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There are many tactical ideas about real estate negotiation but in my opinion not enough is said about the emotional relationship between a buyer, a seller and an agent.  Buyers and sellers don’t often meet in person.  This can be a very good thing in many ways because the agents take the direct confrontation out of the process.  But the downside of this lack of interaction is that buyers and sellers don’t get a chance to make a personal connection.  They don’t get a chance to like each other.  Their first interaction is the offer for purchase and this can be a very explosive introduction.  “Hello Mr. Seller, nice to meet you.  You don’t know me but I like your house but I think you are stupid to ask that much.  I only think your house is worth $xxx.  Oh, and by the way I want to keep your refrigerator, your window coverings and your grandma’s chandelier.”  This usually doesn’t inspire an invitation to dinner.

Stephen Covey’s idea of an emotional bank account in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” can be easily translated to the parties in a real estate transaction.  Watch the video to see what a buyer, seller and agent can do to make friends with the other sides of the transaction.  In doing so, negotiations will go much more smoothly and buyers and sellers won’t mind sitting together at the closing table (this by the way is getting less common).

Advice for Home Buyers:

  • Don’t make an unreasonably low offer.
  • Don’t ask for personal items which have been excluded from the sale.
  • Don’t be unreasonable and uncaring toward the seller.
  • Do write a personal letter so that the sellers can get to know you as a person (family).
  • Do compliment them on their home.
  • The goal is for the seller to want you to live in their home.

Advice for Home Sellers:

  • Have the house in tip top showing condition.
  • Fill out all disclosures accurately and thoroughly.  Don’t try to gloss over the details.  Giving more detail will earn the Buyers trust and respect.
  • Respond to offers quickly.
  • Keep the communication lines open.

Advice for Realtors:

  • Treat the other Realtor with respect, courtesy and go in with a win-win attitude.
  • Remember that you are not the one who is buying or selling.  So don’t make decisions for your client.  Lay out the options and let them decide.