How can I negotiate for a good price?
Every seller dreams of finding a buyer who will pay the full asking price for all costs without quibbling over the leaky spot in the roof and a few roaches in the cupboards.
Every buyer dreams of a seller who will accept 50% of the appraised value, pay for a whole new roof, and throw in the expensive living room drapes as a reward for being so nice.
In reality, both buyers and sellers almost always negotiate and compromise, giving up some of what they want in order to achieve their most important goals. The trick is to find a way to make both parties come out of the transaction feeling like winners.
This is where seasoned real estate agents come in handy. They know that the parties to a sale often become emotionally involved. Acting as third party intermediaries in a negotiation, they can provide the emotional distance that will allow the parties to put a sale together.
Experience can also help agents develop a nose for finding the important issues in a negotiation. A seller might, for example, make an offhand comment that suggests he is unwilling to pay closing costs. The real estate agent, sensitive to such a hint, might later suggest an offer in which the buyer agrees to pay closing costs but the seller comes down a little extra on the price.
Or the buyer might be adamant about acquiring the seller’s living room drapes with the home because they go perfectly with her furniture. An experienced negotiator would know that the buyer’s inflexibility on this issue might make her willing to bend on some other issue that is less important to her, but vital to the seller. The key to being a good negotiator is to listen closely and hear what people want.