An Agents Emotions DO NOT Belong in the Negotiations

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Partners, Inc.

I completely understand that sometimes our emotions get the best of us.  However, when we are negotiating on our clients behalf it's our job to leave the emotions at home. We can't take on the home sale or purchase as though it's our own and start getting upset about the actions of the other side. 

Angry ProfessionalOur sellers and buyers will get emotional.  That's part of the deal and in the end one of the reasons they chose to hire us to represent them.  They are going to look to us for sound, level headed advice on whether to counter an offer and with what terms. If we get angry and start name calling the home buyer/seller or find ourselves in disbelief of an absurd offer or situation it not only makes us look tacky and unprofessional, but many times will cost our client. 

I know that when I hear an agent start getting agitated about terms in an offer that we're in for a long and difficult negotiation.  I know that (s)he's going to take that offer to the buyer/seller and present it with a chip on their shoulder.  It happened today, an agent was all huffy and puffy that my seller countered an offer closer to list price. The agent was whining (literally) about how the roof was 11 years old and the yard wasn't fenced. 

We as professionals should present our clients with facts that help put them in the best possible position when negotiating.  If the other party doesn't agree with those terms maybe the sale won't work out.  I have had buyers and sellers choose to walk away because either side couldn't come to terms. No matter what happens we must remain the unwavering professional and keep our emotions in check. 

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic /


Jimmy Faulkner
Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage - Wantagh, NY
The Best Of St. Augustine

Bryan you have to keep your cool just like a quarterback does when things get a lot tough and time is running out. Maintaining my poise and listening is very important.

Jan 29, 2014 12:51 PM
Bryan Tobiason
Keller Williams Partners, Inc. - Gardner, KS

Eric - Those agents are the topic of discussion. While they’re involved in the transaction it really shouldn’t appear to affect them so much.

Kathleen - Thanks for the comment, it’s good to remember that no matter what your profession keeping your cool is quite important. 

Jessi - That’s a great way to look at it.  No longer are you negotiating, you’re just arguing.  I like that a lot!

Dan - I have to step back from time to time and I’m sure all parties are thankful that I do :)

Rustie - Appraisals are sometimes useful, but I’ve also found that when someone is dead set on a price they’ll ignore anything that says the price is wrong.  

M.C. - I would suspect that many times the clients have no idea at all.  They probably think the process is crazy and difficult because the agent they’re working with is tough for others to deal with. 

Georgia - Amen! It amazes me how many people don’t understand that this is a people business.  

Janey - The power struggle is the worst.  An agent who thinks they need to prove something. As you say, it’s maddening. 

Maria - Referring to something I said as eloquent is an amazing compliment.  I’m likely going to print off your comment to show to some people :)  Thanks!

Hannah - Exactly, and typically that best price will come BECAUSE we didn’t get emotional. 

Art - I’ve not heard of that book but it sounds like it should be added to my Kindle library sooner than later. Thanks for the recommendation. 

Sharon - Thanks, I’m aiming to make it more common!

Lorraine - Nothing is more annoying than an egotistical agent who ruins their clients ability to meet their goal. 

Renee - So true.  Too many try and make adversarial rather than cooperative.  Great comment.

Jim - Thank you & of course you’re correct!

Holly - We should be the filter for the emotions.  You’re correct. 

Ashley - I haven’t thought about it that way, but it may be a good practice.  I can see where that would add some tension up front.  

Bill - Very true, our lives are much easier when the emotions are out of it

Janice - That’s the hardest part of our job is to filter out the other agents emotions. 

Christie - Yelling goes no where with me. That’s a way to instantly end the phone conversation. Which in turn makes them even madder.  I will not tolerate it.  

Jaime - Thanks!

Gene - There is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing an opinion.  I get agitated when it’s done emotionally AND when that agent's client doesn’t share the opinion. 

Julie - Exactly, we just need to put the deal together and negotiations shouldn’t be that tough. 

Travis - Makes sense to me!  :)

Rockie - Thanks!

James - I’ll never understand agents who think inspectors want to wreck the deal.  I just don’t see that as a profitable business model.  I consider those agents to be lacking mentally and don’t put much stock in what they’re saying.  NOW I have seen some horribly inaccurate inspections that ruined deals, but I doubt the inspector set out with that intention. 

Raymond - Especially when the price of the home took into account some needed deferred maintenance. 

Kimo - Very good points Sir!

Cat - You’re correct.  This is a negotiation style that I dislike! 

Dennis - I LOVE THAT LINE.  Will be using that from here on out.  Such wisdom in those eight words.  

Marte - Great minds think alike! 

Bob - Yes, we need to try and resolve the problem instead of adding to it.  Very true. 

Lyn - Could be… but it didn’t really feel like it.  Either way, just present the facts and keep your emotions out of it.  

Hella - Very True. You’re the face of the transaction for your client and when things go haywire you’re directly in the firing line.  

Marcus - I’ve seen this several times in our area too.  There was one particular agent who had three homes listed in their subdivision and none of them sold because she was holding out hope that she could single handedly keep the comps up.  However all the other agents were listing and selling property in that area at market value. 

Wayne - The income piece is very true.  However, that really should be more reason to stay calm and get things done rather than going crazy. 

Sherry - I wish it were like that on every deal.  It is very nice when it happens.

Jimmy - Staying calm is the mark of a true professional.  I agree completely. 

