How to be a World Class Negotiator

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Buyers Broker of Florida

I grew up poor with an immigrant mother that was a master negotiator. You can become one fact, I wrote these 13 easy steps just for you.

At the age of 5, I started my “training”. Every weekend my mother took me to the Farmers Market to stock up on food for the week.


Eve Alexander Realtor - Buying a house? Let me negotiate it for you...or at least call me and we can chat about the best bargains in town.
She would buy everything from fruit and veggies to fresh-killed chickens or fish brought in right from the river.

I watched as she got a discount on everything...I do mean everything. If apples were $2 a dozen, she ended up with 14 apples for $1.50...and they were always the biggest ones.
If the chickens came with all their feathers still on, she would get them to pluck all the feathers off...they would do that for her...for free.

It helped that she had a good personality, beautiful black hair and knew how to make everyone feel good about giving her more “extras” than she paid for. Yes, she definitely knew how to negotiate...

That stuck with me. Even as a kid I would try to bargain for things from my friends. As I grew up, I was drawn to flea markets and anywhere else that you could dicker your way into a bargain. I loved it!

Maybe that's why today I love negotiating real estate...

Did I tell you that I negotiated a nice discount on my office furniture from Office Depot? It was not on sale...

My friend even negotiated a discount on multiple dog beds at the Big Lots Store...who would have thought of that?

Realtor Eve Alexander - Want to talk to an expert? Call me at 407-539-1053.
My theory is that you will never know what you can get until you ask. The secret is you have to learn how to ask.

Unless you negotiate for a living, let someone else do it for you. But if you are stuck and need a crash course, then here are your best negotiation steps.

1. It’s only business, never personal. It is not about you, your family or your is only about what you are trying to negotiate. So don’t let your emotions get the best of you.


 best negotiation steps
2. Read your agreement or document...if you have one. You must know what you agreed to! Sometimes there is some hidden “small print tidbit” that you can use to make your point and gain leverage.

3. Give no more information than you need to. The less the other side knows about where you live, what you do, or how much money you wish to spend, the easier it is to negotiate what you want.

4. Who are the players? You must know who you are negotiating against. Is it the owner? A representative? Or one of their kids? If it is really important, google their name.

5. Offer no more than you need to. Find out what the other person wants before you make an offer. You may be pleasantly surprised that they are willing to settle for less than you were willing to give them.

6. Use your poker face, no reaction. Don’t let anyone see how you feel...make them wonder. Show no emotion either way...don’t look happy or sad. Keep your body language quiet. You can smile when you win.


 best negotiation steps - Don’t let anyone see how you feel...make them wonder.

7. What is “it” really worth? You should have an idea of value before you bring out your wallet. If not, then you better get a really low price or you might pay too much.

8. Who else wants it? Are there other people interested? Just one person or a crowd of people? Always ask yourself these questions: How unique is it? How badly do you want it?

9. Zip it up...stay silent. Control your tongue and listen more. He who speaks first loses. Whoever talks the most, loses more. You have two ears...listen carefully to the unspoken words.

10. Stick to what is most important. Skip the small stuff...and most of it is small stuff. When someone gets too greedy that will irritate the other side. Don’t split hairs over chump change.

11. Don’t come in with your best offer...leave some room to negotiate. No one likes to hear about your “best” offer if it is your first offer. Everyone likes some concession to make themselves feel good.


Don’t come in with your best offer...leave some room to negotiate.
12. Never argue or criticize. No one wants to hear that! The owner thinks it is a great deal and you really want it, so don’t say it's ugly, or outdated or not valuable. That would be a turn off to negotiations.

13. Don’t play hardball unless you mean it. Bluffing is a skill most do not possess. Besides, playing hardball leaves you no options. You either have to walk away to save face or come back to the table and pay their price.

Buying a house? Let me negotiate it for you...or at least call me and we can chat about the best bargains in town.

Call Eve Alexander at Buyers Broker of Florida 407 539 1053.


In case you cannot view this video here, please click the link below to view How to be a World Class Negotiator on my YouTube channel:

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Representing ONLY the best interest of the Home Buyer...never the seller.

 Eve Alexander Orlando Buyers Agent


Comments (19)

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Hi Eve, it sounds as if your mama's skills didn't go unnoticed. I'm sure you are equally as effective. Thanks for the list too.  I'd add, at least in our experience,  goodwill goes far in the negotiation process. 

Jun 30, 2020 06:20 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD

Thanks so much for your kind comment...

Jun 30, 2020 10:35 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Eve Alexander that was a great story and thanks for sharing it... you're fortunate to have had a "front row seat" during your mother's successful negotiating sessions.... and it's in your DNA!!!  I really enjoyed reading this post.... 

in many ways it reminded me of my own mother (God Rest Her Sou) who was an officer of a bank....she had her own set of negotiating skills and strengths in a profession that was in a man's world!!

Jun 30, 2020 06:32 AM
Barbara Todaro

Interesting that your mom was skilled enough to be an officer of a bank in the ol' days.

My mom started a deli in the 1950's in a market dominated by dare her.

Glad you enjoyed reading.


Jun 30, 2020 10:38 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Eve - I often say finding what works for you is an amazing discovery and you have embraced this.  

