I enjoy negotiating a fantastic deal for my clients. I've seen what could have been great deals fall through because an agent didn't have the skills to properly negotiate for their client. Here are a few negotiation tips to keep in mind when buying or selling a home:
- Set the right tone. The correct tone for a sale is one of willingness and agreement. People are more willing to negotiate with people they feel comfortable with and like. So be likable. The more relaxed and friendly the process, the more likely the outcome will be in your favor. Keep your cool, soften strong personalities and filter any negative comments through a tactful agent.
- Be knowledgeable. Knowledge is power, and nowhere is that more pertinent than in negotiation. We need in depth knowledge of the property, the market and the competition. Believe that the other side has done their research as well. We also want as much information about the other party as possible. Think of poker (my favorite game), where the probability of success is directly related to how much you know of about your opponent's hand. Their background, motivations and current environment can impact the negotiation. I do the homework.
- Assume responsibility. Actively and positively engage in negotiations. Someone needs to 'drive' the transaction. Let it be us. Explain the reasons behind the terms of the contract and ask them to do the same. The other party is not the enemy, simply someone you're trying to come to terms with.
- Truth triumphs. Honesty really is the best policy. Don't destroy your credibility with false claims. Openly discuss concerns about the property, if they exist. The buyer should be given opportunity to inspect the property and address any concerns. And both parties should be able to trust that they are being dealt with fairly.