6 Rules to Boost Your Negotiating Skills

As billionaire entrepreneur Karl Albrecht once put it, negotiation is about starting out with an ideal and ending up with a deal. Learn what you need to do to get buyers and sellers moving towards closing.

JANUARY 2010 | BY RICH LEVIN

Negotiating skills are often minimized or overlooked completely in training and coaching programs for real estate professionals. Yet negotiating is a dominant facet of a successful practitioner's business.

In a recent article, I offered the top 10 rules for successful negotiations aimed specifically at real estate pros who might have difficulty for five reasons:

  1. Practitioners are in a difficult position as third-party negotiators.
  2. They frequently have little or no formal training in negotiating.
  3. Buyers and sellers are usually inexperienced at negotiation and often fearful and jaded toward it.
  4. Buyers and sellers are usually negotiating over their largest and most important asset and investment.
  5. Buyers and sellers are going through a life experience that can make them feel insecure.

I have some rules that will help you add confidence and strength to your negotiating skills in thorny situations. They will make your business and your life less stressful, more satisfying and more productive.

Rule 1: At your presentations, prepare the seller or buyer for how the negotiations are going to go.

You might say something like:

"May I go over what happens when a buyer is interested in purchasing your home? The buyer and agent write an offer that they deliver to me that I then present to you. Here's a copy of an offer and the additional paperwork that goes with it. There are more items than just price that have to be negotiated. I like to prepare you for all of it so that you can be more comfortable and confident when we're actually negotiating with the buyer. May I take a moment and go over it with you?"

Then, as you review it, explain all the items that might be negotiated in your market. The language is similar for a buyer.