Real Estate Negotiation – 7 Best Strategies

An important part of our job as Realtors is to help our clients negotiate for the best deal on a house. Your confidence and professionalism in this area will make your service memorable to your clients. Here are some strategies to help you guide your clients through the negotiation process.

1. Constantly re-establish trust.

Establishing trust between the parties is the most important strategy in any negotiation. Buyers and sellers know that the other party has interests that are in conflict with theirs. They begin with a certain amount of wariness of each other. It is valuable to establish rapport quickly. Show them that you and your clients will be reasonable to work with. Here are some ways for your clients to establish common ground:

Communicate that they have a common hobby, the same type of job, moved here from the same area, went to the same college, have similar children’s needs, or other relatedness.

Present evidence that your clients are qualified to buy the property.

If your buyer works for a well-known company, this may increase the seller’s trust.

Never delay your counteroffers. Show respect for the seller’s time.

Communicate that the buyer appreciates the home.

Begin the negotiation by establishing rapport. Then continue to reinforce it throughout the closing process. I have noticed that buyers are often reluctant to show that they like the house. They believe that an aura of disinterest will help their negotiation. I recall a transaction in which the buyers met the seller, and expressed how much they liked the house. During the negotiation the seller had multiple offers to choose from. Their offer was selected. The buyers’ encounter with the seller, and openness about how they felt, gave them an edge. Also, they were real people to the seller, while the other offers were just paper. The seller trusted them to close the deal.

2. Don’t get negative feelings involved.

While trust is the single most important factor in a negotiation, ego is the most destructive. Many times I have seen buyers include notes with their offers. They point out faults and deficiencies, and explain why the home is not worth the price. I guarantee that these buyers paid a premium. The point is, never run down the sellers’ home. This will bring their feelings to the table. And negative feelings are an unnecessary hurdle to have to overcome. If you have the opportunity, compliment the sellers’ house, decorating and gardens. Don’t forget that their children are always above average, and their pets are practically human. During the negotiation, anchor your offer price to market data.

3. Play on the Same Team.

It is important that you stay on the same team as your clients. A united front is a strong negotiating position. This may not be the way things really are. The wife may love the house, but the husband wants to negotiate the price. You may not approve of some of the terms of the offer. If you reveal a break in your ranks, the sellers will consider your position weaker.

4. Keep a Grain of Salt.

A healthy skepticism is a good thing in negotiation. Not everything you are told is true. How many times have you heard that the contract has to be in this quarter, or the price is going up? Does the 1% bonus for contract this week mean that you have to rush your offer in? Is the price really firm? Proposals such as these show you what is important to the seller. The seller may want close quickly and for full price, but, on the other hand, the seller may want to close, period. I can think of many times when I thought the buyer’s offer would never work, and yet, they got their terms.

5. Understand Special Needs.

A big part of negotiation is subtle. Little things make a big difference. Sometimes good deals go off track because of a difference in the style or personality of the parties. A misperception of the required tone can lead to a decline in trust. Some examples:

Slower Pace – The sellers were a couple in their 90′s. Since they did not leave the house, the buyers met them several times. The buyers took extra time to sit down and talk, and formed a strong bond.

Holy Ground – The sellers had a small grave for their dog on the property, which they were very sensitive about. The buyers realized this, and sent word that they would leave it in place.

For the Birds – The sellers had numerous bird feeders on the property. The buyers keyed in on this, and offered to continue feeding the birds.

Get a Grip – The sellers’ agent tended to give wrong information, did not handle details well, and was untrustworthy. In order to preserve the buyer’s trust, it was necessary to double check everything, handle paperwork, and watch deadlines.

6. Keep private things private.

Buyers may have some issues that should be kept private. They may have just sold their house, and need to act fast. They may need to start kids in school. They may be in the middle of a divorce. They may have an interest rate that is about to expire. Not one of these pieces of information will get them a better deal on a house. In fact, they all indicate that they are under pressure. Your buyers should be perceived as folks who are well qualified, who truly appreciate this home, and who can be trusted to close.

7. Get good information.

Here are some questions to ask before you and your clients compose an offer:

How is the market in general? How are other actives and recent sales priced?

How long has the home been on the market? Have there been price changes?

Did the house sell recently? What was the price?

Is there a time deadline that must be met? Would a pre or post lease be desirable?

What is the appraisal district value? The taxes? The HOA dues?

Is a disclosure available? A property inspection? A survey?

Are there any offers expected, or on the table now?

