Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, and not for the faint of heart! Skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:

  1. Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.
  2. Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer. The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome, can construe yourself as not a real buyer, and lead the seller to call a halt to the negotiations and think you might be mental.
  3. “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it.
  4. Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if the inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate. Also, keep in mind that you’re not buying a new home with everything perfect.
  5. Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy. I have had a few transactions that became so contentious, that by the time it closed, everyone felt like they had been in a 45 day boxing match!

Negotiation is a conversation whose goal is to reach an agreement with someone whose interests are not perfectly aligned with yours. Let me help you reach that agreement.