One of the key reasons home buyers and sellers hire a real estate agent is for their negotiation skills. Your clients require the expertise of a professional who understands how to obtain the best terms and close the deal during the first conversation with the other party. Apply the following three negotiation tips to your dealings with buyers, sellers, and contractors (and maybe even your kids) the next time they drive a hard bargain.
Aim for a win-win solution: You can’t please everyone every time, but when you negotiate in good faith, you can often achieve a mutually beneficial solution.
When negotiating on behalf of your clients, begin by determining their “must haves,” their “nice-to-haves,” and the contract terms they could live without. Get a sense of the other party’s priorities as well, and remind them that that you share the same ultimate goal—a signed purchase agreement! By offering concessions strategically, you can remind the other party that give-and-take is a key component of any negotiation, and a willingness to compromise allows you to stand firm on those items that really matter.
Let silence do the talking: You know the old saying, “Don’t just sit there, do something!” Interestingly, during negotiation the reverse is sometimes true: “Don’t just do something, sit there!”
When someone brings up a point of contention, take some time to ponder the proposition. The silence may feel a bit uncomfortable, but that’s the point! This technique urges the other party to fill the silence and could prompt them to meet your demands. In fact, even if someone brings up an item that you’re happy to concede, allow that pregnant pause to linger before agreeing to the request. The other party will feel accomplished, and you’ll open the door for easier negotiation down the line.
Keep the big picture in mind: What good is winning the battle if you lose the war?
It’s easy to let your ego lead you astray during an intense negotiation, but obsessing over minutiae could sink the deal. Will those old window treatments really bother your buyers that much if they’re getting an amazing, below-market deal? Of course, there’s no harm in asking for repairs, but don’t let little things, especially décor, get in the way of a favorable transaction.
Successful negotiation isn’t always easy, but it’s an important part of a real estate agent’s job description. Practicing these tips may help you gain more confidence in your negotiation skills, which could lead to happier, more satisfied clients!