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Today’s Ask the Expert column features Arthur Darmanin, CEO of Sellstate Realty Systems Network, Inc.

Q: What are some of the best negotiating techniques that can help save a deal?

A: If you’ve been in the business for a while, chances are you’ve lost deals during the negotiation phase. What’s worse is that you’ve likely lost clients from negotiations gone wrong.

Sadly, agents themselves are often one of the biggest killers of negotiations. I’ve seen countless deals fall apart because the two agents involved couldn’t get along. Many agents take the attitude that they know what’s best for their client, and become very adversarial.

This isn’t negotiating.

For those who have mastered the skill, negotiation not only helps their clients, but in many cases, can actually lead to closings.

Using Negotiations to Help Close a Deal
Proper negotiations will often lead to a successful conclusion to a transaction. In many cases, good negotiations can either save a deal, or get one done when two sides are extremely far apart.

For this to happen, all parties must get along, and the getting along starts with you. It’s critical for you to win over the other agent, even if they’re not cooperative. The most important rule is to be nice and respectful, as it’s difficult for someone to be nasty to someone who treats them with courtesy and respect.

When you have an offer, call and speak to the listing agent. Be polite and complimentary. Tell him/her that you would like to sell their listing, and solicit their help. Try to meet face-to-face to go over the merits of your contract. You want them to understand that you’re both trying to accomplish the same thing. Remember, buyers want to buy, sellers want to sell, and it’s your job to make that happen.

If there’s a disagreement on price, don’t argue. Simply ask them to help you justify the price to your buyer. If your buyer can’t come up, work with the other agent to see if there are things that can help get the deal done at a lower price.

When it comes to things like the home inspection, be accommodating. If the other agent is unable to make it, offer to go yourself. Not only will they appreciate your assistance, but they may be more likely to be accommodating should any further issues arise.

Never take the attitude that the other agent is someone you refuse to work with. If you want the deal to close, like them or not, you will have to work with them. It goes without saying that if the deal doesn’t close, no one gets paid, so park your ego at the door and be helpful.

If you’re the listing agent and you receive a poorly written contract, don’t embarrass the other agent. Don’t be overly critical or condescending. Instead, help them by explaining how it should be done. It’s about getting the deal closed. In fact, I’ve seen top listing agents literally rewrite the contract for the other agent.

Finally, always thank an agent that brings you a contract, regardless of the terms. Even if it’s not great, with your guidance, you can often turn an otherwise unacceptable contract into a closing.

Remember, the best way to please your client is to get them the house they want, or help them sell the house they have. Negotiations can be the best tool to accomplish this.

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