Mastering negotiations: Essential skills for real estate success

With the increase in interest rates, and longer days on market causing buyers to hesitate, it’s now critical to brush up your negotiations skills. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, mastering the art of negotiation is crucial for success. 

Our job as a great salesperson is to help people overcome their fear and hesitation to achieve the goal they have set. 

A true negotiator has a high level of skill to see all the pieces of the deal, remove their own emotion, predict the potential pitfalls ahead, assess the personalities, and navigate the communication. The more masterful you become as a negotiator the quicker your deals will come together.  In this market master negotiators are going to shine. After years spent negotiating over 3,000 transactions here are some of my tips. 

When meeting with a client, discuss the fact that you are a master negotiator. Share with them your reviews and testimonials that showcase your negotiating skills. 

Greater product knowledge gives you confidence. Preview property and study the market daily. Then you can confidently speak to what is available on the market. Speak to your lender the first of each week to get a recap of the market and the programs and trends that you can include in your negotiations. 

Memorize basic scripts to focus on the person in front of you. Speak clearly and calmly to avoid confusion and indecision. Keep guiding and counseling them to help them see the value of an amazing offer. 

Focus on their motivation and concerns. Establish true rapport by making the conversation about them, not about you. Ask meaningful questions and tap into their emotions and provide logical data to help them make decisions.

Master controlling your ego and emotions. Flatline your emotion so you don’t raise your client’s anxiety. Calm down and slow down. Provide acknowledgement and validation and allow a way for them to save face in tough negotiations. 

Eliminate argumentative language and soften your tonality. Come from curiosity instead of judgment. “I am glad to hear that there’s no pressure on you, and I am fine with whatever you choose to do. So, what are the other options you would like to pursue? Can you keep the house and purchase a new home? Maybe renting it could be a great option. Let’s take a look. However, with your current mortgage, you may not be able to pull out enough cash and may have a negative cash flow. Do you have funds from somewhere else? If not, maybe we should take another look at this offer.”

Focus on getting them into reality rather than making them wrong. If the situation gets heated, take a break and come back stronger. Be patient and anticipate objections and questions.

Learn from failures and ask yourself what you did right, what didn’t go well, and what you can do differently next time.

Do your research and prepare for the meeting. Set a standard for yourself for any negotiation that you have to handle. Give yourself 24 hours to prepare and 15 to 20 minutes before you go into that meeting or conversation to shut everything else off in the world to get your head in the game. 

More options and data can lead to indecision. Assess what data they need because of their personality. 

The more simple, clean and calm your communication is the better off you will be. 

Don’t give up too easily. Keep counseling, guiding and questioning to help your client see the validity of their situation. 

Here are some of my book recommendations to help with Negotiations: Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Jean Greaves and Travis Bradberry, Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss, The Seven Powers of Questions by Dorothy Leeds, and Simply Said by Jay Sullivan.

Debbie De Grote is the CEO and Co-Founder of Forward Coaching.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of HousingWire’s editorial department and its owners.

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