Tips and Traps When Negotiating Real Estate: Walking Away a Winner Is No Baloney

Walk Away a Winner – Walking Away a Winner Is No Baloney

The gospel of negotiators has always been that a good deal means that both sides win. I get what I want and you get what you want.

However, this does not mean that each side comes away with what they wanted at the beginning or that one side doesn’t come away with a lot more than the other. It means that the purpose of the negotiation is to get everything out on the table and to balance it all so that both parties can see what an equitable setdement is.

Sometimes, more often than not, one party will not even realize what it really wants or how strongly it wants it until negotiations are heated. Then, suddenly, the seller decides that she’s got to have 90 days before moving and is willing to make concessions on price and terms to get it. Or the buyer decides he’s got to have that chandelier from the seller, even if it means paying more for the house.

That’s why it may appear to an outsider that one side has come away with more than another. In a truly successful negotiation, how­ ever, there was a just scale on which all things were balanced. And in the balance, whether to an onlooker it looked as though one party got 90 percent and the other 10 percent, to the parties concerned— because of their strength of need or feeling—it was strictly a 50-50, win-win deal.

That’s what negotiations are really all about—finding a way to give the other side what it wants so that you can get what you need.

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The Bottom Line

In order to walk away a winner:

Always give yourself an alternative.

Be informed.

Only work on issues that can be resolved.

Never respond to an offer that can’t be closed.

Don’t stick to the “pie” analogy or “bottom line.”

Remember that some deals can’t be made, no matter what.