Now is the Time to be a Professional Negotiator

Right now is an opportune time to freshen up or learn negotiation skills to help your business. It is absolutely critical for a real estate agent to comprehend the skills needed for negotiation any time during their real estate career.

Although these current times may be more stressful than when the market is robust, we cannot allow stress, emotions, over reactions or procrastination dictate the outcome. Negotiation is a game of winning but all parties must come through the process believing each party won something. The following are suggested steps in winning the game for your client.

Preparation for the communication of the offer or counteroffer is step 1. In advance of contacting the other party discuss with your client what is most important to them. Initially hold off on some items on your give away list when first responding to the other party so you have some items to “give” to the other party as the negotiations get started. For example, if you were going to pay for a residential service contract, don’t offer this up at the beginning; wait until you need to “sweeten the pot”. If you were planning on leaving the play-scape in the backyard, wait and give it away at a later time. This shows a sign of good will and the other party receiving something extra. Find out from your client if there is a point that simply can not be negotiated. Ask them if they are willing to “walk away” if the other party requires that point in order to go forward. Keeping in mind once an offer is in hand often clients change their minds about important details, so reconfirm with your clients before returning any information to the other party.

Offers must be in writing
Seeing an offer for the client creates more desire to negotiate since it appears more earnest than a verbal offer received over the telephone or e-mail. Although it is more time consuming, if possible, review the offer in written form in person with the client or via attachment on e-mail so the client has it in front of them as you review it. An offer not in writing is literally no offer at all and perceived as such by all parties.

Remember the presentation of the offer, whether on the phone, in person or via e-mail is not only what is written in the offer but your delivery as well. The sound of your voice, the positioning of your body, the intonation and accents you place on certain requests from the client all effect how the offer will be received. Do not put your personal opinion on taste, fairness, should do or shouldn’t do into the offer. Give industry related facts without emotion into the information delivered to your client. This allows the client to make an informed decision.

Be Specific
On points where your client will not negotiate or budge be specific on these points. Let the other party know that this is one area your client feels strongly about and it cannot be changed. Once this is stated, move on to the next area to be negotiated and do not go back and readdress that specific point that cannot be changed.

Another good negotiation practice is to restate what your client is telling you when going over the offer to verify you have a mutual understanding of the messages to be relayed to the other party.

Do not Renegotiate a Negotiated Point
When going through the contract negotiating various issues, once agreement or delivery of a point has occurred, do not go back and renegotiate that point again.

Higher Authority
If your client is not prepared to make a firm decision right away, the technique of conferring with a higher authority can be used until the point is ready to be settled. The use of broker, spouse, relative, inspector, can be used as the higher authority.

Time is a Negotiation Technique
Setting deadlines on offers are useful for keeping negotiations on track. It helps prevent the other party from delaying their response. Time restraints can always be extended. The following are all examples of setting deadlines on an offer.

"This offer is good right now because next month the seller must make another loan payment."

"You need to accept right away so it does not cost the seller more money."

"The buyer needs to catch a flight and is prepared to offer this sales price before getting on the plane. The offer may change once they return home."

Negotiation is a basic step in the sales training process. If you feel you need additional training go to and inquire about our next Negotiation Seminar.