Does Culture Affect Negotiations When Purchasing a Home?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cam Realty and Property Management

Does Culture Affect Negotiations When Purchasing a Home?

It all started with a spontaneous late-night post in one of the Turkish Facebook groups...It was a simple, short post just introducing myself and offering my assistance to those who reside in Turkey and looking to invest in the US. A few days after my post, I received a call from Turkey from an investor looking to purchase a few homes in the US after reading my FB post. Their transaction went smoothly, with no challenges at all.
As they say, good news travels fast! This client referred others, some live in the US, and some overseas. For some reason, every single one of them loves to bargain, it’s the culture. To them, even if it’s $100.00 less than the asking price, they accomplished their mission.

Whether be savvy investors or a first-time one, they can unreasonable until they lose out on a few great deals. Just last month, we offered $750,000 on a home that’s listed for $899,000. Just because it is cash doesn’t mean the price will go down over $100,000 but that is the culture.
Luckily, almost all of them are outside of FL and purchase without stepping foot in the home and most buy brand new homes directly from the builders which makes my job a lot easier.
When working with an international client, it is important to learn about their cultures to provide top-notch service. Some of their expectations may sound unreasonable, however, this is the way they’ve been doing business in other countries for years. Also, they are wiring A LOT of money overseas and it is important for them to work with someone they can trust. That trust can be built by learning about their cultures.
I am currently working with a family who’s here temporarily, for about a year and looking for a rental home. Where they wish to live in one of the high-end areas, the type of home they want must be furnished, pool, and over 3000 sq ft gla. Their budget is $7000.00/month maximum. When it comes to long-term rentals for someone who does not have any credit history, work history in the US, no Social Security Number, they have to provide things like;

-A copy of their passport showing the Visa page
-Proof of funds
-Three months security deposit and minimum six months rent upfront

We made two offers yesterday $900.00 under list price. The good news is, they will pay one year's rent upfront plus two months' security deposit. It wasn’t easy to get them to agree to pay a year’s rent upfront but I know and understand their culture so they trust my advice.
When we are working with people, we must first establish a relationship and show them the reasons why they should trust us. This is true for every single person regardless of their nationality.

Does Culture Affect Negotiations When Purchasing a Home?

Comments (27)

John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Beth Atalay in some cultures when purchasing a home can affect negotiation.

Jun 10, 2023 11:22 AM
Beth Atalay

Hello John Pusa, that's the truth.

Jun 10, 2023 11:23 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Beth:

Congratulations on the Feature - this is such an important topic. There are lots of cultural differences in our world and not making assumptions that everyone is the same is important.

There's a good reference book on this issue - Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands. I read it (or at least parts of it) years ago. Great guide for international business.


Jun 10, 2023 11:23 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Beth and great feature and great information to share with us here in the Rain.  Make it a great Saturday!

Jun 10, 2023 11:59 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

HI Beth... culture absolutely does impact negotiations. People often think it's not PC to say so, but it's a reality. I'm reminded of when we lived in Abu Dhabi...if I wanted to buy something "significant," I would go to the store owner and haggle a bit. Then I'd leave. My husband would come in afterwards and haggle some more. The third round would be handled by his secretary from India... she'd negotiate it to rock bottom. Worked like a charm and the store owners expected it.

Jun 10, 2023 12:05 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Excellent post! Yes, culture does play a role in negotiations. Yes indeed.

Jun 10, 2023 03:06 PM
Ed (Edward) Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Well done for a casual FB post. I would vesture that it helped that you could speak the language as well.

Jun 10, 2023 03:59 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Beth- what a wonderful post!!!  You are absolutely right too. You have to know your clients well and understand where they are coming from and their culture. 

Jun 10, 2023 07:04 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Beth Atalay  like you I am an International Realtor and yes different cultures negotiate differently and at time it causes success and other times it causes a loss.... Asians, Europeans and Middle Eastern buyers all have their quirks:) I know I deal with them, Endre

Jun 10, 2023 09:49 PM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

That was smart of you to write and share that post and I love that good things have come from it.  When you say "For some reason, every single one of them loves to bargain, it’s the culture." it really resonates with me because I was told that early on in my career and found it to definitely be true with a few cultures, haha.

Jun 11, 2023 05:26 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Great post on this topic. And yes, I do believe that culture truly does enter the negotiation arena.

Jun 11, 2023 12:37 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

I learned early on in my career that culture can play a big part of negotiations.  

Jun 11, 2023 04:22 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Beth, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Jun 11, 2023 04:23 PM
Beth Atalay

Thank you so much for the feature Myrl Jeffcoat!

Jun 17, 2023 06:49 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

This is a very good point and I think a very valid one. I often ask foreign buyers how real estate is sold in their own country. Coming from England we never had buyers agents, and commission to sell a home was 1.25-1.5%, maybe more if you wanted more than one broker to market the property as there is no MLS. So understanding how homes are sold allows you to understand some of the negotiation and attitude of the buyer and seller.

Jun 13, 2023 08:33 AM
Beth Atalay

Hello Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, in some parts of the world, the buyer pays the commission and it is as you said 1.5%.

Jun 17, 2023 06:48 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

This is so true Beth Atalay. Different cultures have interesting ways of negotiating. Glad to see this post was featured.

Jun 16, 2023 07:43 PM
Beth Atalay

Thank you Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400!

Jun 17, 2023 06:47 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Hello Beth Atalay - this is an excellent and very educational post on cultural differences and negotiations. Congratulations on a well-deserved FEATURE. When it comes to cultural diversity you lead by miles from many other agents and their Brokers. Your communication skills and understanding about how buyers want to be treated to succeed in business dealings, especially in real estate is quite an accomplishment! I wish you never ending success!

Jun 17, 2023 06:32 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Beth, for sharing your experience.

Have a productive summer.

Jun 18, 2023 11:35 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Beth Atalay  checking in hope all is well miss your posts and our interactions, Endre

Aug 10, 2023 10:03 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Beth, sure miss your posts, but hope you are doing lots of business and enjoying life.

Aug 11, 2023 07:25 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Just reading this post and love it, Beth! Yes, I have experienced this very thing and, as you said, sometimes it's just $100 - that makes them feel as though they have 'won' and I'm good with that! 

Congratulations on the new client and I love that they trust you and are referring others to you as well. GREAT job, as always!

Aug 31, 2023 07:46 AM
Charles Ross - (785)-819-6944
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Excellent post.Thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful day and a blessed week

Sep 13, 2023 03:58 AM
Beth Atalay

Thank you Charles Ross - (785)-819-6944, have an awesome day!

Sep 13, 2023 06:53 AM