Selling Soulfully with Jennifer Allan

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Negotiating with Soul - The Favorit-est Tips!

Negotiate

Yesterday, we did a teleseminar show in the SWS Virtual Studio about negotiating - specifically, negotiating on behalf of our buyers and sellers (as opposed to any sort of fee or commission negotiation). I was joined in the studio by Blake Farley, from Silver City, New Mexico and from the positive feedback I received on her presentation and brilliance, I'm guessing you'll be seeing her on future shows - GREAT JOB, Blake!

The format of the show was that Blake and I took turns sharing our top ten favorite tips and strategies for keeping negotiations on track and civil... and, oh yeah, maximizing the likelihood that our client gets what he wants without any unnecessary drama, chaos or angst. At the end of the show, I asked the audience to tell me what their favorite tip(s) of the day was/were, and here were the results:

Favorit-est Tip #1: When negotiations get hot and heavy, withdraw. Dead silence from your side. Don't tell the other agent you're "thinking about it" or going to "sleep on it," just stop all communication until the next day. Very unsettling to the other side, and keeps your client from getting carried away by the emotion of the negotiation.

Favorite-est Tip #2: Never believe anyone when they say "This is our best offer" or "This is our bottom line," and related, never let the deal die on your side. No one knows what their best offer or bottom line is until they've either signed an agreement, or rejected one. When the other agent presents a counter-offer to you and tells you "this is the best we can do," pay no attention. If your client still wants the house (or still wants to sell), counter back. More often than not, the negotiation will continue beyond the previously stated "best" or "bottom."

Favorit-est Tip #3: Related to 2, never ask your buyer or seller for their bottom line or highest-and-best. If you do, you force them to commit to a figure and they might be uncomfortable down the road if they're willing to go higher or lower. A side benefit to this strategy is that you won't be accused of spilling the beans to the other side if, by chance, the offer or counter comes in at the exact figure they shared with you. If a buyer or seller tells you what their highest-and-best or bottom line is, act as if you didn't hear them ;-]

Favorit-est Tip #4: Get everything in writing - no oral negotiating. When agreements are reached over the phone, something always comes up when it's time to put the agreement on paper, creating unnecessary drama. It's easy enough today to just "write it up," and keeps everyone on the same page, so to speak.

(Tied for) Favorit-est Tips #5, 6 & 7: (Almost) always counter an offer, even on technicalities to keep the buyer from feeling he could have/should have offered less; as the listing agent, don't remind the buyer's agent of contingency deadlines (to protect your seller's right to retain earnest money); and always remember whom you represent, which helps you be a stronger negotiator and not make an idiot out of yourself with your own client!

Other tips from the show:

  • Make the offer price/counter price "attractive" to the other side by rounding up or down (e.g. $279,900 versus $280,000)
  • When countering, use positive statements when possible - e.g. instead of "No termite inspection," say "Buyer to pay for termite inspection."
  • Realize that you can say NO - and that the other side sometimes fully expects you to.
  • Set expectations with your clients BEFORE you get to the offer stage (e.g. market conditions, communication, etc.)
  • Negotiate delayed possession for staged and owner-occupied properties, in case the loan falls apart at the last minute
  • Try to give the other side an opportunity to save face when negotiating - don't reject a counterproposal outright - give a little bit, even a token amount or concession.

If you missed the show, you can purchase a recording of it in the SWS Bookstore for $3.99, or join Club SWS for $10/month and get access to recordings of all past, present and future SWS shows!

 

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The More Fun You Have Selling Real Estate, the More Real Estate You Will Sell! 
(True Story)
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Comment balloon 10 commentsJennifer Allan-Hagedorn • August 19 2011 08:19AM

Comments

Great tips and reminders for negotiation... I am involved in 4 offers this weekend going back and forth with all of them... perfect timing to read your post as I was getting a little impatient! Thanks and have good weekend!

Posted by Craig Bennett, Designated Broker, SFR, CDPE (Essential Properties, Inc.) about 8 years ago

Yelling means you are losing.

Calm words trump savage words.

 Sadly, I have worked with agents who, in a fit, will lose their temper. Rarely do their clients come out on top when this occurs.

Posted by Doug Rogers, Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent (Bayou Properties) about 8 years ago

We always do number# 2.  I like #1 - The "almost" always counter one makes me just a little nervous in certain circumstances because I feel like that could cause unneccassary drama if it is a good offer to begin with.  Sound slike ti was a great teleseminar.

Posted by Kasey & John Boles, Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties (Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com) about 8 years ago

J&K - We both agree with you - in fact, we talked about that - that if it's obvious the buyer and the agent made an effort to write a signable-as-is offer, we'll both honor that and advise our sellers to sign it, as written.

Doug - that was one of our tips we meant to get to, but didn't have time. STAY CALM and in control, even if everyone else is going nutso!

Craig - Glad we could help!

 

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) about 8 years ago

Jennifer... this is really good stuff! Not just for real estate but in business!  G

Posted by Glenn S. Phillips, CEO, Lake Homes Realty / LakeHomes.com (Lake Homes Realty) about 8 years ago

Jennifer,

#1 and #4 are my motto's! Very good information for Realtors and others.

 Featured in the Real Estate Rookie Group:)

Not sure if I totally agree with #6 though. I feel that keeping all the contingencies on time does help my Seller get to his/her desired destination of CLOSING!

Posted by Karen Hurst, Rhode Island Waterfront! (RICOASTALLIVING.COM) about 8 years ago

Thanks, Karen! I think I'll write up a bit more on that #6 because it seems to generate the most debate... which, of course, I enjoy ;-]

 

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) about 8 years ago

It was a great show, and I'm so glad I was able to make it. I have tow pages of notes, and I have to say it was hard to chose a favorite tip, they were all so good.

Posted by Chiara Petro, Your KEY to Home Sweet Home - Knoxville TN (eXp Realty - Angie Cody Team) about 8 years ago

Jennifer,

Great advice, thanks for sharing! I really enjoy your straight-forward and direct style.

Have a GREAT day!

Posted by Warren Veach (State Continuing Education (StateCE)) about 8 years ago

LOVE this!  And my teacher always said (re:#4) "a verbal agreement is worth the paper it's written on..."

Posted by Christine Gerbehy, Making waves, one home at a time... (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Northfield) about 8 years ago

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