Today, we’re kicking off a new series called “Ask the Industry.” Here, we’ll talk to real estate professionals — brokers, agents, MLS executives, and more — to hear their thoughts on timely topics related to the real estate industry.
Today’s post features:
- Andrew Cristancho, Director of Marketing at Northern Nevada Regional MLS (NNRMLS)
- Lauren Matera, Agent with Coldwell Banker Realty in Annapolis, MD
- Bernice Ross, CEO & President of BrokerageUP!, Inc. & RealEstateCoach.com
- Joy Aumann, Co-Founder of LuxurySoCalRealty
As the market remains highly competitive, what are your top negotiation strategies?
Buyers should bring their best offers, but sellers should exercise patience
“Currently, our Northern Nevada market is as competitive as any have seen it. That — and the fact that we launched NAR’s Clear Cooperation Policy in April 2020, causing us to also launch an Active-Coming Soon-No Show listing status — is causing the perfect storm of sellers accepting offers before they are ready to show. This has caused so many concerns with our brokers that our board has voted to employ a 12-month pause on the status. With all of this swirling change in our market, I would advise any buyer’s agents to counsel their buyers to be ready to come with their best and finals early in the process.
In the market I mentioned above, it seems that some sellers might be tempted to jump at the first offer since those offers are coming so early in the process. I would advise listing agents to counsel their seller clients to do their due diligence and wait for the market to work. If the listing starts in Coming Soon, or is simply Active but not available to show yet, and there are several offers before showings, allow that listing to switch to a Showings-Allowed active status before deciding on a final sell price. Patience can be its own reward in this market.
Third, and this is not necessarily a negotiation tactic, but it can help you think on your feet as a real estate professional: KNOW YOUR BUSINESS TOOLS! Whether you use Homesnap, or other real estate software, decide which tools you need, then learn to be proficient with those tools. It will help you with decision-making and negotiations from contract to close.”
Andrew Cristancho, Director of Marketing, Northern Nevada Regional MLS (NNRMLS)
Be the most flexible, convenient offer: It’ll go a long way with anxious sellers
“With all the intensity in the market and buyers bringing their highest and best, I’ve found that one of my go-to negotiating strategies is simply flexibility. Sellers are eager to sell, but I’ve found that they are just as anxious as the buyer knowing they too will soon enter the market on the buying side.
If my buyers have flexibility in settlement or move-in date, giving the sellers some peace of mind is priceless. Sometimes we aren’t even the top-dollar offer, just the most convenient.”
Lauren Matera, Agent, Coldwell Banker Realty, Annapolis, MD
Keep this adage in mind: “The first one who speaks loses.”
“When it comes to negotiating, there’s an old adage: ‘The first one who speaks loses.’ For example, if someone asks you to lower your commission, you can say, ‘No.’ Sit there and wait for the seller’s response. They will often go on to another question.
If they press you on lowering your commission, respond by asking this: ‘You do want an agent who can negotiate the highest possible price for you, is that correct?’ (Wait for their response.) Assuming they say yes, respond with, ‘How effective do you think I would be in negotiating the highest possible price for your property when I couldn’t even negotiate a full commission for myself?’ Again, ‘The first one who speaks loses.’”
Bernice Ross, CEO & President, BrokerageUP!, Inc. and RealEstateCoach.com
Make a great first impression with the seller’s agent — the little things make all the difference
“Your first impression with the seller’s agent starts from the minute you are requesting the showing. Build rapport with the agent so they know you’re the type of agent that they want to work with.
Find out what’s most important to the sellers. Sometimes things like a 30- to 60-day rent-back can make all of the difference. Be prepared with proof of cash funds or pre-approval letter leaving a great impression of a prepared and motivated buyer.”