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5 Ways To Get The Upper Hand In a Real Estate Negotiation

This post is featured on behalf of Adam Pepka.

It’s a dog-eat-dog world in the real estate market. One slip of the tongue or a missed detail on a contract can cost you a small fortune if you’re not careful. When it comes to negotiations, having the upper hand is everything. Whether you are buying, selling, or renting, pay close attention to these helpful tips on how to negotiate your next real estate agreement.

1. Know Your Bottom Line

If you want to be taken seriously in a negotiation, you need the constitution to walk away from the table when a deal doesn’t suit you. Before every negotiation, establish a set number you’re willing to buy, sell, or rent at; if whoever’s at the other end of the table can’t agree to that number or a better one, walk away. It’s easy to let your emotions get the better of you when you want a particular piece of property, but it’s crucial that you stay firm in your conviction. It’s always better to walk away disappointed than agree to a bad deal that could cripple you financially. Consider your options with North Coast Financial Inc. – you may have more options than you think.

2. Breaking Points 

Typically, negotiations will follow the standard positional bargaining routine. An example of positional bargaining would be offering a real estate agent $325,000 on a $350,000 listing and they counter with $345,000 until you eventually meet in the middle. If you want to avoid this frivolous dance, consider mirroring aspects of the other side’s arguments and positions for a better number. If they claim that the house is in an exceptional neighborhood, be ready to counter with flaws that could devaluate the property. Another way to gain leverage is to present a hard money offer. Hard money loans in Los Angeles are often used in negotiations to secure exclusive properties in upscale neighborhoods since the funds can be dispersed rapidly, enabling a quick deal in a hot market. 

3. Draw out Hidden Factors

In negotiations, your counterpart isn’t likely to lay their cards out on the table, and if they do, you should be skeptical. Discovering hidden motivations could give you an edge at the negotiation table; a seller could be in a financial bind, transferring to a different state for work, or moving across the country to take care of a sick relative. You should always ask open-ended questions that might reveal aspects of the seller’s position and hidden motivations. Try to chat with a seller or buyer before the start of the negotiation to draw out any information that could be used to your advantage. A negotiation occurs anytime two parties are interacting; the devil is in the details, so stay sharp the entire time you’re with someone and you could potentially make a better bargain.

4. Be Reasonable and Respectful

Deals beget deals; even if you plan on being a onetime home buyer, it’s important to be respectful and reasonable during a negotiation. You never know when you may need to set up a friend with a good realtor or move due to an emergency—as the saying goes “you catch more bees with honey than vinegar.” If you remain polite and cordial during your negotiations, a realtor or seller may be much more inclined to compromise and work with you. Staying respectful is especially important for rental agreements. If you want to renew your lease, get a low-security deposit, or have flexible move out dates, establishing a good rapport with your counterpart is vital.

5. Accidental Contracting

Memos, Letters of Intent, and sales agreement are all paperwork that could be seen as legally binding contracts. Be extremely careful when it comes to correspondence between you and the entity that you’re negotiating with. If you include a disclaimer in all of your exchanges that states ***this correspondence is for negotiation purpose only*** you can avoid running into any legal trouble if a deal goes sideways. Some buyers and sellers will use specific legal language to ensnare the opposing party into a faulty real estate deal. Be extremely careful during the correspondence process, and never sign anything that hasn’t been thoroughly reviewed by an attorney.

For instance, diving in the deep end with one-to-one negotiations isn’t your only outlet — and in some cases it can be detrimental to your dreams of being a homeowner. Letting your bottom line slip is an expensive mistake, so the finer details may be better placed in the hands of professionals.

Consequently, buyers often use a mortgage broker to incorporate professional distance between themselves and the dotted line. A broker like Breezeful will negotiate with lenders on your behalf while providing valuable advice and experience. This takes the worry of negotiation out of your hands without relinquishing control over your finances. Such experts will act on your instructions and broker a deal under these strict terms.

Keep these five helpful tips in mind as you negotiate your next real estate deal to achieve success and avoid legal problems. 

Adam enjoys a comfortable life in Tucson, Arizona but is proud of the humble beginnings from which he came. Growing up reading authors such as Timothy Ferris, and feeling inspired by their bootstrap beginnings, Adam was determined to find financial freedom himself. He soon became a successful real estate mogul after one deal led to another, and not long after Adam began his own fix-and-flip enterprise. Aspiring investors and HGTV fans alike enjoy reading his blog about the various challenges and accomplishments he finds in each property renovation, as well as the tips and tricks he suggests for those considering their own fixer-upper. In between remodels, Adam enjoys teaching his audience about various investment strategies and how any Average Joe like himself can build a profitable portfolio. Apart from real estate, he’s very much interested in Silicon Valley, venture startups and the technology industry. He watches that arena with a careful eye, and is the first to alert his readers to major news or events.