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We’ve all been there. Whether it’s negotiating a deal, a repair request or price, both sides are at an impasse. What’s your next step? I’ve been in this situation many times, and have been tempted to simply kill the deal. But ultimately, our goal is to put our client’s interests ahead of our own feelings. Do you do that, or does your temper get the best of you?

Here are five ways to win your next negotiation.

  1. Take a deep breath and walk away from the computer or phone and change your mindset. Get back on the phone or send an email asking the other agent what would make the deal work for his or her clients. This change in mindset may be enough to win your way into working out the deal.
  1. Consider being a bit more transparent to the other agent. The conversation may go something like this: “I wanted to open up and let you know that this is a tough one for me. My buyers/sellers see things a little differently, and I’m simply trying to live up to their expectations. Can you help me out?” By telegraphing the fact that you’re being transparent and not giving away too much information, you may shift the negotiations back into your favor.
  1. Try to get into the other agent’s head by asking for their thoughts. A perfect example is a deal I’m currently working on. We have an appraisal problem, and there’s a difference of $23,000 between the contract price and appraisal. I had a heart-to-heart with the buyer’s agent and found out that his buyer agrees with the contract price, but doesn’t have the money to come up with the difference. I also learned that the buyer is a widower and has four kids. That gave me enough information to go back to my seller and explain what the buyer is up against. They’re considering a price drop of $10,000 in an effort to meet the buyer halfway.
  1. In a tough deal with an agent you’ve never worked with, your goal should be to create the same feeling you get when working with a friend or agent you’ve had a good cross-sale experience with. How? Social media. The goal is to learn as much about the other agent as possible. Maybe you have friends in common or attend similar types of social events. Making a connection like you would with the client could help you win the negotiation.
  1. Slow the negotiations down. Instead of getting back to the other agent in an hour, wait until the next day (unless you’re under deadline). This helps keep the momentum on your side and timetable. It may not mean much to you, but if you tell your client what you’re doing and prepare them for the slowdown, the other side is caught off guard. The other agent may not care or have a clue what’s going on, but the other agent’s client may start having second thoughts. It may be enough to move the other agent’s client to a different position.

Bob Sokoler is the owner of The Sokoler Medley Team at RE/MAX Properties East in Louisville, Ky., which has ranked No. 1 in the city for sales volume six years in a row. His team sold more than 404 properties in 2016, and more than 340 properties in 2015. Contact him at

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