Some people get so excited about haggling theyadopt an entirely new persona when the timecomes to talk their way into saving even a fewbucks here or there. Others cringe at the merethought of trying to suss out what’s going on inthe minds of those on the other side of thebargaining table in order to strike a deal, evenwhen hundreds of thousands of dollars (andtheir own best interests) are at stake.
1. Work from a foundation of sound information.It’s essential you amass an arsenal of information,and use that as the basis for your negotiation. Youare in no position to negotiate, aggressively orotherwise, unless and until you are well acquaintedwith the real estate market immediatelysurrounding your home, including:• what have similar homes recently sold for;• how much above or below asking do theynormally sell for;• how long do homes stay on the market, onaverage, compared with the home you’re buyingor selling?
2. Approach the negotiation as a problem-solvingchallenge. Today’s negotiations are really more likeproblem solving scenarios, when you take intoaccount all the parties whose needs must be metfor the transaction to move forward. Traditionally,negotiations were a two-way power strugglebetween the buyer and seller, based primarily ontheir wants and their respective bargainingleverage. But on today’s market, the bank - or bankson both sides -- often have their own guidelines andneeds that impact the terms of the deal, whether itbe the seller’s lender insisting on a certain price, orthe buyer’s lender and appraiser refusing to lendanything above a certain price.
3. Manage your own mindset. You probablyshouldn’t even try to buy a home that you don’tstrongly like, or even love. It often makes senseto hone in on a specific offer price (within therange what is reasonable for a home) based onhow much you want it, or how much you’d hateto lose it - especially in a multiple offer situation,where you may only have one chance to makean offer.
4. Minimize time pressures. Over the years, Ihave seen many a buyer and seller makequestionable offers and counteroffers basedsolely on the fact they have to move by acertain deadline. Because shelter is a basichuman need, the prospect of having to moveout, relocating to a new job or moving to a newtown without having housing in place can causeeven the most nimble among us to feelungrounded.
5. Act and react quickly - not impulsively. Whenyou find ‘your’ place, make an offer. When you getan offer or counteroffer), respond to it. In realestate, time is always of the essence, and prolongedhesitation often results in lost opportunities.There’s nothing wrong with sleeping on a decisionovernight, especially if the ‘right’ move isunclear. But you never know when another buyeror another property might show up on the sceneand change the whole bargaining dynamic, costingyou more money or wooing away your home’sbuyer.
Buyers, sellers: what negotiation insights haveyou gleaned from your own real estateexperiences?
Randy BettInvestment Realtor/Author/InvestorReal Estate Professionals Inc.Better Group Real Estate202-5403 Crowchild Trail NWCalgary, AB T3B 4Z1Phone:403-774-7464 Ext:1Fax:403-208-0082Toll Free fax:888-711-6801