Jun 30, 2020 06:40 AM
Michael Jacobs

Michael Jacobs you are is easy to embrace something that works for you.


Jun 30, 2020 10:39 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

My Mom is like that too!  I am sure that I got many of my skills in negotiation from her, as well as classes I have taken on game theory and such.

Jun 30, 2020 07:08 AM
Brian England

Amazing what you learn from your mom...make sure you let her know.

Great that you took classes as well...learning always works.


Jun 30, 2020 10:41 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Excellent list of tips for negotiations, and I loved the story about your mother! Enjoy your day!

Jun 30, 2020 07:50 AM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Tampa, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Tampa Home Buyers

Thank you Kat Palmiotti. Glad you liked the story.

Remembering mom always brings back the good ol' days...



Jun 30, 2020 10:43 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you for all the useful tips. I am going to share this one with my wife.  She just purchased all of our furniture for our new rental on FB Market Place.  She negotiated for everything and ended up saving a bunch of money. 

Jun 30, 2020 01:53 PM
Ray Henson

Good for her...and good for you, too.

You are welcome...


Jul 02, 2020 08:48 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Love your post, my family always negotiated, was brought up to do the same, my family were and are antique dealers so you are always negotiating. It is all a game to see what you can get, from a free breakfast, to a shirt and tie when you buy a suit. Always practice,

Jun 30, 2020 02:01 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543

Ha!  I thought that "Goodwill" was a regular department store untill I got married...but I still check there occasionally.


Jul 02, 2020 08:57 AM
M.C. Dwyer
Melody Russell Team at eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Congratulations on making it into the "Featured Posts" daily e-mail!   What a super eye-catching title.    Thanks for sharing what you learned from your mom -  who "had a good personality, beautiful black hair and knew how to make everyone feel good about giving her more “extras” than she paid for."    And what a great list - I'm bookmarking this one!

Jun 30, 2020 07:00 PM
M.C. Dwyer

Thank you so much!!!


Jul 02, 2020 08:57 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Eve- I am so glad that Barbara Todaro reblogged your post. So much is said about real estate here but how to negotiate something is not often discussed. Your mother was wise and you learned a lot from her. 

Jun 30, 2020 07:13 PM
Kathy Streib

I have found that too many brokers operate on what they think and feel...letting their emotians rule. 

The older I get, the more I realize the good stuff my parents taught me.


Jul 02, 2020 10:13 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Thank you for teaching this old dog a few new tricks.

Happy Tuesday evening Eve Alexander 

Jun 30, 2020 07:25 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS

You are welcome...old dogs are still young enough to learn new tricks.


Jul 02, 2020 09:02 AM
Richard V. Foster, Esq.
Nevada Perfect Homes - Henderson, NV
Broker (58356) - ABR/M, CREN, CRS, GRI, RRG, SFR

I am a certified negotiator, I will give you the number one rule I live by... Are you ready?     


That's it. Really, too many people have to talk, talk, and talk. When when you are talking, you miss the important details that lead you to a solution. If you close your mouth and focus on what they are saying, they will tell you what they need to make the deal happen.

Jun 30, 2020 09:31 PM
Richard V. Foster, Esq.


Now I will shut up.


Jul 02, 2020 09:03 AM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

know when and in which manner to walk away..the walk away can be the most powerful buying tool...I negotiated the world's largest commercial transaction...LNG between China and Russia (looong story). I told each side to walk away many times. Neither wanted to do this but they listened and after six months a $4.8 trillion deal came to fruition

Jun 30, 2020 10:10 PM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD

Wow...good for you. Sounds like you did a great job.


Jul 02, 2020 09:03 AM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Eve.

Thanks to Brian England I am now following you.  

Jul 01, 2020 02:09 AM
James Dray

I appreciate the "follow", thank you...and Brian England 


Jul 02, 2020 09:05 AM
Cathy Starkweather
La Rosa Realty, LLC. - Celebration, FL

Love this post! My grandma was quite the negotiator. I spent quite a bit of time with her during the summer months and we would go to flea markets; farmers markets; yard/garage sales. Money was tight, every penny saved was spared and marked for something else. She would say, I saved $xxx money and now I'll put that towards the Christmas budget.  We lost grandma last year on her 89th birthday. She was a special lady, loved her family and would provide for others when she didn't have enough herself. 

Jul 01, 2020 06:36 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

A great list and lesson. I love to negotiate and debate. Its a lost art, to keep your head, push back strategically and walk away happy and rewarded. Thanks for sharing your story and tips!

Jul 01, 2020 10:09 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Thank you for reading and commenting.  Much appreciated!


Jul 02, 2020 09:07 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I agree with many of your points.  I try to negotiate a deal that both parties are happy with!

Jul 01, 2020 10:55 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR

Since I only represent buyers, I have to admit that I am biased to get my buyer the best deal and the sellers needs are secondary.

Thank you for another point of view.


Jul 02, 2020 09:09 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Opportunities are determined by your exit plan, if you're unwilling to walk away, you'll lose the opportunity to optimize the value of your transaction. You can measure the buyer's desire to own what you have by their first offer. 

Jul 02, 2020 02:11 AM
Kimo Jarrett

You are right, as I think most brokers focus too much on saving  the deal.


Jul 02, 2020 09:10 AM