7 steps to a successful negotiation

Negotiating is a big challenge for a lot of agents, conquer your negotiation fears with these tips.

What is one of the biggest challenges for real estate agents? It’s Negotiation! In order to stop fearing the negotiation process, you must improve your skills. We believe that knowledge equals confidence and ignorance equals fear.

Negotiation happens not only when the offer is made, countered and hopefully accepted, but also during home inspections, appraisals, commission collection and many other times before your clients finally make it to the closing table.

Even the most experienced agents can still have moments of anguish or anxiety in real estate transactions. Maybe they’re in a higher price range than they’re used to, dealing with a seller with a strong personality or just can’t see eye to eye on key points of the transaction. It happens to the best of us.

New or inexperienced agents dread running up against a tough negotiator, like a buyer
or a seller who just won’t budge or an agent who they can’t seem to
communicate with.

Negotiation basics

Negotiation is a process where two or more parties with different needs and goals discuss
and find a mutually acceptable solution.

Negotiation is not the bludgeoning of the other side, making them cry, getting them to
hang up on you, faking them out or other obnoxious, non-tactics. Avoid this language and beware of agents (or clients) who lead with these types of conversations!

The following are our strategies to help agents find a mutually acceptable solution
in any negotiation. We’ll discuss both the buyer side and the seller side as we examine these points together.

The 7 steps to a successful negotiation

The key to a successful negotiation is to know all you can about the property. Whether you’re on the listing side or the buyer side, follow these seven steps before you start negotiating.

As Mark Twain said, “Supposing is good but finding out is better!”

Read the entire MLS description, including extended comments/agent comments

Many times the listing agent will actually state exactly what it will take for the seller to consider an offer. If that information is not included, call the agent and find out what the seller’s priorities are beyond the price.

Notice if there are any details listed

These details could include FHA approval, seller financing, closing cost assistance or as-is conditions.

Research the history of the property

Search Zillow, Google and even YouTube to see if it may have been for sale by owner prior to being listed with the current agent. This search should take you 5 minutes or less, but it could mean the difference between winning or losing the deal.

Find the Days on the Market so far

Is this a fresh listing or has it been on and off the market previously? Has the price been raised or lowered? Was it a pending sale that returned to the market? What caused that sale to fall through? Were there inspection or appraisal issues? It’s ok to call the listing agent and find out the answers to all of these questions.

What are the comparable sales for this property?

The most recently closed homes and currently pending sales are a great place to start. How many days or weeks did those homes take to sell? What is the list-to-sell price ratio? Are these numbers going up or down?

What is the active competition?

Does the buyer have any other choices? Is there new construction in the area? How does the subject property compare? If there are very few competing homes, you can always expect to pay more, not less for the property. Unless it’s been on the market for a long time. If that’s the case, find out why.

What else is important about this property?

Is it in a floodplain? Is it in an area that’s extremely competitive due to a corporation moving into town or a recent town improvement? What’s going to happen to that field behind the house? Are they really going to bury the power lines soon?

Tim and Julie Harris host the nation’s #1 podcast for real estate professionals. https:// has new podcasts every day. Tim and Julie have been real estate coaches for more than two decades, coaching the top agents in the country through different types of markets. to get started for FREE today.