Do You Negotiate or Manipulate?
Do You Negotiate or Manipulate?
In the frenzy of a transaction, the line between negotiation and manipulation can sometimes be gray. Negotiation is the ability to bring about compromise between two or more people while manipulation seeks to satisfy only one’s own wishes.
Real-life examples of manipulation include encouraging a seller to accept an offer exactly as written without trying to negotiate a better deal for your client; advising your client to accept an offer before presenting other offers later the same day; or withholding comparables sold from your comparative market analysis to help get a lower list price.
The negotiation process during a real estate transaction should never involve any form of manipulation. Unfortunately, sometimes we can venture off into this area without realizing it. To avoid this trap, keep these tips in mind as you try to negotiate the best deal for your clients.
- Realize that negotiation is a process. Regardless of how quickly you want an outcome to a negotiation, some people need time to consider an offer or need to discuss it with a family member. Although you may sometimes need to encourage your clients to act quickly so they don’t lose out on a particular offer, respect the negotiation process and honor your client’s right to think it over.
- Avoid high-pressure tactics. Remember there is a wanted result sought by all parties in the transaction—to transfer the ownership of a home. So when a disagreement arises during the negotiation, look for solutions that will appease both sides without forcing the issue. High-pressure tactics do not work. If this is something that you use, the practice will backfire on you and eventually lead to a short-term career in the real estate industry.
- Let both sides win. In almost all negotiations, both sides want to win. If one person was always victorious, then someone else would leave the transaction unhappy. It’s important to understand that to have a successful negotiation, both parties need to feel as though they’ve won something. Your clients might not always get exactly what they want in the transaction, but if you can achieve most of their goals and allow the other party to achieve a portion of its desired outcome, then everyone is a winner. If you use manipulative selling to always beat down the other party to a negotiation, expect long-term referrals and repeat business to disappear.
- Present all of the facts. Don’t try to “wing it” when you present information to your clients. Remember, it’s your duty to your clients and customers to present all the facts during the negotiation process. If you’re presenting two offers, but the lower one gives the sellers more time to move, which you know they want, don’t try to pressure them into taking the higher offer by failing to mention other factors.
- Don’t forget who you’re negotiating with. Remember, there will probably be a next time you need to negotiate with the sales associate representing the other party. How will others remember you and your negotiation style? You need to remember to comport yourself during all negotiations so as to maintain your professional reputation for future transactions. Employing manipulative tactics will only make a bad impression on the customer, client, or the cooperating salesperson and hurt you down the road. Note that more dissatisfied customers will tell people about their bad experiences than those who are happy.
Just remember that although you might sometimes lose a little on a particular transaction by using good negotiating skills and avoiding manipulative tactics, you will ultimately come out ahead by gaining loyalty and trust from your client. Effective negotiating skills will help you achieve longevity in your career, establish your good reputation within the community, and help build referral business from your clients.
Notice: The information on this page may not be current. The REALTOR® Magazine archive is a collection of content previously published on RealtorMag.REALTOR.org. The archive pages are not updated and may no longer be accurate. Users must independently verify the accuracy and currency of the information found here. The National Association disclaims all liability for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information or data found on this page.