Negotiating Tips for Agents
Tuesday, May 03, 2016
Written By: Shavonne Martin
“Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus”- Gary Keller
Since 2014 Williamson County REALTORS' have been experiencing a multiple offer market. One of the main factors in securing an executed contract is the ability to effectively negotiate on behalf of their client. It is important to have clear expectations on what each parties want before negotiation begins.
For example; when a listing agent calls to get feedback after a showing appointment, they may ask if the buyer has a home to sell. A buyer’s agent may call prior to showing a home to find out if the seller needs a lease back. Knowing these pertinent facts upfront could be a strong point of negotiation if handled correctly. In some cases, a seller may consider an acceptable sales price if they need a lease back option over a higher offer with no option to lease back. Always listen to understand, ask more questions to determine everyone’s BIG WHY.
Negotiations start when someone says no. A wise person knows that a no is an opportunity to get a yes! Lead with facts and not emotions, keeping in mind professionalism and integrity of not only yourself but our industry and the client’s you represent.
It’s always best to convey all messages to the person responsible for making the decision. After confirming what is being offered or suggested relay that message back to the appropriate person and give them the opportunity to respond. Too many times negotiations are ruined because the message wasn’t relayed as originally stated. And too often personal agendas get in the way! Even if your client has instructed you that certain terms will not be considered, you should always present that information to your client and let them make the final decision rather than assuming.
It’s not always about money, as I mentioned before the timing or move out details may take precedence over monetary gain. And yet we know in most cases money is a critical part of the transaction. When negotiating, it is important to not promise or guarantee things out of our control. Use statements that put your client in control of their financial decisions such as:
“Do you feel comfortable with this price”
“If your offer is not accepted will you be satisfied with your highest and best offer”
Giving your clients power to decide the amount they accept or offer on a home will reduce the remorse that often happens when a house sells quickly or an offer is accepted right away. You may be looking for a pat on the back and your client may be feeling like you didn’t have their back. Help them make the decision and weigh out all of their options based on information you provided before and during the process. This strategy usually leads to a happy and more transparent professional relationship.
Be even headed, my broker, Avis Wukasch always says “You never know what people are dealing with” how many times have you later found out that someone who was hard to negotiate with was caring for a sick family member or had a major crisis going on in their life.
It’s possible to be calm and both firm, you can state facts without emotions. At the same time, you can empathize and be purposeful with your clients bottom line goal. Just because the other party and your client may have different agendas and goals it doesn’t make one or the other wrong. After all; you need both sides to make this deal effective so keep that in mind and always seek a win/win solution.
Even the most seasoned and successful agents find themselves being burned out and needing a refresher on negotiations. I happen to love the class The Language of Sales which focuses on the words we use, and how we use them.
Over 39,000 agents have the CNE Designation (Certified Negotiation Expert) which was just held at the WCREALTORS this month and is compared to national negotiation programs such as Harvard & Wharton Training which do not focus on real estate specific topics.
WCREALTOR is hosting Many Faces of Negotiating 5/20, 9am-4pm for only $60! Register online: http://www.wcrealtors.org/Calendar/events/5988 Both members and non-members may register online
Keep the end in mind, be solution focused, and most importantly be flexible.
About the Author:Shavonne Martin currently served as the 2016 President of WCREALTORS. Since 2008 Shavonne has been very active at Williamson County Association of REALTORS®. As soon as her membership was active she served on the Community Service and Scholarship Committees. Shavonne was the Chairman for the Marketing and PR Committee in 2010. In 2011 Shavonne served as the Chairman of Community Service, and was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for WCREALTORS in 2012. One year later, in 2013 Shavonne was installed on the Executive Committee as Treasurer and also serving as Chairman of the Finance Committee.