Some people are born negotiators. They seem to always get what they want and usually get the best deal, (at least according to them). If this describes you: congratulations. This article is for the rest of us. Those of us who learned about negotiation the hard way: by starting off slowly, tripping over our own words and gradually learning about negotiation.
A professional negotiator is objective. Then again, the professional has no emotional investment. This is her job. She has never lived in your house and does not think of it with the special fondness or remembrances of the times both good and not quite so good.
A professional negotiator has experience negotiating. This is obvious at first blush. It does not mean, however, that a professional negotiator can do a better job than you can. She may have experience and objectivity, but no one knows your house better than you do and no one knows what you want more than you do.
It Only Seems Scary
Nothing is more basic than shelter. Just the word, “shelter” evokes an image of a safe place, a respite from the storms of life. Also, when you sell your house, whether you do it by yourself or through an agent, you are doing it for money and lots of it. Your house is most likely your single largest asset. Combine this with the fact that change is hard and you may be getting onto an emotional roller coaster. Sure, it may feel scary, but keep in mind that many, many homeowners have successfully negotiated these waters before you and you will too.
Being flexible will help you. The ability to compromise will get you to the goal of: selling your house for the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time with the least aggravation to you. There is no one-size-fits-all way to do it, no one-size-fits-all solution.
Know Your Facts
Let me repeat that: KNOW YOUR FACTS! They will help make you stronger. The more actual facts you can muster, the stronger negotiator you will be. Even natural born negotiators learn their facts and accumulate more facts than the other side. The more you know about your neighborhood, city, schools, taxes, municipal services, and such, the stronger the position you will be in to meet prospective buyers’ objections, answer their questions and instill confidence. Facts will carry the day.
Be A Good Listener
Hear what is actually being said by your prospect. Listen carefully for what is actually being asked. Oftentimes, people have trouble expressing exactly what they mean. This is where listening to the actual question will prove useful. Obviously, you can only address your prospects concerns if you know what they are.
Do Not Take It Personally
It’s sometimes hard not to take it personally, but it will pay enormous dividends, in sleep not lost and aggravation avoided. This is one of the hallmarks of a professional: The ability to listen to someone criticize some aspect of your house and realize that it is not an attack on you or your home, but simply an expression of a concern that needs to be addressed.
Established Your Credibility
Make a promise and keep it. There is no better way to establish credibility in the eyes of your prospective buyer. You may not have the answers to all of the questions at your finger tips. That is okay. Simply say, “I’ll find the answer to that and call you back.”
PROMISES KEPT MEAN TRUST CREATED
Return All Calls
Returning all of the calls is where you can establish the rhythm of the relationship and keep it your own. It is very important while in the midst of negotiating to stay in control of the process. You should return all calls and promptly, meaning by the end of the day, unless it is something that requires immediate attention.
Start With The Contract Basics
Part of achieving a successful outcome during negotiations requires an understanding of when certain issues are best addressed. Start off with the basics of price, contingencies, and closing. Concentrating on the basics will simplify the negotiations by narrowing the issues. After all, if you cannot agree on the price, it does not matter if everything else is perfect.
Take A Step Back: Focus on the Negotiations
If you can maintain your focus, it will pay dividends. Even if you are going through the worst of times, the most difficult period of your life, step back and maintain your cool. Save your complaints and consolations for your friends. Do not muddy the water of negotiation with your personal travails.
This is the first of a series on Negotiating Your Home Sale.
© 2007 Complete Books Publishing, Inc.