So many negotiations take place during a real estate transaction. The seller wants the most for their home and the buyer wants to pay the least possible. Starting in the very beginning of the homebuying process, there are well-defined positions between those two principals. And, if you happen to be in a multi-offer situation, it just gets more complicated.
Plus, many emotions flow around the decision-making table during the entire process. Both sides of the transaction will have their own opinions/ideas/decisions – as well they should! Sellers have lived in the home for years, possibly, with cherished family experiences and maybe, having put considerable effort and money into multiple improvements.
On the buyer side of the table, only they know what they’ve personally experienced. Maybe they’ve lost out on several homes due to competing offers. Maybe their budget has been affected due to rising interest rates.
A year ago, buyers were waiving contingencies for financing, appraisals, inspections, and other things just to be competitive. The difference today is to make the home more affordable with the higher mortgage rates, buyers need the seller to make financial concessions but who is going to make their case to the seller for them?
A real estate agent essentially plays the role of “negotiator”. That third-party role has always been valuable to the success of the transaction but now, it may even be essential. Sellers enjoyed an extraordinary market in their favor for the past two years with incredible appreciation and so many buyers chasing so few homes, the sellers were able to write their own ticket.
The inflation and mortgage rate brakes have been slammed down on the real estate market – eliminating over 15 million mortgage-ready buyers. Any buyers who are still in the market do need to be cautious, so they don’t overextend themselves and overpay for a home.
So what can a real estate agent do? They can assist both the buyers and sellers in seeing things in an objective way that reflects the current market and not the way it was a year ago. Things have changed! All parties must be reasonable and not expect too much. They need to consider facts and not feelings.
In today’s world especially, negotiating either the sale or purchase of a home (or both in some cases) is just simply a competition. Think of “Amazing Race”. You’re competing for a home. Negotiating the sale or purchase of a home is a competition; for one person to get something, someone must give something up. If a person doesn’t feel comfortable with this, it is important to work with an agent who can bring their skills to the table on your behalf. As your advocate, they can champion your position and put transactions together that would not have been possible if it were left to the principals alone.
Training and experience are some of the best ways to have the negotiation experience needed when selling and/or purchasing a home. When interviewing an agent, ask them what role negotiation plays in their marketing plan if you’re a seller and purchase plan, if you are a buyer. An agent who cannot defend their position in the transaction may not be the right person to defend yours.
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