The first step to successfully negotiating is to determine if you (or your client) is willing to walk away. For the agent it’s business but it’s often emotional for the buyer/seller so you need to know their position.
Next step is research. The more you know the better you can negotiate. When they say, “but the same house down the street sold for $100,000 less,” you should know that it smelled like smoke, had pets destroy the carpet, and it was sold under financial distress. Do the research so you can defend your position.
When you get to the actual negotiations, the person who is talking the most is often the one who is losing so shut up and listen. When the other person keeps talking they’ll often show their cards and you’ll be able to use those hints to strengthen your position. And be patient. If you’re rushing the negotiation you seem desperate. Plus, the quieter you stay the more nervous the other person will get which in turn often makes them talk even more. Use your poker face. Less is more.
Now that you see their cards, use this information to show them how they benefit. Highlight the details that are important to them, the quick possession or the children’s play set that the kids fell in love with, while asking what you want. Remember you can negotiate anything, even the cat. Satisfy them and they’ll be more likely to do the same for you.
If you’re representing a buyer ask for extras so you have more to give up during the negotiations if needed – TVs, lawnmower, bar stools, etc. For a seller, if they ask for the play set, ask for a tighter condition period. Don’t give without getting. If I agree to that, you do this. Make them earn it.
Among the most important, don’t take actions and behaviour personally. If it gets emotional someone, or likely everyone, will lose. Don’t let the deal get side tracked because someone is rude, especially if it’s the agent and not their client.
The best case for all negotiations is when both parties can walk away feeling as though they won. It’s possible because it’s rare that both sides are looking for the exact same thing.