Published by Jim Droz
Any job involving sales will undoubtedly involve wheeling and dealing along the line. But the negotiation process for real estate agents the past few years has been elevated dramatically because of the up-and-down state of the market, interest rates and economy in general. Negotiating can be artful and strategic, in addition to nerve wracking and frustrating.
Successful negotiators know the importance of preparedness. Local real estate conditions should be right in your wheelhouse, so use them to your advantage and cite updated figures whenever possible. Beyond the financial numbers, figures such as how long a house has been on the market or why the seller put it there are essential things to know in pricing negotiations. Other facts and figures to know, depending on the transaction, include local legal and zoning issues regarding housing, recent development proposals, the quality of the school districts and possible property tax increases and special assessments expected in the near future.
When it comes to sitting down at the table, it’s important to keep your cool and act professionally. Be calm because it doesn’t benefit either participant to upset the dialogue with escalated emotions. Equally important is to be assertive and passionate about staying on track toward getting a fair deal done for both the buyer and seller. Remember, it’s not personal, so check emotions at the door and be professional at all times. Explain your side of the bargaining table and then ask the opposing party to present all their facts and figures to support their position. Once you have all the facts, you then attempt to create a favorable situation based upon what you know.
Here are some other tidbits to keep in mind:
Pay attention: Just as real estate is all about location, location, location, it’s important to listen, listen and listen some more before and during negotiations. Then remove the personal feelings and concentrate on getting a deal done with what you’ve learned.
Trading places: Take a look at things from the other person’s perspective. By doing that, each side is more likely to ease off on their demands to a point where the terms are mutually agreeable.
Keep it positive: No matter the tone in private, give your client and the opposing side the information in a positive way. As an agent, never say anything bad about the buyer or seller. Keep the negotiation informational.
Look ahead: Create a compelling and positive vision by having your client imagine what it will feel like to move on and what his or her life will be like when that happens.
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