Negotiations play a crucial role in various aspects of our lives, whether it's in business deals, personal relationships, or even simple day-to-day interactions. This, being a real estate-related post, shall focus on the negotiations that we engage in as related to the effort of buying and selling real estate.
It is important to keep in mind that how we approach negotiations can greatly impact the outcomes and the overall satisfaction of all parties involved. In my experience, it is interesting to see how an opinion as to what kind of person is on the other side of negotiations tends to settle in and crystallize somewhat early in the process, and then this conclusion tends to shape how responses are received moving forward. In other words, a buyer can decide relatively early that the seller is selfish and unreasonable. This means that everything that happens moving forward, is seen through this filter, and the buyer then starts to subconsciously look for things that support this conclusion. Thus the transaction becomes a lot harder than it has to be because that buyer starts to become focused on not making any concessions if they feel that the deal is too one-sided, or worse yet, want to “get back” at the seller. This type of attitude has the effect of what I like to call, “souring the deal.” Once a deal is soured, it takes greater and greater effort to come to a happy conclusion.
In negotiations, it is vitally important to maintain an open mind, and to keep your eyes on the larger goal at hand - closing on the house you are wanting to sell or purchase. I have seen transactions get dragged down by the parties fighting over things that in the grand scheme are not at all important to the overall deal, but people sometimes lose sight of this and they get wrapped up in the dynamics of what they perceive as unfair, or one-sided. Thus, arguments or disagreements tend to move towards less and less consequential things. The sight of the end goal is lost.
It is also important to eschew the winner-take-all mentality and embrace a more collaborative and open-minded approach. It has long been my philosophy that a real estate transaction should only happen as long as there is a win/win outcome. Let’s touch briefly on the numerous benefits of a positive attitude in negotiations and why it is crucial to avoid adopting a winner-take-all stance.
Negotiations often involve different perspectives, conflicting interests, and diverse personalities. Approaching these discussions with a positive mindset allows individuals to maintain open lines of communication, listen actively, and express their ideas and concerns in a constructive manner. It is important to approach a negotiation with trust, respect, and empathy, thus fostering an atmosphere conducive to finding mutually beneficial solutions.
Furthermore, a positive attitude enables negotiators to focus on long-term goals rather than short-term victories. Don’t get focused on short-term victories. Everyone involved in a real estate transaction ostensibly is working towards the same goal, which is the successful sale of a piece of real estate. It is important to keep in mind that everyone involved is ultimately working towards the same goal - this will help avoid getting mired in the details that ultimately don’t matter. The winner-take-all approach is centered on immediate gains, where one party strives to maximize their benefits at the expense of the other. However, this approach neglects the potential for a fruitful outcome for all involved. Taking a winner takes all approach requires a loser, which is not a good dynamic. A real estate closing is supposed to be a happy occasion for all involved.
A positive attitude allows negotiators to approach conflicts with a problem-solving mindset. This optimistic approach encourages the exploration of alternative solutions, and a willingness to consider diverse perspectives. By actively seeking win-win outcomes, negotiators can find common ground, and forge agreements that satisfy the needs and interests of all parties involved. The winner-take-all mentality often breeds hostility, tension, and an adversarial atmosphere. This is not the time to be adversarial.
So think about it - a positive, constructive, and collaborative attitude is an invaluable asset in negotiations. This serves to enhance communication, encourage problem-solving, reduces stress, and promotes a positive outcome. By avoiding the winner-take-all approach and embracing collaboration and open-mindedness, negotiators can create a conducive environment for achieving mutually beneficial outcomes and ultimately, help ensure a more positive experience when you start the exiting process of buying or selling a home.
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Avoiding the Winner-Take-All Approach
April 14, 2023
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