Negotiating An Offer Is Like Playing Poker

When I was a little kid, my dad had this old set of poker chips.  There were red, white and blue ones built into a little round thing with a handle on top.  I remember playing poker as a pre-teen with my friends.  I also remember winning a lot.  I didn’t do it by bluffing or anything that actually had anything to do with the game itself.  What I got good at was studying my friends.  It’s pretty darn easy to win when you can tell if your pals have a good hand or not.

My dad always told me I was pretty good at reading people and seeing their motives.  That is one of my favorite things in real estate.  See, when I get an offer on a listing, I like to sit back for a minute and just take in all that I know before responding.  It is even easier if the buyer’s agent has loose lips.  Sometimes google and Facebook help you out too. 

I recently was in a deal with a great realtor.  He did everything he should have done.  My clues here were the closing date.  It was the Friday before school started back after Christmas break.  Sure, most real estate deals close on a Friday, but what made this one stand out to me was how soon it was.  Not the usual 30-45 days out, this one was just about 2.5 weeks out.  So, I hit Facebook, and sure enough there was a person with the same name with school aged kids who lived in the same surrounding town that was on the check for the earnest money.  I also knew that most seller’s wouldn’t want to be out of their house the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.  We stood firm and got a good price.

I just had another deal like that.  My listing is in the only neighborhood in its price range to have the good school district that it does.  We got a really low offer.  So low we didn’t even counter it.  Since the buyer thought this house was in poor condition, I figured they must really want to be in this school district.  I mean, there are tons of new/newer houses within walking distance of this one, but they are in a different school district.  I don’t know why somebody would pick a house they didn’t like that much when they can get a better house for the same money.  Had to be school district.  So, I hit the MLS to see what all choices this buyer had in that school district.  The only other house was one with a crazy steep driveway…….so I knew we could hold tight on our price.  We did and got it, despite the other realtor’s great effort to get it for less.

So, like Kenny Rogers said, “You gotta know when to hold ’em.  Know when to fold ’em.  Know when to walk away.  Know when to run.”

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