When it comes to real estate negotiation—whether you’re representing a buyer or a seller—the first thing you want to do is understand what your client is thinking and ensure they feel understood.
If you’re representing a buyer, you might say this after a Cold Read: It seems like you really want this house. If you’re representing a seller, you might say: It sounds like getting top dollar is what’s most important to you.
Whether your calculations are correct or not, your client should give you more information to help you better understand the lay of the land.
It’s All About Making Your Clients Feel Understood
Specifically, when it comes to a negotiation, you need to figure out what your client will and won’t do. This includes probing and testing. What’s the highest amount your client will pay for the house? What amount would make them walk away from the property?
The real estate market is facing many new challenges. These days, there is always a buyer willing to pay whatever they need to for a property. They are not interested in comps, and they are not concerned about money. They have the money, and they want to buy the home. It’s that simple.
As an expert negotiator, you will have to help your buyers understand who they are up against. The folks buying houses at any price represent a new phenomenon in the market, so buyers might need to adjust their mindsets accordingly.
But before you do anything, you need to make them feel understood.
Once Your Clients Feel Understood, Probe a Little Further
Once a client feels understood, it’s time to start steering the ship. Probe and test your clients to discover what they will do and won’t do. During this process, gently guide them in the direction they want to go using Calibrated Questions™, which are designed to make them think.
You might say something like this: What phone call do you want tomorrow: The phone call where you find you got the house for X dollars, or the phone call where you find out that someone else got the house because they paid X?
By guiding your clients with Calibrated Questions, you can help them determine whether there is a deal to be made.
Remember, You’re Not in the Business of Convincing People What to Do
Expert negotiators understand that they are not in the business of convincing people what to do. The home buying and selling processes are highly emotional, and no amount of reason, facts, and logic will ever help a client overcome their emotions.
Once you make your clients feel understood, however, you begin to develop the trust-based influence you need to close more deals. At that point, you can show buyers what they are up against and tell sellers what they can expect as they navigate the process—gently guiding them closer to a decision.
Far too often, we see real estate agents trying to close as fast as possible. Rather than being patient and letting the process unfold, many agents try to rush things. This isn’t the best approach.
As Chris Voss preaches, the indirect route is often the quickest in real estate. Taking the time to make clients feel understood is what accelerates the process. On the flip side, trying to persuade your clients to close creates mistrust and friction that slows the process down.
For more information on how to become an expert negotiator and close more real estate deals, check out our free e-book, Real Estate Negotiation Skills: 3 Essential Tips for Closing More Deals.