What To Do About Low Offers and Still Close

From today’s REALTOR® tip of the week, Alessandro Danieli spoke about getting offers from a seller’s perspective and how to negotiate counter offers in real estate. The basic points were about what makes an offer offensive: nothing! As REALTOR®s and agents, it is your job to make a deal happen and let the house close. When the closing happens, most forget that both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent both get paid in this transaction. So what can you do to make sure that no matter the offer you can still close?

Spoiler alert: the answer is not bullying or strong-arming the other agent.

AS A LISTING AGENT

In the case of the listing agent, they get the offer on their first home, and it’s well below what the seller’s asking price is. This is not the time to panic. Simply bring the offer to seller as what it is. Many times, sellers will expect more than what the home is worth, and that is something that you as a new agent needs to get used to. Suppose, like in Alessandro’s video, they bring $250k to the table when the seller is asking for $300k. Know that this is where negotiation will come into play. Bring the offer to the seller and see what they want to do. What concessions can they make? How can you present it? Remember, no offer is offensive, because it’s always better than no offer.

AS A BUYER’S AGENT

Your buyer has put in an offer but it’s not what you were expecting, and the buyer simply says to “just see what happens”. Of course, that can be a little disconcerting, but it’s about how you, the agent, present the offer. If you were to say something like, “Look at these morons”, that might not go over well. When negotiating a real estate offer, the presentation does matter here. Being professional and courteous does matter here. The internet is littered with horror stories from other agents trying to employ less-than-scrupulous tactics and word choices to close a sale. Don’t be that person.

AS A TEAM

It’s best not to think of the other agent as an opponent but as a team member. You’re both working to close this transaction, and you both want to get paid. Work something out. You’re both in the same business, and one of the last things you want to do is get a bad reputation with others in the business. You give one agent a bad experience, chances are you won’t get another chance to have another experience.

So what can you do?

Work on your negotiation skills.

It is a fine skill that is needed throughout life inside and outside of the job. The good news is that you don’t have to be a natural at it: it’s a skill that can be learned, and innumerable sources are available for anyone willing to learn – and for free at that. If you want top dogs of negotiation to teach you for free, Coursera is the way to go. Mind you, payment might be necessary if you want a fancy certificate that says that you took the course, but other than that they are entirely free. Many of the teachers teach at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton among many other prestigious universities across the world in English, Spanish, Chinese, and several other languages in case you needed the practice.

There’s also a wealth of knowledge on YouTube from people that are also negotiation experts. And lastly, but not least-ly, are your fellow top-producing agents. They likely know something that no one else knows. It’s your job to see if they will give it to you. 😉 Also, it makes for good practice.

What else do you know you can use to sharpen your negotiation skills?

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