Tom Polk, ABR, CRS
Austin area real estate,
 over 30 years done properly

"What if they won't play?"

Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In


When you make any offer, the seller will give you one of four responses:
  • Accept it
  • Reject it
  • Counter it (most likely)
  • Sit on it (least likely)

        Professional negotiators operate on a premise which most novices don’t understand: the other side always has power over you. You want something, but they have it. Sellers may not feel this power or may not choose to wield their strength.

        Negotiations are wonderful when dealing with people like that. But what if they exercise their power? How do you negotiate without giving in?

        The secret lies in keeping your options open.

        You can anticipate their responses. You can plan for contingencies.

        If you find yourself painted into a corner, you will discover it is your fault, not theirs. Novice negotiators lose by issuing ultimatums, closing the door to other options. They narrow their choices to giving in and losing face or losing the home they want.

         Most successful home buyers and sellers reach basic agreement just after the sellers’ first counteroffer. The contract may get fine tuned after that, but real estate negotiations rarely survive three go arounds on substantive issues. If the sellers’ counteroffer to you is very far from what you might accept, be prepared to move on to another property.

        Each side generally expects the other to compromise on the contract terms at least a little. Not infrequently, one side refuses to budge, resulting in an unpleasant surprise. A buyer usually experiences this surprise when the sellers have priced the property about as low as they are willing to go.

        If this happens to you, you have gained valuable information: you know the lowest amount the sellers will take. You may also have gained important information about other terms that are important to the sellers. The best use of this information is not to outwit the sellers as if they were opponents, but to invent solutions for mutual gain.

        The sellers or their agent may not know how to do this. It may be solely up to you.

        The key to getting the property you want is to reach agreement on substantive issues within the first two go arounds. To accomplish this, you must know clearly what is in your interest and learn what is in the sellers’ interest. If those interests are not in conflict, you move forward with negotiations.

        If your best alternative to a negotiated agreement is to look for another property or to wait for the sellers’ motivation to change, then you simply stand your ground and live with the consequences.

Call Tom: 512-327-9310 x 234

C l i c k  h e r e  to  e m a i l  T o m

Stanberry & Associates has operated as a real estate brokerage firm licensed in the State of Texas since 1985.

Tom Polk is a real estate broker licensed in the State of Texas.

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