Negotiation is an art………

Negotiation is an everyday thing.  No matter what you’re doing.  When you ask your wife or husband for a cup of tea in the morning, to who drives on a night out.  Who in your office makes the cups of tea?  How good are you at calming people down when angry? 

Being a hard bastard is sometimes effective in negotiations, but if you can only get a price on an item by being a twat, you will never become a brilliant negotiator.  What do you then do if you’re negotiating with another twat?  It will become a contest for who can be the biggest twat and become a huge fail.  The best negotiators get what they want nearly all the time.

I’m going to use property negotiation as that’s my field of expertise, but I’ll first tell a little story about my previous job that helped me work out how to get top money for property we sell.

I used to get the ladies in the office to make me cakes.  I’m a nice guy, so I think they liked doing it.  The negotiation for that transaction took place way before they said they would make me a cake. 

That is exactly how negotiation should be done.  The sale is done WAY before the transaction.  Sometimes it needs to be done faster, or slower, but the earlier you start thinking about the negotiation, the better position you’ll be in to get what you want. 

So what’s the best way to negotiate a house sale?  Simply ask for more money when they put in an offer?  Tell some fibs about other offers to push them up?  It’s actually a little more complex than that, but the basics are simple and I work on the principal:

‘Negotiation for a property sale begins the first second a potential buyer sees the first picture on Rightmove.’

Negotiation continues through to the second picture they see, to the third, to the copy they read and to how quickly they make the enquiry for the property, all the way through to how the phone is answered and even the language used to book the viewing. 

EVERY single detail is incredibly important.  Sometimes the ideal scenario comes through naturally.  If you’ve got a massively sought after house in an area that property rarely comes to market, you’re going to get lots of interest and that will generally translate in to a high price.  The question I always consider is that if you think your house will sell easily, imagine if you had the most perfect marketing, strategy and process for selling your property, what price would you get then? 

My strategy for the most effective negotiation of a property sale is loosely based around working out the answers to these questions:

  1. Who is going to pay the most money for it?
  2. Are they in the market right now?
  3. What are the key things they’re looking for?
  4. What emotion will drive the purchase?

Produce a set of details that answer these questions.  Then when we get an enquiry.

  1. Who are they?
  2. Outline of how their house moving process has gone so far?
  3. What are they REALLY looking for and where?
  4. Based on their circumstance, tell them vendors position, what they’ll like about property, what they may dislike and plant a seed of excitement.

I personally talk to every person before I do a viewing with them as it makes it far more likely that I’ll get a top price for the vendor.

The viewing itself if MASSIVELY important for negotiation.  Creating a situation where the buyers associate a nice feeling with the property is essential.  You can show someone the most perfect house, but if you create an awkward or unpleasant situation on the viewing, you can kiss goodbye to a top money sale….  This is why I always insist on vendors being out on viewings, as it may cost them £10k!

You’ll know from the viewing if they’re going to buy or not.  It’s highly likely that a house may not be suitable to the person viewing, for whatever reason, but going through the right process for every viewing ensures that when you show the person it is right for, they will pay more money for it.

I’ve not mentioned the receiving of an offer as it’s the least important part of the whole process, as it is with most negotiations. 

Go in armed to the teeth with info.  That’s the best tip I can give.  There is ALWAYS time to gather information prior to negotiation.

For those that give tips such as ‘be prepared to walk away’, ‘don’t give up’, ‘keep going until you get the price you want’ etc. are great, if you mess up the planning.  If the planning is nailed on, it’s really pretty easy.