Verbal Negotiating Traps and Pitfalls

Savvy listing agents know how to parry, “Would the Seller consider taking $__?” 

Namely, by shooting back, “Is the Buyer offering $___?”

If the answer is “Yes,” they respond, “Great!  Put in writing, and I’ll do my best to get a quick, serious response from the Seller.”

If they balk or say “No” . . . you’ve saved everyone some time.

The rationale for such an approach?

By definition, verbal negotiations to buy or sell real estate are non-binding, and Sellers who signal that they would indeed accept a discount from their list price . . . open the door to offers seeking an even bigger discount. 

Seller — and Buyer — Signalling

The analogous trap for a Seller would be to engage the Buyer’s agent in a, “So, what would your Buyer be willing to pay?” dialogue.

A given Buyer is willing to pay what a written, executed contract obliges them to pay.

No more, no less.

Fishing for a (non-binding) number telegraphs undue Seller motivation.

P.S.:  Some agents believe in using the showing feedback forms to commence negotiations . . . some don’t.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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