Negotiating - Part Science, Part Art
Everybody has his or her own interpretation of what it means to be an effective negotiator. Some believe that they need to possess a killer instinct, a win-lose attitude, or place what they perceive as their clients best interest in front of reality. While negotiating, the true person comes out or the person you think you need to be. Viewing a negotiation as a win-lose game creates a competitive atmosphere that is based on our behavior rather then focusing on the goal. All parties involved should benefit from a successful negotiation.
Some keys to a successful negotiation are understanding the importance of effective communication, focusing on the goal, and not letting emotions or personalities cloud the process. When a buyer or seller client hires us to work on their behalf the very first meeting tends to be a negotiation until we are actually hired. Once they sign an agreement our role shifts from participant to advisor.
The initial consultation we have with a prospective client will also help determine what type of negotiating partner they will be when it comes time to make or receive an offer to purchase. Listening, clarifying, setting expectations, and a full explanation of the home buying or selling process, will give you all the answers you need in order to help that client.
By taking the time to discuss the above from the beginning, you are preparing the client for what could come. We want to keep the playing field as calm as possible and by adhering to the above; the client has had time to absorb the many possible scenarios in advance of any real-life action. The beginning of the negotiation process is NOT the time to prep a client.
As real estate agents we are acting as client advocates and part of our duty is to educate and guide our clients. We help set the tone for the negotiation with the buyer, seller, and the other real estate agent. It is absolutely imperative that we remain professional and calm otherwise we run the risk of tainting the process.
Once one party gets a bad taste in their mouth about the other party it can be hard to reverse. The other side will also most likely remember your initial interaction down the road when you ask for repairs, changes, or flexibility in a term. I believe that many things in life are preventable.
Choosing to properly inform clients from the start will yield far greater results then just closing a real estate transaction.