The moment you have been waiting for since listing your home has arrived. You receive a call or text from your real-estate agent saying that he or she has an offer to present to you. While this may be exciting, it can also be nerve-racking. Most homeowners are not equipped with the necessary skills to work through the negotiation process. That is why it’s important to have an agent, who is a skilled negotiator, working for you. We often hear more about the importance of marketing a home that’s for sale than the importance of the negotiating that brings a sale together. However, having an agent with effective negotiating skills is a major factor in whether your home sells and in determining the price that you ultimately receive for it.

Excellent negotiators don’t just have the hard skills – those that have been learned and developed over years of training and experience; they also have the soft skills that can make the difference in achieving an effective outcome. Negotiators who possess the soft skills pick up on subtleties and nuance. They can read people well…their body language and inflections in voice; they can read between the lines. They are able to maintain positive working relationships with the other side. Perhaps most importantly, top negotiators have strong listening skills!

While your agent negotiates on your behalf, you need to work in partnership with him or her through the whole process. From many years of experience negotiating real-estate deals, I know there are a few things that are especially important for homeowners to keep in mind when the sale of their home is being negotiated.

Be informed and prepared. Solid agents explain the whole process to you up front and as it unfolds. Communication with your agent is key and can help avert misunderstandings. Ask questions if there are things you don’t understand. Discuss the approach that will be taken. In your mind, decide what you are prepared to accept based on your personal circumstances; and once you have a strategy in place, stick with it.

Be Patient. Good outcomes take time. Don’t get trapped in a sense of urgency. Although time is of the essence and you have to work within time constraints, work through the process methodically.

 Keep emotion out of it. Don’t take the negotiations personally. Keep your eye on achieving the desired result and don’t get caught in an emotional mindset. Stay clear-headed and calm, and remain in control of the situation.

Deals sometimes don’t come together, but it should not be because the agents haven’t worked hard, going the extra mile, to bring it to fruition. If you have a solid relationship with your agent – one that is based on trust – you can be assured that he or she is working in your best interest to achieve the best possible outcome for you!

By: Don Ketchum


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