How to Negotiate in a Real Estate Transaction

March 24, 2021
Top negotiation tactics for Realtors

Negotiating is a key skill for any real estate professional. It’s not just about getting the best deal for your client, it’s also about making sure all parties involved feel validated and have a positive experience.

But being a top-notch negotiator isn’t always something that comes naturally. Thankfully, it’s something that can be learned with a little bit of practice. Take a look at these negotiation strategies.

Remember the “Why?

As you know, your mission as a real estate agent is to advocate for your clients and help them find and secure their dream homes. Keep that in mind with every deal you enter, and always honor that commitment. Fight for what your client wants and needs.

Communicate Openly with Your Clients

Make sure you have a clear understanding of what your clients are comfortable with. In any real estate transaction, it’s your job as the subject matter expert to provide guidance and advice, but at the end of the day it’s up to your clients to approve the direction you go in.

Figure out what they’re looking for and do everything in your power to make it happen on terms they feel good about.

Do Your Research

Always keep the home’s market value in mind before extending an offer.

Research things like sale prices of homes in the area, comparable transactions, etc. to get an idea of what the home is worth and start there. Don’t just assume the asking price is reflective of the home’s value.

Make sure you keep a copy of your findings to reference when extending your offer, especially if the offer is below asking price.

Master the Art of a “Win-Win”

No one likes to feel forced into doing something. Perhaps even more so, no one likes to feel like they were tricked into doing something.

This is why it’s important to advocate for your clients but also be as fair as possible to the other parties involved. A deal, by definition, is supposed to be mutually beneficial. You always want to have the upper hand, but not so much so that anyone feels taken advantage of.

So, you might have to be a little “sneaky” and package an offer in a way that appeases the seller, even though you’re there to represent your client.

Get Creative and Sweeten the Deal

In a competitive real estate market, you may need to get creative with the offer you put forward on behalf of your clients. Sellers are receiving multiple offers – make sure yours is the best.

This doesn’t always mean offering a certain amount over the asking price. Ideally, this would be something that adds value for the seller but doesn’t take too much away from your client, the buyer – thus increasing the likelihood you can close the deal.

One of the best ways to ensure an accepted offer is to present the full sale amount in cash. However, that’s not very common – and that’s okay. The next best thing is to provide a pre-approval letter from a trusted lender, like Waterstone Mortgage.

We even offer Platinum Credit Approval, which includes more comprehensive underwriting and review. It’s a great way to let the seller know that the funds will be secured.

Another creative way to add value to your client’s offer is to include a personal letter to the seller explaining why they want to buy the house, how they’d make it their own, etc. This small (and free) gesture can go a long way.

Know When to Walk Away

Your clients may become extremely attached to a particular home, but if the seller won’t budge on their bottom line and it would put your clients in a negative financial situation, it might be best to walk away.

Knowing when that tipping point comes is key in real estate negotiations. Homebuyers will often rely on you, the real estate professional, to let them know when that time comes – when it’s not worth the back-and-forth anymore.

Want more tips to enhance your real estate business? Visit our Agent Resources page for more info.