Learn These Negotiation How-To’s
By Ashley Smith & Piotr Golinski
Like any other skill, negotiation takes practise and work to truly master. What differs in this type of skill though is the fact that it’s also a type of communication, a language on its own of sorts. And to be successful means reading both verbal and non verbal cues as well as subtext, knowing what it is you’re talking about, your goals, and above all, keeping a clear head with little emotion. Read on to find some tips that have have helped me to succeed in negotiating the best price in real estate.
1. Do Your Homework
When you hire an agent to list your home, you need to do your homework to figure out which agent suits your needs best and is knowledgeable about your specific area. If you don’t research local agents and their statistics on selling, how will you know whether or not you are hiring the right person to sell your home? Certain agents will know how to play the market and often these agents are also not discount agents. In this business you get what you pay for and if you want to maximize your sale price, you need to be employing the best agent, not the cheapest. Once you have a good agent locked in, they’ll be able to help keep you updated and educated on the market; what is selling in your area and how could this affect what your home could sell for? You’ll need to know what’s happening not just in your market, but globally, is the market strong? Is it taking a dip? Should you encourage a bidding war or list at value? It’s better to know exactly what you’re getting into so you can decide how to price your home. Basically, do your homework!
2. Define Your Goals
Know the range you’d like to sell your home for and what your timeline looks like. Do you want to buy before you sell first or vice versa? Creating a game plan will make your life easier and help you to ride out the process feeling less stressed and capable of confidently making important decisions. Once you decide on your goal, create a range for yourself and have a number that is the lowest you’d sell for. Do not go below this number. If it doesnt sell, try a new strategy. There are always ways to get you a higher price if you put in the work and the top quality agent that you’ve employed should be there with alternate strategies to help you reach those goals.
3. Renovate & Stage
Time and time again I have told clients the best strategy for selling your home for more money is by staging. Staging should be covered by your realtor and if it isnt, you need a new realtor. Staging costs are typically north of $3,000 per month! It is extremely costly, but also extremely effective. Buyers want to envision themselves in your home in a way that aligns with their vision of the home. Stagers know how to pick furniture that compliments the home in a way that pulls this vision out of buyers into the real space. Furthermore, if the space is already nicely done, small details like a fresh coat of paint or a bathroom face-lift do go a long way, so why not put in that extra bit of work now to get a higher price?
4. Only Talk As Much As You Need To
You don’t need to give the buyer all the information you could possibly provide about the home or your expectations on price because you do not want to them to feel like they are making a wrong decision or putting doubts in their mind. This does not go for important details though, you legally must inform buyers about any material defects with your property, but you do not need to tell them if, for example, the AC unit runs really loud or you can hear sirens from your bedroom window. Paint your property in the best light only!
5. Remain Calm & Avoid Getting Emotional
When anyone gets angry or emotional in a negotiation, the opposing party gets a sense that their offer is the best on the table and that you need them. If you are trying to maximize your sale price, this is not the way to do this. You should remain calm and act like you have a plethora of offers available to you. Why should a buyer increase their budget or really try to meet you in the middle if they already know you’ll come down to them?
In short, negotiation is a delicate conversation that requires confidence, quick thinking, and the knowledge to back up your statements. It’s very difficult to bullshit your way into a higher price because it’s easy to see right through someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about. This is why I always recommend top quality agents with proven results who have experience in negotiating. They know what they’re talking about and know what they can get for you. If you are looking for someone like this, reach out to someone at the Ashley Smith Properties team and see how we can exceed beyond the results you’re looking for.