Real Estate Negotiating Principles
“Whomever speak first [in a negotiation] . . . loses.”
“Whomever proposes “splitting the difference” in a negotiation stands to get the better bargain.”
—Corollary, Ross Kaplan.
Veteran negotiators will attest to the truth of the first statement: if you speak first, you never find out if the other side would have offered/accepted (even) more advantageous terms.
It’s also the case that the more (over)eager party can’t restrain themselves, and gives that away by ” yup ” talking too much and/or too soon.
But I’ve also found the second principle to be (mostly) true.
The following is an exaggerated, fictional exchange ” but serves to illustrate the usual dynamic.
Buyer: Here’s my written offer of $250k for your $500k (listed) home.
Seller: Sorry, that won’t work. I’m countering $485k instead.
Buyer: That’s still too high. How about we split the difference?
To be sure, there are situations where splitting the difference is an appropriate ” and fair ” resolution to a negotiating impasse.
But only when the deck isn’t already stacked in favor of one side or the other.
See also, “Negotiating Tips.”