Price is just one consideration in the negotiation for a home. Other terms, such as financing, close date, repairs, or possession date may be just as important. Negotiating for a house requires skill in giving and taking information, and in communicating to the seller that your clients are the best buyers for their property.

The Structure Of a Good Presentation

Great orators have always been a force to moving or influencing people. The world has seen its share of charismatic speakers that have made heads of nations, spiritual personalities, movie or music celebrities, company heads and even dictators. People are moved by the skill of a great orator or the effectiveness of his or her presentation skills. But what is it about their presentation that resonates with so many people? Or should we ask an even more important question – what is a Presentation skill?

While certain specific presentation techniques are universally common, Business Presentation Skills have a certain tried and tested method that anyone aspiring to be a good presenter in the corporate world, can learn from. In this article we will look at a few such aspects that make up the structure of a good presentation:

  1. An Agenda With a Purpose: The speaker needs to know where he or she wants to go with the presentation – what is the message that he or she wants to convey? Who is the target audience? These are questions that a presenter needs to know the answers to, well before they take the stage to give a presentation. Proceeding through a plan is much more effective if one has a map and a plan. That should be the primary objective of having an agenda.
  2. Meticulous Preparation: Regardless of the confidence of the speaker’s message, they must always prepare ahead of time to do justice to the goal of the presentation. Trying to stumble through the presentation without a plan doesn’t work and neither is it professional. The presenter must be prepared to clarify vague issues and also tackle troubleshooting questions. It also helps to arrive ahead of time in order to get a good feel for the environment.
  3. The ‘Sandwich’ Structure: Just like a sandwich, every presentation must have three distinct parts to it that requires slightly different approaches. Most speakers tend to focus only on the ‘body’ of the presentation but fail to make a good first impression or fail to end their message well once done with the body. Beginning with a good attention-grabbing introduction that makes a good impression is vital to starting off on the right note. A good opener sets the tone for a good presentation.

The body of the message is where most of the intended content is placed. The speaker must take his time in unpacking the major elements of the body in a clear and concise manner. Holding eye contact and keeping an ‘open’ body posture helps to relax the crowd and feel connected with the speaker. Often speakers rush through their presentation without proper pausing or spacing due to nervousness or haste and end up looking anxious and insecure. Well-timed pausing can be useful to the presenter and must be used tactfully to allow the depth of the content to sink in to the listeners’ minds and hearts.

Finally, ending a presentation well gives a good finishing touch to the presentation and ends with a note of closure for the listeners. If done well, the listeners will leave with a good appreciation for the value of the message. It helps to finish on a positive note while also thanking the listeners for their time and patience.

Presentation Skills Training is an important aspect of corporate training that helps companies equip their employees with good communication and presentation skills and make them effective speakers or presenters.

PowerPoint Tip – Turn Off Pop-Ups When Presenting

In a given day, or week, or month, how many messages pop up on your computer to:

* Update Java, RealPlayer, or Windows?

* Connect to a wireless network?

* Remind you of an upcoming meeting or birthday?

* Keep you up to date on your subscribed RSS feeds?

Warning: Some of these pop-ups may appear while you’re presenting in slide show view! Not a pretty picture!

After a few minutes of inactivity (let’s say you’re answering questions), does your screen saver kick in, or does your computer go into hibernation mode?

Before you get into such a situation, right now, start making a list of the pop-ups that you see, and research how to turn them off. It’s not always easy to find the answer, because the software companies want you to see those pop-ups!

One possible solution may be to disconnect from the Internet, or disable your wireless connection, if you don’t need it during the presentation. Remember that many meeting venues have wireless networks, so your computer may try to connect during your presentation. And disconnecting may disable many other pop-ups. The method depends on your operating system.

In Windows XP, you would probably choose Start> Control Panel> Network Connections. In Windows Vista, try Start> Control Panel> Network and Sharing Center.

You can configure Windows updates by choosing Start> Control Panel> System and clicking the Automatic Updates tab. In Windows Vista, choose Start> Control Panel> Security or Security Center> Windows Update. If you turn them off during your presentation, remember to turn them back on afterwards!

However, some pop-ups don’t depend on an Internet connection or may still pop up a message asking you to connect! For example, Outlook reminders may use your computer’s internal clock. Therefore, you should try disconnecting from the Internet and see whether or not you still get some pop-ups. Of course, you can’t do that for several times just to make sure – that would probably be going too far! But the more planning and testing you do, the less likely that embarrassing pop-up will show its ugly face during your presentation!