Negotiate Better – Think Like Your Opposition

Handshake of a mature manager with a happy young couple at officOften buyers and sellers think a little one-sided when it comes to a real estate transaction.  However, the truth of the matter is; every real estate transaction needs to benefit both the buyer and the seller for a sale to happen. A seller won’t sell if it doesn’t make sense from their side of the transaction, and a buyer won’t buy unless it makes sense from their side of the deal.

As real estate agents, we work for our client (buyer or seller) to get them the best possible deal. Our job is also to be the middle man, get creative, and come up with a deal that makes everyone happy. Both buyer and seller need to walk away feeling like they achieved their goal in buying or selling. This is something that is often overlooked by the individuals on each side of a deal.

A buyer, for example, may be after the killer deal price-wise and a seller may need a fast timeline. Maybe that seller is willing to take $5,000 less if that buyer can close within 30 days.  Or maybe a seller wants top dollar for their home, but they are moving to a condo and don’t need that expensive patio set riding lawn mower, or the kid’s backyard play structure. It’s always best to learn as much as possible about what drives the other side of the transaction during negotiations.

Maybe the buyer loves the house, and we’ve negotiated every last dollar out of the seller. Then at the home inspector mentions the furnace is near the end of its life but still operational. The buyer may become uneasy, and the seller may not be willing to repair something expensive that’s not broken. Maybe a $420 home warranty is the solution to making the buyer comfortable, within the affordability of the seller.

The main point here is; think about both sides of the deal. Think about what’s most important to you and the things you can be flexible on. Maybe you can give a little in some areas to gain a little in others. Make the other party feel like you’re trying to work with them to give them what they need while at the same time getting what you want. Some offers may never come to an agreement, but if you can learn what is motivating the other party and think from their perspective, you will gain the upper hand in negotiations. This is where a real estate agent really comes in handy, agents see all sorts of transactions and can think outside the box in order to get the buyer and seller to come together to agreeable terms.


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