Let’s Make A Deal
Let’s Make a DealNegotiating a deal on a house is like going on a summer vacation with your family. Not surprisingly, everyone has a different idea about what they want to do. Dad can’t wait to get up at dawn and go deep-sea fishing. Mom is interested in an antique show in the downtown historic district. Justin wants to try kite boarding, and Wade is leaving his options open so he’ll be free to pursue any and all spontaneous opportunities. How do you negotiate so many disparate interests and still manage to accomplish your individual goals? That is the challenge. Whether it’s a family on vacation or a buyer and seller conferring on the sale of a property, the objective is to consider everyone’s needs, including your own.Prioritize Your GoalsBefore you even receive an offer, determine what are your most important goals in selling the property. For some, timing is the most significant consideration for a variety of reasons. You may have to transfer to another state for your job, a loved one may need you nearby or you want to buy another house and the sale is dependent upon selling your current home. Closely related to timing is the need for some of us to have certainty about the sale of our home. We have the “stop the world I want to get off” syndrome of too much happening too fast and we want the carousel to stop, now. We might be dealing with a serious illness, a divorce or a pending foreclosure. Although price is not always a seller’s primary concern, it can be. The triplets have decided they want to attend Yale next year or you’ve decided to purchase that villa in Tuscany you’ve had your eye on. Prioritizing your goals will dictate how you price, market and negotiate contractual terms when you sell your home.Remember the Golden RuleAfter you’ve determined your primary objectives, it’s time for your Realtor to learn about the buyers and pass the information along to you. The more you know about the buyer’s needs, the better. Your Realtor should listen attentively to the buyer or the buyer’s agent. She should ask both general and specific questions so you can understand what the buyer’s aims are. Checking back with them for relevant details and then summarizing what she’s heard will verify agreement on the facts before she presents their position to you. During this process your Realtor is demonstrating on your behalf that you respect their needs in addition to your own and are striving to create a win/win situation. We tend to treat others as we are treated. In 1982 my husband Steve and I decided to sell our home in Tucson and move to Glenwood. Steve and the buyer argued back and forth about a fair selling price as I listened in shock. Steve: “I think we should reduce the price.” Buyer: “No, I think your price is fair.” Each of them was trying to outdo the other in being reasonable and fair-minded. My husband won and we sold the house for a little under its appraised value. Although I don’t recommend this particular strategy, it illustrates my point. Take the high road. Ease stress by working towards a shared goal.Problem? No problemAfter you have both shared your priorities you’re ready to embark on building a solution. One proven strategy for obtaining consensus is brainstorming. Encourage your Realtor to brainstorm with the buyer or buyer’s agent. While brainstorming you don’t censor, justify or debate what is being discussed. With input from both parties, Realtors should try on concepts until everyone’s needs are met. Whenever possible, offer choices to the buyer. Stay open-minded and flexible about points that are less important to you. Think about what is easy for you to give and valuable for you to receive. For example, when we moved to Glenwood Springs, we bought a house that was under construction and couldn’t be completed by the time we arrived. Since we had to have a place to store our furnishings the seller agreed we could use the two-car garage in the unfinished house. Everyone was happy. Negotiating Tips• Emphasize cooperation instead of power struggles.• Communicate with clean, clear statements that are not inflammatory.• Explore difficulties and then focus on positive solutions.• Attack the problem, not the people.• Always give a counter offer – it keeps the dialogue going.• Put your resolution in writing and be specific.By putting these strategies into effect you’ll not only be more successful in reaching your goals, you’ll have the satisfaction of helping the buyers meet theirs. Warning: These techniques are not guaranteed to resolve all conflicts during your next family vacation.Please call or write me with questions or comments. I can be reached at HomeFocus@SharonRBeattie.com or (970) 618-8966. Sharon BeattieSharon R. Beattie Real Estate Co.Sharon R. Beattie Real Estate Co.
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