I came across an interesting article yesterday while reading Realtor Magazine. It claims that often times people - even those who think they have great negotiating skills - accept the deal too quickly. People almost always underestimate how far they can get the other side to go.
The article gives some advice for those who want to be a better real estate negotiator:
- Weigh your alternatives. The only time you should be concerned about the other side walking away is when you don't have good alternatives. If you're buying a hosue, you should know if there is another one out there that you would be happy to buy if you couldn't get this one at a certain price. If there is, you can make the other side sweat.
- Know the value. Whether you're the buyer or the seller of a home, know the value of the property. You can have you Realtor do a Comparative Market Analysis of the neighborhood for you so you can see what the true value of a property should be.
- Have patience. A buyer or a seller who is not in a hurry can rise above other buyers or sellers in the same price range.
- Learn from your deals. Just because you walked away feeling like a winner doesn't mean you were. Pay attention to subsequent simlar sales, so the next time you can do better.
In my experience, I've seen that this can be true. I had a house listed for $109,900, and after only one week on the market we got an offer for $98,000. My seller accepted without even countering. I advised that we counter-offer and see how much more money we could get him, but he refused and accepted the first offer he received.
The best advice I could give someone is to not get emotionally attached to the house (easier said than done, I know). That's one of the biggest benefits of hiring an agent to handle your transaction. The agent will have no emotional attachment to the property and will work to get you the best possible price.