The makings of a good negotiation

Here are some home buying strategies

Negotiating a home sale or purchase might make you feel like pulling your hair out. With such a large transaction, it can be easy to make costly mistakes. There are many factors to consider when entering a negotiation on a home.

In order to be the prepared, it is important to factor in delivery methods, tones, personalities, timing and other nuances that all can have a sizeable impact on the attitude of the negotiating parties and ultimately the results.

Taking an attitude temperature

One’s outlook upon receiving news involving large sums of money has an effect on decision-making. In real estate, there are generally at least two (possibly more) attitudes to consider: the agent, the buyer(s) and the seller(s). What if you present an offer and the receiving agent has had a horrible day or some other series of events that negatively influences the interaction?

Chances are they’ll be defensive and irritable, and that may impact their offer, the manner in which it is conveyed to the seller and the advice given. Even if the agent is able to present the offer without external emotions interfering, the seller may experience adverse opinions then associated with the home, making his position more irritable.

Experience level and offers

Expertise and experience in real estate can affect the negotiation process. Each agent’s skill or lack thereof can have an impact on strategy and outcome for the unprepared. Your agent’s ability to control their emotions and assess the situation effectively can sway your negotiation.

Different experience levels will require different tactics. Your agent’s proficiency should factor into an offer. If the agent is relatively inexperienced, they may try to prove themselves and make the negotiation more complicated than necessary, or they may be unfamiliar with best practices throughout the transaction. An experienced agent may show off his or her superior knowledge, creating unnecessary tension or stubbornness.

The best way to assess, approach and respond varies from deal to deal. Adaptation and the ability to read a situation are critical aspects of successful negotiations.

Here are some strategies to keep in mind when negotiating a real estate deal:

Talk to the other party

Many of the best negotiators will treat a negotiation like a poker game. Play the man, not the cards. The ability to form relationships quickly, read people and figure out what they want to hear are core traits of any great negotiator.

Speaking prior to an offer can be a delicate art used to access overall attitude, knowledge, defensiveness, feelings and likely reactions. Having a good rapport – personal and/or professional – is likely to help any negotiation. People will do deals with others who they don’t like, but ultimately want to deal with people they like, or at the very least, those who know how to do their jobs.

The lecture: Can I mute?

Many times a body of knowledge can lead to a lecture. Displaying what you perceive as your “superior knowledge” can lead to a host of defensive and aggressive reactions that will make your job and success much more difficult. There is always a time and place to assert yourself and push, but knowing when is more art than science.

Perception is key

Understand how you are perceived, how the offer may be perceived and how the other party feels is vital to close the deal. Is there mutual respect? Are you trying to get a screaming deal or are you just concerned about not overpaying? The nuances associated with the offer and the parties themselves will have a huge impact on decisions by all.

“Don’t get that tone with me”

We all talked back, once upon a time. Negotiations are the same. The tone of voice, the arrangement of words and the manner in which you present yourself, your client and your offer will all affect the reaction of the receiving parties.

The art of talking while saying nothing

An effective negotiator will converse and draw out vital pieces of information while giving nothing of material benefit to the other party. It is a dance but you have to know when to lead, when to follow and how to keep from stepping on toes.

The most difficult task in negotiation is being able to remove yourself emotionally from the situation. Many people think they are good at it – few are. If you can take away your personal feelings, preconceived attitudes and emotions, you will get the best result possible.

Matt Metcalf is a Denver real estate agent and financial expert with more than 20 years in the real estate industry as a broker and licensed mortgage professional. Known as the “Mile High Home Pro,” Metcalf has extensive experience in all types of real estate transactions and is a top producing agent in the Colorado area. A published writer, he has contributed to several business publications including Real Estate Magazine, and more.

Categories: Real Estate