Negotiating on position or “digging in” to one side can be detrimental to the outcome of what you’re trying to achieve. Instead of negotiating on the “what”, ask questions and find out the “why”. Focus on principal, not position.
There was once a story about two chefs who were fighting over the last orange in the kitchen. They both needed an orange for their recipe. After bickering over it they decided to split the orange 50/50, and each take half.
One chef squeezed the juice from his half of the orange into his special sauce and threw the peel in the garbage. The other chef carefully grated the peel of his half into his cake mix and discarded the rest. Neither chef had quite enough of what they needed but would have to make it work.
One of the best books on this is: Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton from the Harvard Negotiation Project.
Think of the two chefs mentioned above. What if they had discussed what it was that they needed from the orange? One needed only the juice, and the other chef needed only the peel. They both could have benefitted from the entire orange instead of only half.
Negotiation is a major part of a real estate transaction. First, you negotiate price. Then, who pays closing costs, possession dates, etc? Next, there will likely be negotiations on repairs once the home has been inspected. It will always help to ask questions when negotiating these terms. This will allow you to find out what is really important to each party.
Too many times a negotiation will fail to come to an agreement because someone thinks they have to “win”.
If a buyer is not willing to meet your price, ask why. It could be that they are concerned about the age of your central unit. In this case, you might offer to pay for a two-year home warranty, which will give them piece of mind for the first couple of years.
Asking the right questions may allow you to benefit from the whole orange instead of only half. On the flip side, not asking “why” may leave you holding on to that house until the next offer comes along, which will most likely be less than the offer you have right now. -mr
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Questions for Mike Randall
Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Properties
2093 Florence Blvd, Florence, AL 35630
Mike Randall, REALTOR® Associate Broker | ABR, CRS 256.366.9779 | www.mikerandallhomes.com Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Properties 256.766.0069 Office 256.766.0926 Fax