The lost art of negotiation

It seems like people have forgotten how to negotiate. Homeowner has home listed. Buyer makes offer for less than asking price, seller rejects it without negotiating. Homeowner has home listed, buyer makes offer that is less than asking price, seller decides to counter at the asking price. Buyer goes up a little higher, seller stops negotiating and moves on but also reduces the list price.

There are so many opportunities to negotiate when buying or selling real estate. Successful negotiations require some give and take. I have noticed that the slower negotiations are and the longer it takes each party to respond the less likely it is that parties will reach an agreement.

Low offers can be negotiated up and high asking prices can be negotiated down but it takes some effort. It is part of the home buying and selling process. I guess what I am saying is expect to negotiate and maybe even learn a little about how to negotiate. Here are some simple tips from LifeHacker. I particularly like tip number 5 about broadening the pie. Negotiations don’t have to be just about one thing like money. They can be about other terms like closing dates and who gets the swing set.

Often one party assumes if they offer X the other party will offer Y. Sometimes people behave as predicted but not always. It is important to keep an open mind, and to listen to what the other party really wants and keep going back and forth.

apple blossom
apple blossom

Even after one party says no, there is still room for negotiation, yet some people just don’t negotiate, which is a shame and a missed opportunity.

That low offer could end up being a higher offer and it could save the expense of holding a property for an extra six months only to get a similar offer on it.

Teams of agents or gangs of Realtors

Yesterday I had an experience that I have rather often this time of year. I was ignored by an entire team of agents as I tried to get their attention because I had an offer on one of their listings.

Some teams do a wonderful job but other teams are just a way to defuse responsibility so that no one is accountable or even available. When there is a problem they always have someone else to blame. When mistakes are made there is an assistant to blame. Kind of reminds me of my years working for a corporation.

If you choose to work with a team to sell your home make sure someone on the team is accountable to you and can be easily reached.

Happy Tax Day!

Post office – in honor of #30daysofbiking I rode my bike to the post office to drop off a check for the IRS


Your agent doesn’t have a clue

Everyone has to start somewhere to get experience. The way real estate agents get experience is by directly working with home buyers and sellers. An agent gets a license and then lets everyone know that he or she is ready to help everyone with the biggest and most expensive purchase or sale that most of us ever make.

It takes 90 hours of training and a passing mark on a test to get a real estate license. New licensees generally don’t know how to write a purchase agreement, or how to be a real estate agent. That is learned on the job. Every licensee is required to work under a broker and the broker is required to provide supervision. Most real estate companies spend a lot of time and money recruiting new agents because the failure rate among new agents is high.

Yet I read questions in Facebook groups and other places written by agents looking for advice and guidance. I am concerned by the questions and by the fact that they are not asking their brokers. Often agents are not aware of what they don’t know and end up learning the hard way.

Real estate agents learn on the job. A new agent will charge just as much as an experienced agent charges, and maybe even more because he or she has start up expenses and a less favorable commission split with the broker. (Agents split their commissions with their broker)

It doesn’t hurt to interview an agent and ask how long he or she has been a full time real estate agent. Agents should have references. A huge part of working with clients is problem solving. That takes some experience.


Brave or stupid?

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Last night I thought it would be fun to put the boots away and round up the assorted winter shovels, ice choppers and snow brooms and put them all way in the back of the tool shed.

Shovels and stuff

What could possibly go wrong? I’ll hold off on bringing the winter coats to the dry cleaners and putting the ice scrapper and snow brush that is on the floor in the back seat of my car in the trunk. Enjoy the weekend!