Jan 30, 2014 05:21 AM
Mary Diaz
Tampa, FL
Tampa's Real Estate Matchmaker

It is so important to always act  and conduct ourselves in a professional manner in negotiations.  We can kick and scream once you hang up the phone, but always keep your cool and like it was said in the commercial "Don't ever let them see you sweat"


Jan 30, 2014 06:14 AM
Jeannette Westcott
Great post, Bryan. AMEN!
Jan 30, 2014 08:17 AM
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Hello Bryan and I agree with the other members and great comments!


Jan 30, 2014 12:16 PM
Yvonne Jaramillo Ahearn, Esq. (B)
Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers - Kailua, HI

Hard to do sometimes, but yes, keep it in check. Great post.

Jan 30, 2014 01:53 PM
James Jackson
This has been one of the most interesting blogs I've read in a long time. Do I get caught up in the drama involved, you betcha (sometimes - especially when my $ is involved). Matter of fact I'm involved in a couple preservation issues at the moment - 1. I was requested to do work in an "unoccupied property". Seems that between Dec. occupancy inspection & Jan 14th - the house sold & I am now involved in this miscommunicated drama 2. Trashed out a house & did sales clean BUT trash cannot be safely removed due to 4 ft of frozen ice / snow - bank wants Realtor to remove & he's slow because it's a of of pocket expense. Here's a suggestion that helps me keep my emotions in check & still does. Using a P-touch - print labels that say "Are you smiling?" & put the labels on your car mirrors and place mirrors in front of your computer. You can convey a more positive attitute even if you are emotional. It's had to get frustrated when smiling!
Jan 30, 2014 06:18 PM
Mike&Marie Edwards
Estes Village properties & Plains Real Estate in Greely/Windsor - Fort Collins, CO
"We Bring You Home To Colorado"

thank you for the reminder.


Jan 31, 2014 02:50 AM
Stan Jones
Keller Williams Realty, Atlanta Parnters - Dacula, GA

Great reminder! Thanks for sharing! 

Jan 31, 2014 03:36 AM
Rosie Crow
Serving Sugar Land, Richmond, Rosenberg, Missouri City - Sugar Land, TX
Exceeding Expectations. Delivering Results

Excellent advice.  We, as realtors, need to be professional at all times and keep our emotions in check. We need to create a collaborative atmosphere between both parties to ensure productive negotiations, and it's important to take into consideration each parties concerns during the negotiation process and ditch the "winner take all' mentality

Jan 31, 2014 01:41 PM
Bryan Tobiason
Keller Williams Partners, Inc. - Gardner, KS

Mary - You are correct.  There have been many a time my phone landed on the couch in my office because after the call I couldn't keep my cool any longer :)

Jeannette - Thank You

Robert - Thanks!

Yvonne - Thank You

James - I love the idea and will get to printing out labels immediately.  I could sure use them some days!

Mike - Thanks for commenting 

Stan - Thanks!

Rosie - Yes winner take all is a terrible ideal in Real Estate. It's a collaborative effort on many occasions. 

Feb 01, 2014 04:14 AM
Kathie Burby
Coldwell Banker Mother Lode Real Estate - Sonora, CA
REALTOR, SFR, Tuolumne County Real Estate Guide

Wonderful reminder - we are the professionals and should act & respond to others as such. Afterall, that is why the client hired an agent.

Feb 02, 2014 06:05 AM
Tad Navle
RSVP Real Estate - Bonney Lake, WA

One of the areas I pride myself in is that I remove the emotion of the negotiations.  The buyers and sellers are emotional - I stick to the facts.  But I have to say that I had a tough one last month.  I represented the seller but ended up dealing with the buyer because their agent disappeared during the transaction (that is a blog in itself - there where attorneys involved).  During the process I realized I didn't like the buyer at all - actually made my blood pressure rise.  But I sucked it up and closed the sale in a professional manner. 

Feb 06, 2014 10:31 PM
Graziella Bruner
NCS Premier Real Estate - Detroit, MI
Associate Broker - Serving Wayne & Oakland County

A Great Reminder to all of us!  Check your emotions at your front door - Keep them there!  We should always stick to the facts - Thanks for sharing!  :)

Feb 07, 2014 01:48 AM
Dan & Laurie Pittsenbarger Team
Keller Williams Western Realty - Bellingham, WA
Lakeside & Coastal Single Family Homes

When I pick up the vibe/feeling that the agent on the other side may not communicate my client's offer/counteroffer/response to inspection etc - I attempt to present it myself with their agent present of course. It's not always feasible/practical to do so but I make the attempt when I can tell the other agent's emotions/opinions put a negative spin on what my client wants presented to the other principle involved.

Feb 07, 2014 02:49 AM
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Well said. I've had to keep my tounge in check for years. Emotions only complicate a transaction.

Feb 24, 2014 12:08 AM
Lois Rogan
Coldwell Banker C&C Properties - Red Bluff, CA
Broker Associate

Very well said. Thanks for sharing.

Feb 28, 2014 09:37 AM
Debbie Walsh
SHAHAR Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

This should be in a Realtor Rule Book!

May 02, 2014 01:45 AM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

This is an excellent post for me to read today.  I had a seller yell at me for an appraisal that came in under offer price.  I remained calm, he blustered and bluffed and then hung up on me.  I'll give him a day to cool off and sit down with him. Thanks, I needed to hear this.

May 02, 2014 12:49 PM
Rebecca Riopelle
BLINK Realty Group - Arlington, MA
Broker Associate & REALTOR®

Very true and I think this can be one of the hardest things for a new agent to learn, but one of the most important. I have to remind myself sometimes.  We are there to be their rock and their support.

Jun 16, 2014 09:50 PM