Here are five tips to help you negotiate better in real estate.

Some people think of negotiating as a negative thing, as if it’s a form of arguing. However, I believe it’s more of a natural thing, like when your kids want ice cream and you agree that they can have some if they clean their rooms. Since we all negotiate, how can we get better at it? Here are a few tips to help:

1. Ask questions first, don’t make statements. People commonly assume that negotiating boils down to getting more money, but I’ve negotiated with many different parties over the years, and I’ve found that it’s more about other things than the price, such as timing or feeling positive about the transaction. You can control the conversation with good questions, and you’ll be much happier with the outcome.

2. Try to understand the other person. Seek first to understand; be quiet and listen. My mom used to say, “You have two ears and one mouth; God must have wanted us to listen at least twice as much as we talk.” Actively listen to the other person’s point of view, and find ways to gain consensus on common concerns. When the other person feels like you care about their outcome, you’re more likely to get something that works for you as well. 

3. Collaborate, don’t compete. Remember: You’re working together to find what works for both parties. A win-win situation is great for both sides. Ideas need to come before results. 

“Find ways to gain consensus on common concerns.”

4. Practice being silent. Let your silence do the heavy lifting for you. When you ask a question or try to gather information from the other person, let them feel awkward for a moment. Be quiet, and just sit and listen. It’s amazing how much you can learn from someone when they feel a little uncomfortable. Side note: Try this technique with your spouse; you may see eye to eye better if you get more information from them.

5. Be aware of all the issues. Conversations could have happened outside of the negotiating process between you and the other person; be sure to keep in mind all the issues discussed. Ensure everything about the transaction is understood by all parties. Simply restate the key points at the very end so all parties know they’ve been heard and you know you didn’t miss anything. 

If someone you know is considering buying or selling real estate, we’d appreciate you calling or texting us with their name and number so we can help negotiate the best transaction for them.