How to be an ace negotiator - with your seller
Estate agents are all selling convenience, time management and transaction knowledge, but what sets the best of them apart is great market intelligence and, above all, superior negotiating skills, says Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of BetterLife Home Loans, SA’s biggest bond originator.
“The latter are often not fully appreciated by home sellers until they come into play to save a deal that is about to fall through – but top agents know that they are invaluable all the way through, starting with the listing presentation.”
He notes that there are many agents who believe that their job is to get the seller’s mandate, come what may, and so will agree to whatever asking price the seller has in mind, irrespective of market realities. “After all, they think, once the home has been on the market for a while and failed to attract offers, they will then easily be able to persuade the seller to drop the price.
“However, the most successful agents understand that their real job is actually to get the home sold – and that giving in to the seller on the matter of price before the home is even listed will only cause problems down the road and get in the way of achieving a good result.
“A true market evaluation and carefully considered pricing, on the other hand, will quickly attract a buyer and enable them to finalise a sale at the best possible price. There will be no waste of marketing time and money – and a much better chance of having a satisfied client who will recommend them to others.”
But this does not mean, says Rademeyer, that agents should just “walk away” from a potential client who thinks his home is worth much more than it is. “In fact, this is a perfect opportunity to hone a different sort of negotiating skills than those you will need when dealing with potential buyers.
“Trying to reach a mutually satisfying result (a price you can both agree on) is known as an integrative negotiation, and the latest research shows that the personality traits that will serve you best in such situations are intellect and empathy – or being able to make your case well while also being able to assess your client’s real needs and explaining how what you are suggesting will help to meet those.”
To start with, he suggests, you should ask why your sellers want such a high price. Do they want to move to a larger, more expensive home? Are they trying to pay off debt? Do they owe too much on their current bond? Are they trying to scale down and boost their retirement fund at the same time?
Next you need to explain what it is going to take for them to get that price. They could be facing a very long wait for a sale, for example, and mounting holding costs as well as frustrating delays in their own purchasing plans. Or they might have to update / renovate their home at considerable cost in order to bring it in line with homes selling for comparable prices.
“Obviously facts are your best allies in such negotiations,” Rademeyer notes, “so you should make a point of viewing the “competition” – other homes for sale in the same area - before you arrive for the listing appointment.
You will not only demonstrate your in-depth knowledge of the area but be much better prepared to field any reference by your sellers to prices recently achieved for other properties.
“You will be able to point out, for example, that the house down the road that was just sold for the price your seller wants had a completely remodelled kitchen, updated bathrooms and new plumbing and electrical wiring - and to ask your sellers if they would be prepared to spend that kind of money to achieve their price.”
Addressing all these issues, he says, will quickly help sellers to modify their position and make them much more likely to follow your suggestions and depend on your expertise, especially if you then have a very well-motivated evaluation at your fingertips.
Anne-Marie Bamber is Norgarb Properties dedicated Home Loans Consultant. She has over 15 years’ experience in assisting clients with their Home Loan needs and has placed many happy families in their dream homes.
Contact her today for no cost stress-free home-buying.
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