Negotiating price is a major part of any real estate transaction. I’ve written elsewhere on this blog about negotiating (Negotiating Price), and the techniques learned in the school of hard knocks over many years. But today I want to raise a very important aspect of negotiating that very few people think about, and to my knowledge, no one has written about. What is this element of negotiating that is so important in order to have a successful negotiation? You may be surprised at my answer at first, but I think you’ll agree as you think about this and your own experiences.
What can either kill a transaction or facilitate its success? The professional maturity, or lack thereof, of the opposing real estate agent can either facilitate or kill a transaction. Let me explain.
Let’s assume you have a great Realtor, one who has a deep and broad real estate education, who has decades of real estate experience negotiating hundreds or even thousands of transactions, who is competent and trustworthy, and who is diplomatic but assertive. You have confidence in your Realtor, and you know he will do a wonderful job in every aspect of your transaction, including negotiating price. But even if your Realtor is this kind of professional, if the Realtor representing the other side of the transaction is professionally or personally immature, you have a problem Houston.
Childish behavior is often found in adults. Immature behavior is not a function of age. Realtors and other professionals are not immune from dysfunctional behaviors. None of us are. I have seen opposing Realtors make all kinds of mistakes, mistakes that actually killed transactions. Now you might think, “Why would a real estate agent kill a transaction when he or she only earns a commission if it closes?” Good question, but now you’re being logical, and immaturity is not logical.
As a Realtor I’ve had opposing agents swear at me, not return phone calls, not communicate at all when an offer expiration date comes and goes, whine like a baby about an offering price, repeatedly try to justify a higher price even though the listing has NOT sold in two or three years on the market, compare apples and oranges when arguing price, tell me that the comps are higher even though they refuse to show me any of those comps (because they don’t exist), and literally kill an offer on their own listing, contrary to their own client’s interest and contrary to their own interest in earning a commission.
I kid you not. In 30 years in the real estate business from Fairbanks to Spokane to Las Vegas to Seattle-Tacoma and to Sequim and Port Angeles, I’ve seen some of surprisingly immature behavior that ultimately did not serve the clients’ best interests. I’ve watched some of these properties subsequently grow stale on the market, and I’ve seen subdivision lots that hang on the verge of foreclosure on properties that had good and reasonable offers rejected. What a difference maturity can mean to a real estate transactions on both ends.
While you have no control over the opposing agent’s maturity, you can carefully select your own Realtor. Don’t underestimate the importance of maturity. It could be the variable that facilitates or kills your transaction.
Last Updated on August 2, 2022 by Chuck Marunde
This is a great article. We are following you on Twitter, too.