Negotiations are often an inevitable part of real estate transactions.  Unless you are buying a house in a bidding type atmosphere, which most often occurs in foreclosures, you are going to have to deal with some aspect of negotiations, on price, terms or both.  Some people relish this and see it as a game of winner-take-all, some people dread it (and they buy their cars at Carmax) and some just deal with it as a means to the end.

Things begin to go bad when people let their emotions enter into negotiations, which happens often in real estate sales.  The worst situation possible is when they start negotiating with the buyer or seller like a sparring partner.  They completely loose track of the goal (to buy or sell the home) and start to see themselves in a Greek warrior scene, mono-a-mono.  They overlook large items that should be important to them and focus on smaller things that have gotten under their skin.  They focus on the fact that the seller wants to take the curtains, or the built-in coffee maker or won’t fix the leaky sink.  All of these items are a fraction of a percent of the purchase, but they can’t get beyond it.

7 Tips to help take the Emotion out of the Negotiation

1) The most important thing you can do as buyer or seller is negotiate with YOURSELF, not the other side.  Figure out what the most you are willing to pay (or sell) for the home is, including any repairs, replacing items the seller might want to take and negotiate to that point.  Ignore the perceived pettiness of the other side and don’t let your feelings for the other side’s behavior and negotiating tactics blow your deal.  Keep coming back to negotiating with yourself.

2) Remember, you only have to deal the buyer or seller for 30-60 days, after that the home is yours (or you have moved on) and you never have to deal with them again.

3) Stay focused on the property and your deal with yourself and tune out the white noise of the other side.

4) See their demands and counters as pawns which you use to get to the end of negotiations.  Some are disposable and will actually be used strategically to get you what you want in the end.

5) Stay focused on the property and the total deal.

6) Use your Realtor to run interference, this helps diffuse some of the emotion.

7) Wait to respond.  Sometimes people respond out of emotion and they think better of it later.  If your contract gives you a deadline, don’t feel that you need to respond prior to then, let all the possible outcomes come to light before you answer.  Don’t negotiate from emotion but as a form of strategy.

It’s not about winning or loosing the battle of the negotiation, it’s about winning or loosing the sale, stay focused on that and you should be fine.

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