Home Buyer Strategy in a Seller’s Market

Never negotiate hungry. Or tired. Or driving — especially driving.”

–Ross Kaplan, “Negotiating Advice.”

While most negotiating advice is focused on the “How” of negotiating, experience has taught me that that can be much less important than the “When” or the “Where.”

As in, when to stop negotiating (and take a break) because: a) you’re exhausted (or your client is); b) you’re on the defensive, tactically-speaking; or c) simply because you’re driving and can’t take notes or fully concentrate.

If time (and timing) is the biggest stealth factor in negotiating, it follows that knowing whether time is your friend or enemy is the biggest overlooked variable.

So, here’s a good negotiating corollary:

In a Buyer’s market, time is the Buyer’s friend; in a Seller’s market, time is the Buyer’s enemy.”

Letting the Other Side “Think About It”

What do I mean by that?

When the market is cold, walking away from the table and letting the Seller “think about it” can be an effective tactic (often, the impasse will prompt the Seller to come down).

By contrast, in today’s unrelenting Seller’s market, a Buyer who walks away from the table — however temporarily — risks that another Buyer will show up and pay full list price (or more, if there’s competition for the home).

See also, “Negotiating, Ray Donovan-Style: When a Tie = a Win“; “Negotiating Tips”“How to Become a Good Negotiator“; “The Key to Successful Negotiation“; “‘Splitting the Difference’ and Other Negotiation Tactics”; and “Written vs. Verbal Counter-Offers.”

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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