When people think about negotiating to buy or sell a home, they think, “good deal” or “top dollar”. But price is just one of many factors important to a successful negotiation. Closing and possession dates, financing, items to remain and repairs to be made can be just as important as price. Here are a few tips that might help you buy or sell your next home.
Tip #1 – Real Estate Isn’t A War
There is a common misconception that negotiating has to be adversarial. You can listen and be pleasant without having to agree with the other side. We find is the best negotiations are not adversarial, but are “interest based” in the approach. Everyone is looking for win/win scenarios that meet as many “needs and wants” of both parties as possible. Having reasonable expectations when starting a negotiation to buy or sell a home sets the stage for success.
Tip #2 – Start Simple And Build
Negotiate small points in the beginning, especially on those you share commonality, and get agreement on those points. Small agreements build momentum, build trust and help your chances to come together on bigger, more important items.
Tip #3 – Understand Their Position
Try to understand the other side’s objectives. Is timing more important than price? Is a quick closing or a possession date more important? When you understand what matters to them, you are better equipped to make concessions that aren’t as important to you.
Tip #4 – Not Just ONE
When you reduce a negotiation to just one item, especially price, somebody wins and somebody loses, and that’s not a good approach. Keep at least a couple things on the table to be negotiated, it gives everyone the ability to make concessions and still get what they want. At the end of the day, both sides need to feel that the terms are fair and are something they can live with.
Tip #5 – Stay Calm, Be Flexible
Emotions are a part of every negotiation, but try to keep them under control. Trust a broker to help you stay objective. Focus on facts and items you can control and do not take objections personally.
Tip #6 – Have Realistic Expectations
The best advice I ever heard on negotiating came from a trained mediator I met years ago. During a negotiation, he looked at me and said, “If this goes well, both parties will come up with a deal they can live with.” More often than not, “a deal you can live with”, becomes “a deal you love” when it gets you and your family onto the next phase of your life. So keep the big picture in mind, bend a little and you’ll increase your chances of buying or selling your next home!
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