Tom Petty School of Negotiating

Well I won’t back down, no I won’t back down
You could stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down

I’ve been wanting to use that Tom Petty line in my blog for a long time. Feels great.

That is kind of how I feel when I am negotiating repair lists or contracts for my people. See, I’ve got two things I do that always seem to work for me…..well, for my cleints.

ONE: I don’t give up a lot of information about my people or their situation. If negotiating was a game of poker, talking to the other agent about your client is like showing your hand. About the only time I say anything personal about my clients is when there are multiple offers and I want the seller to view my client as more than just the 5 page offer sitting in front of them. Even then, I don’t say anything about their motivation, just what they liked about the house and some other flattering stuff to make the seller want them to get their house.

I recently had a deal where the listing agent was trying to get my client up in price. He asked if we could remove the seller paid closing costs? Like I am going to say yes??? I simply told him that yes, she needed them to make the deal work. Truth be told, we would have come up a couple thousand bucks if needed, but my very conclusive statement with no further discussion make it seem like we had given our best offer. I also didn’t tell the listing agent that it was the ONLY property my client liked. You would be surprised how many buyer’s agents will say something like that, or tell you their client has to find a house this week, or the buyer’s lease is up. Always amazing.

TWO: I don’t budge when I write a repair list. The better agents in town know that the best way to move somebody where they want them is to do it in little steps. I know because that is what I do with them! I recently submitted a repair list for a buyer of mine. The listing agent called and wanted to know if we could knock a couple of things off the list that the seller didn’t want to do. Frankly, I don’t care what the seller feels like doing. I am only out for my client. My buyer can buy any house on the market, the seller only has one to sell, and it has a hole in the roof. So, I told her that there was no need to even discuss the items the seller didn’t feel like doing until we addressed the rest of the list, because there might not even be a deal left to talk about. If I had given her any room, she would have kept coming back again and again. A good firm NO usually ends this, but it is hard for a lot of people to say no. (I’ve worked with this agent a lot and I cannot say anything bad about her. She is just doing her job. She is good enough that she keeps The LEXpert on his toes…..and I enjoy the challenge!)

I totally enjoy trying to get the most for my people. I don’t do it by being mean or pushy. It is a game of chess to me and I want to win for my clients.

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