Negotiation-The Foundation of Representation

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty Augusta Partners

All of us as professional Realtors know the drill when showing homes, performing the CMA's and advising our clients about financing options. What I have learned in my years of representing clients is that the negotiation stage is the most challenging.

Our clients depend on our experience and skill in walking them through the negotiation of the contract. They are looking to us for guidance and advice. Making sure they feel we have their best interest in mind is the highest priority. 


What better way to show them they are dealing with a professional than to get them what they are wanting in the offer. Whether it be sellers or buyers, they want the best deal for the money. 

I love negotiating the contract because I love a challenge and I also love utilizing my skills as a professional to get the most for my clients. Sometimes I need to advise them they need to walk away from a contract because the other side is either not cooperative or I may see potential long term issues they don't want to deal with. I am always looking out for what's best for them and I want them to see that.

Do you have any stories about the negotiation phase you would like to share? Post them below!



Comments (34)

Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich Real Estate - Newport Beach, CA
Neighborhood Real Estate Specialist

We don't just watch the MLS, we look for those homes not yet on the market because we have a buyer looking in that area. We are more to our clients


Jul 15, 2013 05:57 AM
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

Always try to get the other side to split the difference on a number.  Often you can use that to bump their number substantially. 

Jul 15, 2013 05:59 AM
Steve Laird
Anderson Real Estate Sales - Chico, CA
Steve Sells Chico Real Estate

"The art of negotiation"  The offer and then the negotiation that follows is what I enjoy most about being a Real Estate Agent.  I remember what one of my best clients told me years ago,  that he beleived in the "good deal concept", everyone gets a fair share of the deal - In the end everyone is happy -

Jul 15, 2013 06:16 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

We all need to remember that negotiation begins with the first "hello" or first email requesting information.

Jul 15, 2013 06:24 AM
Cooper Jacobs
Looking For A Seattle Realtor? COOPERJACOBS.COM - Seattle, WA
Real Estate Brokers - Seattle

Good going Sherri...if you are a strong negotiator you will go far and make many people happy in our industry.

Thanks for sharing you inspirational BLOG! all the best to you in 2013.

Jul 15, 2013 06:42 AM
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Sherri, we have taken our 45+ years of negotiating and turned it into part of our presentation.

Jul 15, 2013 06:57 AM
Cary Jo Hofstad
Blue Sky Realty, LLC - Kalispell, MT
Cary Jo, Hofstad, Broker, Blue Sky Realty LLC

Cover letters and years of experience, really benefit my clients when negotiating an offer.

Jul 15, 2013 07:14 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

In this hot sellers market often negotiations are tough.  I spend a lot of my time trying to direct my clients to listings that I think will be receptive to their funding and needs.  

Jul 15, 2013 08:16 AM
Aaron Hofmann
Atlanta Communities - Smyrna, GA
aka Mr. Smyrna Vinings
Negotiation is often about educating both sides on the pluses and minuses in order to work out a deal that seems fair to everyone. But you always want to try and understand what is most important to both parties in order to work out a deal.
Jul 15, 2013 08:43 AM
Roger Stensland
Keller Williams Realty Puget Sound - Maple Valley, WA
Let's Move!

Negotiation is the most fun part of the job for me.  Normally, it is a win-win situation unless you are represented by a limited (no) service broker.  Then, you won't do so well.  Sorry, but that is the way it is.  You do  get what you pay for.

Jul 15, 2013 09:00 AM
Mitch Muller - Charlotte NC Real Estate
ProStead Realty Charlotte, NC CRS SRES - Charlotte, NC
Certified Residential Specialist

Sherri, one of the first books I read about negotiating when I first got into this business was, The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump. Although the numbers are a little different (OK, a LOT different!), I knew this business was for me!

Jul 15, 2013 09:19 AM
Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407

Sherri, you can always tell that realtors are committed to their clients' best interests ahead of their own interests when they can give advice to walk away. Way to go!

Jul 15, 2013 09:56 AM
Fred Cope
Reliant Realty in Nashville, TN - Nashville, TN
Looking For Homes With A Smile

Sherrie, thank you for bringing forth the subject of negotiation.  There was a time when realty agents were considered "salesmen" with the notion of "talking people into doing"; but folks don't like being "talked into something."  Later, the emphasis moved toward "helping the client make a decision", but the argument may have been contrived to get a sale.

However, the agent who listens, cares and acts accordingly gains a level of trust that lends credibility to their negotiating position.  REALTOR® to REALTOR®, and REALTOR® to client relationships, best built on trust, become the vestibule of negotiations.  When you and I recognize our clients' common goals (and thus ours') we focus on solutions rather than adversarial competition--we each work in our respective clients' best interest.  "Take it, or leave it" seldom does that.

When our clients accomplish their primary goals and consummate the deal at the closing table, they see us as true professionals--more interested in providing a vital service than just out for a fat check.  Amazingly, the first brings the latter.  

Continuing Education shows it's worth when two professionals manage the transaction to a successful conclusion.  Do you agree?

Wishing you many successful conclusions. Congrats on the well deserved Feature.

Jul 15, 2013 10:40 AM
Keith Whited
RE/MAX Gateway - Alexandria, VA

I love the negotiation aspect of the business. Unfortunately, I'm currently going through the biggest negotiation 'nightmare' of my career. The lady (who reminds me over and over again that this is the first home she has ever sold and needs me to give her good advice) refuses to compromise on anything and is convinced that I am "not representing her best interests" b/c I haven't been successful in the buyer's agent and the buyers to swallow that SHE has decided is fair and reasonable. Oh well - - time to stop. If I go on I'm just going to be venting!

Jul 15, 2013 11:12 AM
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker
Sometimes buyers have a low number in mind that is not possible to attain. That can be a trap if the buyer wants you to get that sales price. Negotiating is something both sides are willing to do.
Jul 15, 2013 11:17 AM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

What bugs me the most is when I hear an agent say "MY CLIENT WILL NEVER AGREE TO......"  It is the client's decision.. the agent should not stand in the way.

Jul 15, 2013 12:16 PM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Sherri,

You are so right. Some clients are asking for too little, some are fair and square, while some want the moon and maybe some money in the bargain to take the house off the sellers' hands. You can always ask, but sometimes the other side will not go for it. I find it best, when everyone comes out ahead on something with a sense of fair play on the moon items.

Jul 15, 2013 01:22 PM
David Shamansky
US Mortgages - David Shamansky - Highlands Ranch, CO
Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg

I love this aspect of the business but I dont think I would go as far to say as its the single biggest aspect of our business. Fact finding getting the wants and needs of the clients and meeting or exceeding those I think are more important. Bottom line you need to be good at ALL aspects of our industry to properly serve your clients and some of that is definitely a solid negotiation ability

Jul 15, 2013 02:46 PM
Fernando Herboso - Associate Broker MD, & VA
Maxus Realty Group of Samson Properties - Clarksburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

The perfect outcome with negotiations in my opinion  is when is a win -win situation that is fair to all parities. 

Jul 15, 2013 07:46 PM
Tyler Soulliere
Windsor Realtor - Windsor, ON

Representing my clients is of utomost importance. But sometimes, well one scenario actually, where my clients decided to negotiate themselves, while I wasn't there at a house they were looking at. When i found out they had went on their own to view this house and found out that they made a tentative deal, well lets put it this way, even though after i researched and found that they over bid on the home, and told them this, since I am working in their best interests, it just caused an uproar, lots of headaches and crying, to the point where they didn't even want the house. In the end, i was able to get the home down a little from THEIR handshaked deal price, but it was not easy.

Jul 17, 2013 01:03 PM