Friday, October 5, 2007

What are buyers thinking?

A long time ago, one of the things that I learned about negotiating is to do your best to understand your counter-part in the negotiation. If you can figure out what's important to them, and give them something that's important to them, you can get something that's important to you.

In today's real estate market, which is clearly a strong buyer's market, it's helpful to gain an understanding what today's buyers are thinking.

What I'll attempt to do in this post is to share my recent experiences working both with buyers and with offers on my listings.

What I define as a buyer is someone who is "ready, willing, and able" to buy a home. There are many people out there looking at open houses who aren't necessarily ready, willing, or able to buy right now. That's OK - the early lookers eventually turn into buyers.

For those serious buyers out there right now, they know that they hold all the cards. That said, they also know that one day they'll be sellers and may be in a similar situation to today's sellers, so they generally won't go to far in pushing their requests.

It's fair to say that a ready, willing, and able buyer today will ask their Realtor for a comparative market analysis of any home that they are considering. The results of that analysis will drive the basis of the terms of their offer.

What I've tried to do throughout my 14-year career as a Realtor is to get buyers to make their "best" offer right away. I've also encouraged other agents to have their buyers make their best offer right away on my listings. While it's exciting, and sometimes fun, to negotiate the back-and-forth of an offer between buyer and seller, it's also a serious energy drain for both parties. Rather than suffer that energy drain, I prefer my clients focus on the offer at-hand as the best offer.

It's critical for every buyer and seller to know their "walk-away" point. If the best offer satisfies the walk-away point, then we have a deal. If not, both parties walk away and move on.

Having closed more than 250 transactions in my career, serving both buyers and sellers, I've learned that it's better to negotiate when you understand the other side better than they know themselves. I hope this post helps you to understand yourself exceptionally well before entering into any real estate negotiation.

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