A good negotiator is someone who always gets what they want. Right? I say, not always. Being a good negotiator to me is someone who can give themselves or their clients the best chance to achieve their goals. Giving you the best chance does not always mean you will get exactly what you want. In order to achieve sustained success, a negotiator must go for Win-Win, not Win-Lose. A successful negotiation substantially meets the goals of all parties involved.
Right now in the Boulder area real estate market buyers have the perception that they may be able to get a great deal on a home. It is true that there is more inventory out there and a portion of those sellers are quite anxious to sell. I have seen lately many offers well below full price and it takes a delicate touch to try to meet somewhere in the middle. Here is what I try to do to give the offer the best chance to come together.
- Do our homework – find out what is reasonable. What have other houses actually been selling for? How much is the average negotiation off of full price?
- Establish goals – What would be an acceptable outcome. Begin with the end in mind and you have a much better chance to get there. Be realistic.
- Understand the situation – Try to understand what situation your counterpart is in. Understanding is power. With every contact, I try to learn a bit more about where the other people are coming from. Many times, after making an offer, it is the first counter that gives you the most information.
- Keep the lines of communication open – As a Realtor I need to represent my clients to the best of my ability, but I have found that being adversarial to the other side doesn’t get you anywhere. I try to keep on very good terms with the other agent. I find that this helps in coming to a successful closing. If we become adversarial along the way it is very hard solve all of those little details that come up between contract and closing. I try to treat other Realtors well, so the next time we are working together they can tell their clients I am easy to work with and to expect a smooth transaction.
- Remember that every situation is different – You never know what other people are thinking. You can guess someone’s motivations but you never know what are the true motives. Don’t try to guess, try to learn, understand and adapt.
- Anticipate – I find that I am really able to help my clients by anticipating what may happen during a certain transaction. If we can talk about different scenarios before they happen they are easier to solve when they come up.