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3 Tips to Negotiate A Better Deal in Real Estate

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Tips Negotiate Real Estate
Photo by Savvas Stavrinos

In today’s blog, I wanted to share with you three of the biggest tips to negotiate that I’ve learned in my near decade of real estate.

How to Negotiate in Real Estate: 3 Tips

Back in 2013 when I left my cushy job working for the state, I thought I was prepared for real estate. Awww, good times! I was woefully unprepared and the real estate licensing tests don’t prepare you for anything. I had watched tons of real estate shows with agents screaming into the phone or throwing their lunch – I was ready! Now that I’ve been in the business nearly a decade, I thought it might be a good idea to share with you what I’ve learned. You might someday find yourself in a position to negotiate real estate and could use some tips.

Nothing is Free in Negotiating

They say that nothing in life is free. This saying also applies to a successful negotiation. Although most negotiations are not like they are portrayed on tv, this is a constant. Nothing is free means that for every ask of the opposing party, you make a counter ask. In this situation, you want to do everything you can to fulfil their request, but you also want to ask for something from them in return. It doesn’t necessarily have to be commensurate with their ask, but it definitely needs to be something of vast importance to you. For example, when I purchased one of my cars, I got everything I wanted AND I also asked for a free hoodie. This is not something they normally give out with purchases and I really wanted one. It didn’t make a dent in their bottom line and they got an extra happy customer.

Creating a Win-Win Negotiation

One of the biggest misconceptions portrayed in negotiations in tv is that for you to “win” the other side must “lose.” This is really far from the truth, although I have met agents who tried this. The agent was trying so hard to win for his buyer client at the seller’s expense that the seller soured on him. They directed me to stop talking with that agent. They would still work with the buyers if they used another agent. However, the buyers decided to stay with their current agent. I did look up reviews of this agent and it appears that he blames his buyers for his failings in negotiating.

A win-win scenario DOES NOT involve you giving up your leverage or your “cards” but it does force you to change your mindset to one of allies rather than enemies. It may not sound like it, but this scenario provides the best outcomes for buyers and sellers alike, otherwise it wouldn’t be advocated. A good example of this in real estate is a seller who wants the highest price possible. In order to achieve this, the seller provide a house that is as move-in-ready and up to date as possible. Buyers gets what they want and sellers gets what they want. It’s a win-win!

Leverage is King when you Negotiate

Photo by Vlada Karpovich

When negotiating, you want to position yourself with as much power, or leverage, as possible. A good example of this was our entire market the last few years. Not only were buyers paying over asking, but they were also waiving contingencies, and offering other creative benefits to make their offer stand apart. Anyone with an existing house had incredible leverage. A well approved buyer also had good leverage to win against other buyers. I see way too many people giving away their leverage. How do you give away your leverage? You either ask too much, too fast by not adjusting the other side’s “Overton Window.” Another way to lose leverage is to play hard ball and get your bluff called.

My Three Biggest Takeaways Learning to Negotiate in Real Estate

Negotiation in real life is a lot different than on tv. Rather than screaming at your opponent, it’s best to work with them to uncover what they want without giving up your leverage. Rather than throwing your lunch in their lap, find a way to deliver on their requests that allows you to get most or all of what you’re looking for. It’s a lot like Chess. Sometimes, when you get caught up trying to win, you may forget to protect your King, so be careful! Many sellers and agents in this current market are losing at the negotiation table because they are not informed. Make sure you work with someone who actually knows what the market is doing. Work with someone who does not rely on headlines or their gut feelings so you can enjoy more of your hard earned equity!

If you’re thinking of buying or selling your home in the west Lewis County area, contact me today! I’d love to hear from you! Eren Millam – Managing Broker Premiere Property Group, LLC WA License No. 26933

Chehalis, WA 98532 | Centralia, WA 98531 | Adna, WA 98522 | Napavine, WA 98565 | Onalaska, WA 98570 | Rochester, WA 98579 | Vader, WA 98593 | Winlock, WA 98596 | Boistfort, WA 98538 

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