Gone are the days of real estate transactions that naturally tip to the side of the buyer or seller. As a result, the best negotiations are ones that end in a win/win where all parties feel like they received a fair deal. With that in mind, here are 5 strategies for negotiating to “yes”.
1. Begin with a fair asking price and a fair offer. Overreaching on either side simply won’t get the job done. If you overprice you likely won’t receive any offers. If your offer is too low, you risk insulting the seller and stopping negotiations before they even start.
2. Put yourself in the other side’s shoes. Keep in mind that you both have the same goal. The seller wants to sell his house, and the buyer wants to purchase it. Try to determine the priorities for the other side and what will sweeten the deal for them. Do they need to close around a certain date? Does the buyer need help with closing costs? Work towards a deal that makes you both happy. You may have personal contact with your seller or buyer at a later date either during the negotiations or after, so negotiate as if the other side is your friend rather than your foe.
3. Be prepared to give up something you want. Neither party will have it all. What are you willing to let go of? Negotiate with your priorities in mind and don’t sweat giving up the small stuff.
4. Know what and when to negotiate. Price and terms of the contract come first. Negotiating repairs usually comes after all the inspections have been completed. That said, if the buyer knows there’s an issue that must be resolved to purchase the home, write that into the contract. If the seller wants to take something with them, like that heirloom chandelier, specify that in writing as well.
5. Don’t become emotional in negotiating. Remember, winner takes all is not the goal. Nor is accepting a deal that won’t work for you out of fear or the excitement of the moment. Know your limits and stick to them. There will be other buyers. There will be other homes. As Kenny Rogers sang, “Know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em.”