The Art of Real Estate Negotiation: Five Core Concerns That Control Emotion

Real Estate Agent with Pat Hiban Interviews Real Estate Rockstars and Founder of Rebus University

Consumers expect real estate agents to be skilled negotiators. Unfortunately, clients are often disappointed to discover that real estate negotiation isn’t one of their agent’s fortes.

Since only a small percentage of agents have trained specifically to become better negotiators, this comes as no surprise to negotiation expert Tim Burrell.

Before he started in real estate, Tim worked as a trial lawyer – a position that requires top-notch negotiation skills. Now, in addition to running a successful team of his own, he travels around the country teaching agents the art of real estate negotiation.

When Tim teaches agents how to negotiate, he focuses on the five core concerns that control emotion. Mastering these core concerns is vital since negative emotions break down effective communication rapidly and can easily ruin a negotiation’s chances of success.

To learn more about these core concerns and improve your negotiation skills, read on. For additional tips and tricks regarding real estate negotiation, listen to my podcast interview with Tim Burrell below.


Appreciation is a critical part of any negotiation. Without it, neither party will be open to the other side’s objectives, rendering the negotiation useless.

You must appreciate where the other party is coming from in order to negotiate terms that are acceptable to them and favorable for your client.

So, what’s the best way to understand and appreciate another’s point of view? That’s easy – listen.

Listen to what the other side wants when negotiating. Often enough, you can leverage information in negotiation to get your client what they’re after.


Too many agents approach negotiation in a forceful manner, pushing the other side to see their way.

It doesn’t work.

Instead of being forceful, respect the other side’s autonomy. One easy way to do this is to brainstorm together. By working on ideas with your counterpart, you can effectively guide them toward a mutually beneficial outcome.


Affiliation can also be used as a means to increase your negotiation’s chances of success. By finding commonalities, you create a sense of closeness and confidence between you and the person at the other end of the negotiating table.

When both parties approach the negotiation as counterparts rather than adversaries, it’s much easier to reach an agreeable outcome.


If you’ve been in real estate for some time and have achieved some impressive things over the course of your career, you might be tempted to share that information while negotiating. That’s fine, but you have to do it in a non-boastful manner.

Bragging ruins negotiations because it demeans the other party. Never attempt to elevate your status above your counterpart’s. Doing so will only lower their opinion of you and decrease their willingness to entertain your terms.


Everyone knows that there are multiple roles in each negotiation, but many people don’t realize that these roles can shift.

Listing agents, for instance, can play the role of a seller’s advocate, but they can also adopt the role of the buyer agent’s colleague if arguing the seller’s points proves to be ineffective. Navigating through a range of different roles helps the agent key in on the right strategy.

By learning to skillfully shift between roles in any given negotiation, you’ll have a wider range of tools at your disposal and will increase your ability to negotiate better terms for your clients.

Learn More About Real Estate Negotiation

Mastering real estate negotiation takes time, experience, and confidence. The more you learn and the more often you put this knowledge to use, the better you’ll be at negotiating real estate deals.

Start learning more about effective negotiation right now by listening to the complete podcast interview with Tim Burrell.


Pat Hiban is the author of NYT best selling book “6 steps to 7 figures – A Real Estate Professional’s Guide to Building Wealth and Creating Your Destiny”, founder of Rebus University and the host of Pat Hiban Interviews Real Estate Rockstars an Agent to Agent Real Estate Radio Podcast with Hiban Digital in Baltimore, Maryland. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Comments (1)

Cynthia Smitherman
Emage` Fine Properties, LLC - Chandler, AZ

Thank you for this information, very helpful and will make a smoother relationship with the cooperating Broker. Will share with my agents.

Jun 06, 2018 08:29 AM