that’s extremely important, but do they know how to be the glue that holds a sale together? Do they know how to “reach across the aisle” and look for all the ways that Buyers and Sellers can work together?
Unfortunately, there are still Realtors in our marketplace who think that they have to be a bulldog in order to fully protect and represent their clients. And sometimes the clients feel you are “on the other guy’s side” if you present the other guy’s side of things. But that’s not what’s going on. Let me explain:
A Master Negotiator Asks A Lot Of Questions
A Realtor who has mastered the art of negotiation takes the time to ask a lot of questions of the Realtor representing the other parties:
- What is your buyers’ situation? Why do they need to get into this home in just three weeks?
- Are they choosing this home because of the school nearby?
- Are they flexible on possession after closing?
- Will they be asking for repairs to be done before closing, or are they open to a price reduction instead so they can be in control of repair items after closing?
In most cases, the other Realtor will answer any question that will not hurt his or her clients’ position. Depending upon the answers gleaned from the other agent, your Realtor will help you better understand the buyer’s or seller’s position, which will better equip you with the best way to negotiate a win-win. If you don’t know what’s going on inside the other party’s head, it can be difficult to understand where they’re coming from and you may jump to some wrong conclusions.
The Realtor you choose will share an important common goal: to negotiate the very best terms and overall outcome for you. And you will be much more likely to accomplish that when it becomes obvious to the other party that you are easy to work with, can compromise here to get what you want there. It works so much better when everyone wants to play nice in the sandbox.