Literally from the time we start communicating we are negotiating. If you have children, you know exactly what I mean. You can never
say no to a child just once because he will ask you for something over and over. Sometimes they find different ways to ask for the
same thing. They do not take “no” for an answer. I know with my own children, even though I am on to it, once in a while
it works for them. School age children negotiate with their teachers over their assignments, homework, etc. As adults we
negotiate with our friends, co-workers, bosses, and spouses constantly everyday. Who is going to do this or that? Can
I do this or that? We are constantly negotiating.
Negotiation is the art of focusing on gaining the favor of people from whom we want things. It is the power of influencing someone
to make a specific decision. It is as simple as that. You know you have negotiated well when you get a good deal for yourself and the
other party is smiling because they feel they also got a good deal. It is a win / win scenario. Negotiation is not taking
advantage of someone or taking them for all they have. That is just being a bully.
I have seen situations where people have pushed an owner in foreclosure so far, making the deal sweeter for themselves and
negotiating themselves right out of a deal. I can not tell you specifically how to gauge when you are asking too much.
That is something you learn through experience and feel out in each individual deal. Just know that you need to strive to leave
the other party with the ability to make a fresh start. You have to leave them with some dignity. Remember – win /win!
Negotiating Tips / Building Rapport
Be friendly! From the very beginning you are building rapport. Gather facts about the seller’s circumstances that you will use
in structuring a deal with him. In the beginning one of the first questions you will be asking is, “What have you already been
doing to solve your problem? What is it that you would like to have happen?” They will talk about keeping the home or about
getting rid of it. This will give you a direction to work towards. Once you have sufficient facts you will know if you can help them
accomplish their desires. If not, then you will play the role of counselor in helping them to face the reality of their situation
and guide them towards a decision.
The First Offer
Your first offer should always be lower than what you really would consider paying for the property. You could get lucky and get a
better price than you were expecting or you are allowing yourself room to negotiate up. The ideal situation is if you can get the
seller to first tell you what he is willing to take. This happens with rapport building. You really do not have any idea what number
the seller is thinking. Sometimes it is a number lower than your number. When possible let the seller tell you what he is thinking.
It might be just $1,000 to help him with moving expenses while you are thinking possibly of giving him $5,000 for his equity. Let the
seller give the number first!
Never appear anxious. Let sellers know you have two other deals you are also considering, but you are interested in their property
however, if it does not work out, you will buy one of the other properties you are currently looking at.
When talking in general and building rapport, you can try some feeler questions like, “If someone were able to, or if someone offered you,
would you consider it?” Using the “if” word is the key word here. It does not create any obligation and the answer gives you a good
indication what the seller is thinking. Always maintain your walk-away power. You cannot allow yourself to get emotionally
involved with the property. Do not fall in love with it. If you do, you are likely to pay more than you need to, and you may buy
yourself right into no profit. I have seen it happen too often. When it does not seem that you are going to be able to make it
happen at a reasonable profit for your time and investment, say, “Well, it looks like we will not be able to do business after
all, Mr. Seller; good luck to you.” Then get up and walk out. Start working on your next deal. When the seller sees how serious
you are, he may not let you get out the door.