Home Negotiation Tactics

Negotiation tactics are often used in selling a home when objections can’t be handled.  It’s important to recognize the tactic, not be alarmed, focus on the bigger picture, and the task at hand.

The Wince:
A look, in-person as it’s tough to “wince” over the phone, done to let the other person know concern, disappointment, or disagreement.

A tactic often used to counteract other tactics. “Silence is a source of great strength” – Lao Tzu.

Good Guy – Bad Guy:
A tactic used in some real estate teams or couples. Sometimes used by Agent/customer as well.  One party will appear to be on your side, while the other appears not to be helping.  Often best handled by getting all parties together.  

Limited Authority:
When on party doesn’t have the authority to make a decision.  The best example is that, “I have to talk to my spouse before I make a decision.”  Often used with good guy/bad guy.

Red Herring:
Something to mislead or distract from a relevant or important issue.  It might be intentional or unintentional.  Sometimes used in conjunction with a low-ball offer.

Trial Balloon (leak):
Information sent out in order to gauge a reaction.  Used often by politicians.  “If I were able to get my client to (insert number), do you think we would have a deal?”  This is used very often in Real Estate, and needs to be recognized and handled very carefully, so as not to give up a customers negotiating position.  

Low Ball:
This negotiation tactic is not ideal in most markets, but they happen and the goal of the low-ball offer is to reframe the person’s thinking.  Often it insults the seller, and will make the buyer look like they don’t know the market, or they are trying to take advantage.  Because of this, very rarely does it work. It’s always best to respond friendly, with perhaps a small token counter offer. 

Bait and Switch:
This doesn’t happen too often in Real Estate due to contracts.  Perhaps, new sales centers advertising a lower priced home that’s not available, or possibly at points of renegotiation through the contract to close.  

Going Crazy:
Yelling, screaming, name calling, threatening.  Usually, not very productive or effective, but it does happen.

The written word:
An example would be brokerages who have their own addenda that seem harmless, but could significantly change the terms of a deal of the standard contracts most often used.  Very important to understand all pages of the contract and how terms may be effected.  With legal documents, it’s always best to consult a licensed attorney.  


Other Tactics for which I don’t know the official term for:

You could maybe call it trying appealing to emotions or guilt.  Usually happens when one party’s expectations don’t match the reality of the situation.  Sometimes used in conjunction with “going crazy” and the “wince.”  It should be reserved for clients and customers, agents should always stay unemotional and professional.  

The Either/Or:
Often referred to as a closing technique, it can also be used in negotiations to find out information.  Somewhat of a trial balloon technique mentioned above, an example could be a seller giving the option to the buyer to accept one purchase price and no closing costs or another higher purchase price with closing cost assistance.  The net would be about the same to the seller, but based on the buyers response they will then know if purchase price or closing cost assistance hold a greater value to the seller.  

Sometimes, one party will try and hold the other party “hostage” to get what they want.  Often happens with back up offers, or multiple offers.  Sometimes accompanied by and ultimatum – take it or else…