Negotiation sells homes not advertising. So, when a prospective vendor interviews several agents, one of the questions they should ask is; “Are you a good negotiator?”
I cannot imagine any agent actually saying that they are not! But the prudent vendor should look at this more closely. When asked about negotiation, most agents, who haven’t studied this art form, will tell you stories about how they worked the buyer up. And they will tell a tale where they have submitted an offer to the vendor who comes back with a counter offer and eventually after some to-ing and fro-ing, they meet somewhere in the middle. This is not, however, negotiation. Agents who do this are, in my opinion, “Arrangers of Compromise” not negotiators. These agents harm themselves by not knowing the buyers. And because they do not ask good questions, they therefore, never know their buyers’ wants, their needs, their time frame or their ability to pay.
Another appalling practice occurs when a buyer submits an offer to the “order-taker” agent who passes that offer on to other prospective buyers and the one who offers one more increment than the other will be the successful buyer. This is commonly called a Dutch Auction and is not only very poor practice, it is very poor negotiation! Worse yet is when the agent convinces the vendor to put the home to auction. There is no negotiation possible at an auction!
When it comes to real negotiation, a good negotiator should and must be able to prove their negotiation skills. If they cannot, avoid these agents; they will cost you plenty!
Written by Victoria Knox