Real estate tip: All about negotiation

Midtown Kansas City real estate marketsponsored post by Lauren Hruby and Scott DeVouton

You might not realize it, but we negotiate almost every day.  On the job, you may negotiate what you’ll be paid.  At home, you may negotiate with your kids to divide household chores.  Looking for a car, you may negotiate pricing.  With a date, you may negotiate what movie to catch or where to have dinner.  Even setting meeting and appointment times can involve negotiation.

The fact of the matter is that, many times in life, what you want involves agreements and concessions from or for others.  Attempting to get what you want involves negotiation: a dialogue which results in two or more parties reaching a mutual agreement.  Buying or selling a home always involves negotiating with someone.

Some negotiations are easy, everyone agrees quickly, and closing is a cinch.  Some negotiations are… less easy.  They can be intimidating.  You’re dealing with a big decision, a significant life event that involves a stack of paperwork and is often tied to a lot of emotion. Looking forward to your next home sale or purchase, there are a few ways to help your deal be one of the easy ones.

Negotiations generally happen around two points of a transaction.  One point is when you are negotiating an initial offer and counter-offer.  Items such as price, closing date, earnest money deposit and closing costs are involved in this first round.  A second point is when you are negotiating revisions after your inspection period.  The purchase price may be changed at this point, and repairs may be involved.  Both of these points are important to every deal, and each involves several moving pieces.

It’s critical to be prepared.  Understand what part of the deal you’re in, but also know what issues are involved at each point.  For example, if you are submitting an offer or counter-offer, you and your agent will want to research pricing, trends and your market of buyers.  If you are negotiating repairs, know what things cost and what items are more significant than others.

After doing your homework and determining your position on an issue, you want to communicate clearly. Then listen. A big part of this is knowing when to stop talking.  You never want to talk someone out of or into a concession, such as a repair, when it might not have ever come up in the first place.  Determine what you want, communicate it, then be patient and wait for response.

Remain engaged, curious and informed as everything moves forward.  This mindset will help you actively listen to the other party’s responses.  Sometimes a solution on an issue turns out to be different than either party originally envisioned.  Knowing where everyone is coming from and understanding the deal can help move things along.

Throughout everything, know your numbers.  Understand your bottom line, but also understand market value.  Having a clear and realistic grip will help you quickly assess proposed changes such as purchase price, repairs and closing costs.  Know where you can budge, where you can’t, and negotiate accordingly.

Negotiating is a part of every home sale and purchase.  Be prepared going into the process, communicate clearly, and be patient.  Listen actively.  Know where you can budge.  Negotiating will definitely be part of your next buying or selling experience.  Do what you can to make it one of the easy ones.

Lauren and Scott are with Lauren Hruby Real Estate, Keller Williams Realty Key Partners, LLC.  They work with people looking to sell or buy a home in the Kansas City area.  For more information, visit or call 816-529-6174.

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