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Savannah Real Estate -- Building Trust in Negotiations

Building trust between all parties in a real estate transaction is important .

Duh!

Yes, I know it sounds obvious, but I experience adversarial positions being taken in too many transactions, between listing agent and buyer agent, and between buyer and seller.

From my perspective as an agent I always want to start out on a good foot, with honest communication about what needs to be accomplished, then looking at how far apart everyone is, then looking for ways to get to what is called a “meeting of the minds”, in other words a transaction everyone can live with and feel good about.

But, as a buyer, a good way to get started on the right foot is to offer as much information as reasonable to the seller so the seller knows the offer is serious and that the transaction will be based on cooperation and good faith (along with a clear contract where everything is in writing, of course.)

Having your lender write up a strong letter of pre-qualification ahead of time and sent with the offer is always a good idea.

Another good idea is to offer a goodly amount of earnest money. Trying to get by with a low amount of earnest money might create doubt when what you want is for the seller to know you are entering the transaction in all earnestness. If the seller thinks you are offering a low amount because you aren't sure about going through with the transaction and don't won't to risk much, this creates doubt from the start.

Have your buyer agent give a verbal presentation of the offer so that obvious questions the seller might have are answered before they consider the offer. Too many times nowadays the offer is just faxed or emailed over to the listing agent and when the listing agent presents it to the seller they start guessing about certain things that could be clarified by an upfront presentation from the buyer agent. One example is to explain why the closing date being offered is 6 weeks out rather the customary 4 weeks. If the seller understands the logistics involved it can make acceptance easier.

The point is that a seller has questions about each buyer that either create doubt or, if answered upfront, make it more likely there is a comfort level with the seriousness of the offer.

I have found that many sellers will negotiate more freely when they have confidence the buyer is acting in good faith and seriously wants to make a deal.

When either seller or buyer development a mindset that the other is trying get over on them the transactions moves toward a stand-off that might kill the deal.

It is natural to have a little cynicism and expect the other side to want to get as much as they can get out of a transaction, but if intentions are clearly set up front, if financial information is given, if explanations regarding special stipulations are given, then the seller begins seeing a serious person on the other side rather than someone trying to beat them down in a negotiations war, or someone who is testing the waters to see how much they can get and might back out of the deal over the least little hiccup.

The art of negotiation is based in good communication and keeping emotions and unnecessary suspicion at bay. 

Published Tuesday, October 30, 2007 7:46 PM by Mike Farmer

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