Buying Advice

The Rule of Engagement in Real Estate Negotiations

How engaged are you when it comes to the process of purchasing a home? Do you have a high level of enthusiasm and dedication to the process? When it comes to negotiating, is your agent engaged with the Seller’s agent? How’s the communication? Is it clear? Consistent? What message is being conveyed about you, your desire to purchase the property, and your ability to close?

Fully Engage in the Buying Process

When it comes to real estate negotiations, it is important for you and your real estate agent to engage fully in the process. Sadly, buyers often lose out on properties because either they or their agent failed to engage. Simply emailing a contract or sending a text isn’t going to win you any favor with the Seller. Being deadpan and not displaying a genuine like for the property isn’t going to help your cause either. It’s important for both you and your agent to display a high level of enthusiasm and commitment for the property.

In today’s market, Sellers have options. More often than not, there is more than one buyer vying for their property. Did you know that it is the clear, consistent, and courteous communication of your agent that often wins the day?  We see it time and time again. A cooperative agent who advocates on behalf of his or her clients with a positive and amiable demeanor can make all the difference in the final outcome. An agent who is fully engaged in the negotiations and who understands the importance of positive, verbal communication is invaluable to your process and to your success. It helps your cause when your agent demonstrates your genuine sincerity and love for the property in a clear and consistent manner. Trust me, Sellers care that you care. They will gravitate to you when you are authentic, transparent, and actively engaged with their property and the process.

If you are negotiating to win, there are lots of strategies you can follow. Just google the word “negotiation” and you’ll find all kinds of tips on the delicate art of negotiations. Yes, you’ll want to come from a position of strength. Of course, you’ll want to be respectful. Listening and understanding the view of the other person is critical. So is your willingness to give and take. But, above all else, when it comes to buying real estate in today’s market, engage! You have to be proactive and so does your agent.

How to Show Your Engagement

So, what do I mean by engagement? For starters, make sure you and your agent demonstrate your enthusiasm for the property from the onset. How? Start with positive feedback about the property after you first see it. Your agent should call the Seller’s agent to thank them for the showing and to convey in no certain terms everything you love about the property. Make sure your message is getting across loud and clear. Is your agent communicating verbally? Clearly and effectively? If you aren’t sure, tell them how and what you want them to convey about you and your interest in the property. You’ll want your agent to express not only your sincere interest, but also your ability to perform in a smooth and timely manner. Let the Seller know that you are flexible when it comes to terms and timing — that you have a “let’s work it out” attitude.

Everything positive a Seller can learn about you, your ability, and your willingness to meet their needs will help you.  Involve your loan officer from the start. Make sure your loan officer takes the initiative and calls the Seller’s agent before or upon submission of your offer. Don’t wait for the Seller’s agent to call them. When your loan officer calls to tell the Seller’s agent that you have great credit and that you are pre-approved, your chances are increased. It also demonstrates proactiveness. Engagement. And, engagement in this market, makes the difference.

Stand Out from the Crowd

You want to stand out from the crowd. You are competing and you compete to win when you actively engage in the process at the onset and throughout the transaction. Now is not the time to show your poker face. Nor is it the time to passively present your case. If you want your offer to stand out, you’ll need to stand out. So will your agent. One thing you can do is to apply for the loan before you have even secured the property. There are lenders who have programs that will allow you to get approval prior to purchase. Be sure to write a good cover letter, too, but make it more about the property than you. Sellers like to hear what it is you like about their home. Be creative, but keep it real.

Some of this may go against the hard rules of negotiation, but you know what? It works. Engage in the process with a positive mindset, a proactive stance, and a willingness to be transparent. Sellers appreciate buyers who are real, who care about their property, and who show a high level of enthusiasm and commitment to the process. When you are positively and enthusiastically engaged, you engage the Seller. And, isn’t that is what you want in today’s market — a Seller who wants to engage with you?

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