Is Negotiation Dead?



Discussion aimed at reaching an agreement…………….it’s all but dead here in Portland, Oregon in 2016!

Why do I say that? OK, I’ll hop on my high horse and explain. It’s really just my perspective on how us realtors are dealing with each other in transactions.   Somewhere along this incredible run up, through arguably the best seller’s market ever seen in our fine city this past 3 – ish years, we’ve lost the art of negotiating, essentially talking to each other, to come to a conclusion of “we all win” in a real estate deal. But I’m going to point the finger at our clients too, sellers and buyers, because they’ve bought into the kool aid too.

So how did we get here? Well, we got here by the nature of human beings, in that the shortest route is usually the one we take. If you have 10 deals on the table, then you pick the best one, no negotiating allowed, and the buyer accepts the property in all its glory, and it closes. Or you take the incredible use of technology at our fingertips, things like Zipforms & Docusign where you no longer need to read or know the sale agreement and people just click and go.   We have amazing cell phones that can text a note to each other, so we don’t have to talk to each other anymore.   Then there is email, which if I had a nickel from anyone that said “I haven’t checked my email today……”, I’d be rich beyond belief, which is totally baffling to me, because our cell phone has a one click button on it that opens the email. Just one time, I’d love to hear somebody say….I haven’t checked my text messages today.

I’m in the midst of several transactions, and I have barely enough fingers to count the number of deals this past month where agents just have terminated a deal, without even trying to negotiate out what I assume is a forthcoming repair addendum. Each time, the comment I get is “I assumed you have backup offers so my buyer didn’t want to proceed…….”.   Translation to me, is us realtors have lost our edge on the craftwork of navigating the process of negotiation for all of the above reasons noted. And it really is going to cost us all when that next flattening or downturn happens, because you can’t sell or buy real estate without the gift and efforts of negotiation!   So come on realtors, sellers, buyers, start talking AND listening too. It’s a far better road to take.

Alrighty then, I’m off my high horse and off to find another high horse to ride………… why we should all eat more vegetables…………


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