In our weekly office meeting, I got to talking about negotiations, and what that really means. To some, it’s a the tug of war to outright win. To others, it might be a collaboration to get all over the same goal line. And I suppose for most of us, the truth of it lies in the middle of these two ends.
But as the topic was batted around the conference room table, I started to deep dive this a bit in my mind. So I asked all 5 brokers attending….how many negotiations happen in a deal? And what we worked our way out to was 6, and it goes like this:
- Seller and Listing Agent arrive at price and terms of the listing.
- Buyer and Buyers Agent arrive at price and terms of the purchase.
- Buyer Agent and Listing Agent, initial contact, pre-negotiate style, reason, approach, and general terms of the offer to come…then the offer is sent over.
- Listing Agent and Seller, now negotiate on what’s the “best way to get my way” back to the buyer, hoping they agree.
- Buyer and Buyers Agent, negotiate the response to the offer.
- Buyer Agent and Listing agent, ultimately agree on what works for each client, and hopefully the deal is consummated.
I’m sure I’ve missed a step or two perhaps, but what all of us agreed that day is the concept of negotiation is just way bigger than a few pieces of paper. In fact, it’s less to do about the paperwork, and it’s really all about the communication. Regardless of the parties involved in any one of these steps, the better the communication, both in quantity AND quality, the better and quicker the result.
As I headed to the grocery store that night, I wondered about my great negotiation skills and could I get food cheaper from the cashier. Then I snapped out of my dream, and realized that was really a single step negotiation. Either I hand them the money and go home with the goods, or I go home empty handed with the money. Sometimes life is so much easier with less steps!