Consumers are surveyed regularly about what they value most in their real estate agent. In many of those surveys, consumers rank their agent’s ability to negotiate on their behalf as one of, if not THE, most important value their agent brings to the table. And yet, many real estate agents get into the business with little, if any, practical negotiation experience and certainly little specific negotiation training.
So, it should be no surprise that many real estate negotiations go a bit like this. Seller lists their home for $800,000 but is willing to take $790,000. Buyer thinks the property is actually worth 780,000 so they offer $770,000. Seller counters back at $790,000. Buyer says “let’s split the difference” and offers $780,000. Seller says let’s split the difference and counters at $785,000. Deal! Buyer pays a bit more than they wanted and seller takes a bit less than they expected. A successful negotiation? Well, if you believe that having a deal is successful, then yes. But, if you were the buyer or the seller in this situation, did you get what you really wanted?
Negotiation can best be defined as a form of communication with intended results. And to have good communications, there must be listening. Active listening! And yet, we know that humans are emotional beings and listening is difficult when emotions are not put in their appropriate place.
In the example above, there was no communication because there was no listening. There were positional statements made based on non-emotional, economic positions. One might call this bartering. I don’t call it good negotiations.
As a former real estate attorney (and general counsel for one of the largest real estate brokerage companies in the nation) and corporate executive, I have had the opportunity to learn and apply variety of true negotiating theories and practices in some important and large money negotiations. As a real estate broker, I am now taking that knowledge and using it for the benefit of my home seller and buyer clients.
And, over the next month or so, I will be publishing regular blog posts with tips and tricks on how you can use these same theories and practices to help in your real estate negotiations. If you would like to get an email when I publish each blog, please send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can check in with my blog here from time to time to catch up on the content. Either way, I hope you will follow along and of course, if you have any questions, please reach out to me here.