I find it amusing how agents rely upon weak negotiating tactics and amazed when they think it’s effective. Here is a recent example. I have a house for sale and prior to making an offer the buyer’s agent sent me feedback about how they noticed things that made the house seem cheap.  He isn’t telling me this so we can address something he is telling me this as a justification for his offer price. It’s not an effective strategy for several reasons:

  • The items in question are subjective and it’s one persons opinion.
  • Even if he is correct, the value of the items aren’t significant, meaning I could put in new upgrades for a lot less than the discount they are looking for so there is no correlation between value and their negotiation position.
  • It pisses the seller off and sours the negotiation process. Now the seller is more focused on the personality of the buyer and it makes the buyer not trustworthy and more risky when it comes time for a home inspection. Who wants an over picky buyer?

The irony is if they thought the house finishes were cheap they wouldn’t be making an offer at all. This has nothing to do with the items he is bringing up and it’s simply a ploy.  Instead of negotiating he is diverting  attention from what really matters in a negotiation, finding a common ground to settle on.

Negotiation is exerting influence and pressure and getting the best price possible for you situation. If the buyer thinks they are in a stronger position than the seller the buyers agent doesn’t enhance their position by tossing in extra stuff.  Instead they need to focus on the simplicity of what’s going on. How far is the seller willing to drop the price in order to be done. The buyer’s agent should be  convincing the seller they have a strong buyer and can bring them closure.  When negotiating it’s best to be pragmatic and not toss in issues which just cloud the landscape. On the buyers side it’s about testing how badly the seller wants to sell the home.