Mood of the Market
3. "The High-Rolling Lowballer." These folks pull up to view a modest starter home in a rapper-style Mercedes Benz, and literally drip logos in their wake as they tour the home. Though they seem to have the highest possible ratio of status symbols per square inch of body area, when it's time to actually buy or sell a home, they insist on overpricing or lowballing the seller beyond all reason.
These folks cause lots of head-shaking by the agents and other parties in their transactions, as it seems that a slight reprioritization of their real estate matters over high-status consumer goods might make them better able to make reality-based offer and pricing decisions.
4. "The No-gotiator." These are the folks who offer to pay the list price or take the first offer, as a matter of course, even when the market or transaction dynamics suggest that they could get better terms. Some No-gotiators find the confrontational, adversarial connotations of negotiationg distasteful or anxiety-creating. Others are so attached to a certain outcome that they fear the deal falling apart too much to try to push back against the list price or buyer's offer.
5. "The Reality Checker." Finally, there's a fifth type of real estate consumer negotiation profile, which I'll call the Reality Checker. These negotiators do the research. They know how long the place has been on the market, relative to average in the area; and they're well aware of how much list prices are usually able to be bargained down in that neck of the woods.
They have asked for information about the other side's priorities and, to the extent they received any, they have taken that information into consideration in formulating their offer or response. They are clear about what they can afford to do, and how much they simply want a particular property or outcome, but they are not overly optimistic about their negotiating prowess or unrealistic about what the market will bear.
And they don't go in with rules of thumb -- always trying to get 20 percent off, or some such. They make a smart offer (or counteroffer), or accept the other side's position when reasonable and affordable. And, not surprisingly, they often succeed in both striking a good deal and actually getting what they want.
Tara-Nicholle Nelson is author of "The Savvy Woman's Homebuying Handbook" and "Trillion Dollar Women: Use Your Power to Make Buying and Remodeling Decisions." Tara is also the Consumer Ambassador and Educator for real estate listings search site Trulia.com. Ask her a real estate question online or visit her website, www.rethinkrealestate.com.
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