Many agents, we all know at least one, think that if the other agent caves in the negotiation process that the one who caved loses and that they win in the big battle of doing what is best for their client. The truth is that we all want to do the best for our clients. Sometimes in the desire to do what is best we drag our own clients through an emotional mine field and their peace of mind is so damaged that the new home they bought or the home that they sold has faded into their memory and the only lasting remembrance of what should have been a joyous celebration of a persons’ life moving forward is the pain they endured while their agent sought to crush their opponent in the gladiatorial stage of the real estate market.
Once again Tarantino puts it best in Pulp Fiction when Marcellus (Ving Rhames) tells Butch (Bruce Willis) in the bar before the big fight. “The night of the fight you might feel a slight sting. that’s pride f#$%ing with you” Marcellus goes on to tell Butch “F#$% pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps”
This is the mistake that many of us make when negotiating. We put our pride first so that we can tell our colleagues, spouses and future clients how we won the day and saved our client thousands of dollars ($5.00 a month)
Sometimes we need to be reminded that real estate is a people business not a housing business. The housing business is what millionaires do when they buy apartment complexes. We sell and help other buy homes that they are emotionally invested in as it will be where their children take their first steps or their parents will come to visit during the holidays. We do not need to play Donald Trump to make this happen. We are better off playing Dr. Phil and creating a comfortable and enjoyable experience for the client.
If you don’t know anyone that does this let me know, so that I can introduce you to hundreds that I have known personally.
They tell the homebuyer that the house has a potential problem. This is like a doctor telling you that you may have cancer. It creates worry and unease without any potential benefit. Yet sometimes we communicate things that we feel are important in order to present to the client that we are concerned about their well-being. Instead of creating worry where none is needed, just remember to tell the homebuyer that the home inspection is going to pick most issues but that there is no such thing as a perfect house. Homes are constantly aging and upkeep is the answer. Providing solutions to any potential issues is much more beneficial than pointing out unnecessary issues. “Look the screen door has a hole in it, we need to have the seller fix that!” What in the world is that statement supposed to do for anyone? This type of comment is best left unsaid. When the home inspector picks it up it is the option of the homebuyer to ask that it is repaired but to try to distract the home buyer with inconsequential matters doesn’t make anyone any wiser or feel any better.
This can also be illustrated with the opposite approach. Swapping the negative for the positive is not lying, it is calming. Instead of “This is a busy street and your children will require helmets to play in the front yard” how about? “The house has easy access to the high way” which means the same thing without our putting the homebuyer on alert red and they both mean the same thing. If the homebuyer doesn’t see the traffic, chances are they can’t qualify for a loan and if they see the traffic they may not mind it. Either way we don’t have to state the obvious in order to feel like we have done our job.