on Monday, January 18th, 2010 at 9:43am.
Negotiating The Right Deal For Our Client
Negotiating is not about winning and losing; it’s about getting the right deal for our client and it is what makes the Realtor most valuable.
My motto has long been, “The best results always happen to those who are best prepared.” The final price and terms of a deal are the end result of the negotiation, but it is the preparation and due diligence that dictates what is being negotiated in the first place. If done well, our client will have a solid basis for their position and a reasonable answer to any objection raised by the other side.
Is the price right? It takes a lot more effort than visiting web sites like Trulia, Zillow, or any of the others, to determine the proper price to ask or offer; it takes personal visits and in-person conversations at several similar properties to get meaningful comparisons and a legitimate market value. Seller concessions, absence of distress, location, setting, surrounding neighborhood, and various amenities are just some of the factors that need to be evaluated.
Are the terms right and the contingencies sufficient? Our client, whether buyer or seller, needs to know that they won’t find themselves forced into being homeless for a week, a month, or even longer. They need to know how to handle certain inspections; how to negotiate repairs in such a way as to keep the rest of the agreement binding upon the other party, and which inspections require written approval by the seller. And there is so much more…
All of this preparation and due diligence provides strength in our client’s position, but it has nothing to do with the other party. There still needs to be a willing buyer and a willing seller to make the deal happen. Beyond that, motivation, or the lack of motivation, in either party is a true “Wild Card” and trumps whatever conclusions may be properly developed otherwise.
Sometimes a good result may be to walk away from the unreasonable position of the other party. Not closing a deal doesn’t mean the negotiation failed, it means that our client had the right information to make the right decision as they see it. I think that’s a great result.
One more thing about negotiating. It gets real emotional, especially on the seller’s side. No seller wants to hear that their home is worth less than what they think it is worth, and they certainly don’t want to hear about all of the nit picky defects the buyer thinks it has – even though it may have plenty. The Realtor acts as a buffer and is able, or should be able, to bridge what is almost always a sharp rise in these emotions. The value of competent and credible representation at this point is immeasurable.
Negotiating the right deal for our client takes a lot of work, more than most people realize or appreciate. It would be interesting to hear comments from Realtors and Consumers about their experiences.