Interested in negotiating a
I was ten years old when the Saturn cars were introduced. All the excitement was over how you didn’t negotiate the price, it was the “no haggle” brand. Even thought I was just a kid, it sounded like a rotten deal to me and all the fun was taken out of buying a big ticket item. Who’d want a car not worth fighting for?
My appreciation and love for negotiation naturally lead me to real estate. We negotiate everything, everywhere, constantly. It’s not always about price. There is a lot to negotiate: timeline, repairs, and all the other terms and conditions going into a real estate transaction.
Whether you are buying a home or anything else, here are rules to negotiate confidently and have things going your way.
Rule #1 Don’t Make It Personal. Some people take negotiations over a house so personally, as if the other party is insulting them. That’s just silly. You have to keep in mind what it is you are negotiating and your goals for the outcome. Remember, the other side’s messages are not about you. Each party just wants the best outcome for themselves, not necessarily the worse outcome for you.
Rule #2 Never Assume. Don’t assume anything about the other party. Buyers assume things about the sellers such as when they need to move. Many buyers tell me things such as, “It seems the sellers don’t need to move quickly, so let’s make a higher offer to motivate them.” Or an even better one I hear is, “They bought it for $X five years ago so they won’t take less than $X+7.” Those are both assumptions. I don’t know anything about a sellers and how much money they’ll take until I have a reaction to an offer.
Rule #3 Be Fearless. Don’t fear a negative reaction from a seller. Your negotiations should reflect your needs and goals. It’s imperative you first know your goals: how much you are willing to pay and what it is you will and will not do to get it. If there is a time to make decisions and stick to them, it’s when negotiating for a home. What I love about negotiations is that it gives us clarity on what it is we really want, and how much we are willing to pay for it.such as, “It seems the sellers don’t need to move quickly, so let’s make a higher offer to motivate them.” Or an even better one I hear is, “They bought it for $X five years ago so they won’t take less than $X+7.” Those are both assumptions. I don’t know anything about a sellers and how much money they’ll take until I have a reaction to an offer.
Rule #4 Show Respect and Kindness. You can be fearless and you can take a stand, but always show respect and kindness to the other side of the negotiation table. Understanding the reasoning for their demands will go a long way. Simply learning what’s important to them humanizes the whole interaction. Yielding on something in order to accommodate a priority for the other side will enable you to ask for something in return. For example, can you move the closing date for two weeks to accommodate the seller’s wedding plans?
Rule #5 Some Compromise is Necessary. This rules ties in to Rule #4, and together they are called, Don’t Be an Ass. Find an area on which you are willing to compromise. Sometimes a small compromise will help you get almost everything you want. Maybe a little bit more money, or a bit less fighting over inspection items? I’m all in favor of getting the most out of every deal, but sometimes the most includes goodwill. Furthermore, don’t expect to pay less than market price. Sure there are bargains, just don’t try and squeeze water out of a rock, and expect the rock to be okay with that.
Negotiations are an important part of life, and avoiding them will cost you. Saturn shut down operations in 2009 and gave General Motors a lot of grief. The “no haggling” policy had others realizing they are getting a pretty rotten deal. Saturn slogan was “A Different Kind of Car Company,” overlooking the fact that without negotiations we do not achieve satisfaction in our choice.
So haggle on, and follow the rules outlined to negotiate like a pro.