The importance of negotiation

We’ve all been there- after weeks or maybe even months of searching, your client has found “the one” and it’s time to write up an offer. You painstakingly craft a clean, well-researched, well-intended offer. Then you respectfully submit to the listing agent and wait for a response.

While you wait, all sorts of scenarios play out in your head… Maybe the Seller will accept it as written. Or maybe there will be a simple counter-offer, an easy one for your Buyer to accept. Maybe… wait, you were supposed to have gotten a response by 5 pm and it’s 6:30 pm. Or perhaps you’re on the other end – you receive the well-written offer on your listing and happily send back an accepted offer to crickets. So you follow up with a call – only to get the dreaded “this voicemail is full” recording. And so it begins – the all too common deal with a difficult cross-agent. But why is it this way, and why do we set or tolerate these standards?

Clients hire a professional realtor for many reasons, but one very basic and essential one stands out…NEGOTIATE on behalf of a client.

Often times, negotiations break down because respective representatives can’t or won’t negotiate, or communicate effectively enough to get the deal done on behalf of both the buyer and the seller. Agents stubbornly butt heads and create conflict which essentially stalls effective communications, leading to a break down and a failed purchase and sale attempt and unhappy clients.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy or simple solution to this dilemma. You want to (actually, NEED to) do the best job possible and get the best results for your client, it will all boil down to a few basics:

  • Communicate: Just because you don’t hear back doesn’t mean your communications aren’t being received. Often, agents may quickly read an email or text and believe there’s no action needed on their part. You must follow up. And you must do it often and repeatedly until you get some response or acknowledgment.
  • Document: Make sure you are documenting everything. The number of attempts, responses, and items omitted from responses. Should push come to shove on any single point, make sure you’ve documented your calm, persistent, attempts.
  • Overcompensate: It’s not unusual for a lender, the title company, and even the other agent’s clients to reach out to you for an answer to something that is clearly the other agent’s responsibility. It’s just what you have to do to get your client over the finish line. So do it for them.
  • Know when to escalate: Make sure you know when it’s appropriate to go to the other agent’s broker. It might not make you popular with the cross-agent, but the goal is to look out for your own client’s interests.

When the day is done, the real key to knowing how to manage a deal with a difficult agent is remembering why you’re in this business. Go hard, negotiate fairly, honestly and with your clients best interests in mind, but do this with respect, professional courtesy to and a touch of empathy towards your fellow realtor, being mindful that this was likely the primary reason you were hired in the first place.

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