by Courtney Soinski
When a home buyer or home seller is trying to decide whether to hire you or another Realtor®, negotiating skills are one of the top traits they look for. As real estate professionals go through their coaching programs and initial training, the power of strong negotiation skills, is therefore, vital.
There are times, however, when negotiating can be difficult for real estate agents. Being third party negotiators with buyers and sellers as principals can put agents into a difficult situation, even as a trained professional. You may find it especially difficult to keep both parties focused on the goal without taking anything personally. Particularly in real estate, buyers and sellers are negotiating over one the biggest purchases they will make in their life, making them feel intimidated, anxious, or stressed.
Although negotiating the best deal can be a strenuous process, there are fortunately ways to make it go smoothly and more productive.
Here are 5 must-follow rules to boost your negotiation skills:
1. Prepare your client for the negotiations.
It’s important that they know exactly what they’re in for. Real estate sales coach Rich Levin offers this as a suggested dialogue.
"May I go over what happens when a buyer is interested in purchasing your home? The buyer and agent write an offer that they deliver to me that I then present to you. Here's a copy of an offer and the additional paperwork that goes with it. There are more items than just price that have to be negotiated. I like to prepare you for all of it so that you can be more comfortable and confident when we're actually negotiating with the buyer. May I take a moment and go over it with you?"
2. Lay the worst-case scenario out on the table.
This is the time when you create the buyer or seller’s expectation. Before going through all the upcoming negotiations, lay it all out on the table. This will include the best-case scenario as well as the worst-case scenario, while also adding that their experience should be more toward the best case. This will give them complete confidence in you as their real estate professional.
3. Do your research, but most of all, PLAN.
This is the time to collect all the necessary information from your client as well as the other real estate agent and the other party. Specifically, you’ll need all the past multiple listing reports and tax records. Find out the reason for moving, if the sellers had any other offers or if the buyers have seen multiple listings. Also, ask both the buyer and seller how long they’ve been looking or how long they’ve had their home on the market to sell.
4. Write an offer you think they’ll accept.
You will not find one buyer or seller who will not be irritated by going back and forth between multiple offers. The home buying or selling process can be very stressful for both parties, depending on their reason for moving or selling, so make it as quick and painless as possible.
5. Get the respect of all parties
Be there when you say you’ll be there. Do what you say you will. Call when you say you will. If all parties know they can count on you, that’s an immediate one-up.
Follow these rules if you want to be a master negotiator in the real estate industry, close the best deal, and gain the respect of your clients. Happy negotiating!