Ask the Expert
Certified Negotiation Expert shares her secrets for getting the best real estate deal
During her nearly two decades in the field, Kuper Sotheby's International Realty broker associate Beata Burgeson has made it her professional goal to constantly educate herself and earn numerous designations, one of which is Certified Negotiation Expert.
"Even though the process is mostly the same for each transaction, there is always a new challenge in our ever-changing real estate world," she says. "Having so many transactions under my belt has honed my ability to negotiate under all kinds of circumstances."
If either buying or selling is on your horizon, here are Burgeson's tips on how to negotiate like a pro:
1. Prepare thoroughly
Find out everything you can about the other party and the property: Why is the seller moving? What is their timeframe? What is important to them about the house and the process? This information will allow you to decide on a negotiation strategy and if you need to implement deadlines into your offer, ask for concessions, etc.
It is also equally important to gather as much data about the market and the comparable sales with your agent.
Once you analyze this information, you can carefully consider pros and cons of the subject property and how they compare to those sold in the past. Use this data to support your offer price and proposed terms.
2. Build a rapport
It is true that agents on each end of the transaction are competing against each other. Who usually wins? The better negotiator! Agents should take time to build a rapport with the other party and continue to do so over the course of negotiations, never being afraid to be firm when it is necessary.
I am a strong believer in treating everyone with respect and keeping negotiations at a professional level.
3. Get an inspection
It is critical that you perform an inspection on your property. This can be a key to negotiating a home’s final sales price. Not all inspectors are equal, so be sure to pick one that is very thorough.
The key components that cost the most in repairs are the foundation, roof, and HVAC systems. Depending on the duration of your option period, you may want to schedule different professionals to have those inspected in addition to your general home inspection.
Once you get the report, try to get as many professional estimates as possible for the repair work needed. Time is of the essence during the option period so this may not always be possible, but going into option period well prepared will allow you gather all necessary information in time. Your agent should be able to help with recommending some professionals as well.
4. Take time to finalize your repair amendment
This is probably the most critical moment of the whole process. Taking your time to analyze the inspection items, estimates and having your agent prepare a well written statement explaining your reason for necessary repairs will be critical factors in influencing a strong argument for seller concessions.
Many listing agents are busy and don’t take the time to analyze and truly dive into the details of the amendments. This is your moment!
5. Don't be afraid to walk away
Be prepared to walk away from every home and try not get emotionally attached to a house before you finalize your contract. This will give you an incredible confidence and clarity of mind to make the right decision that is best for you and your family.
Buying a home is usually the most expensive purchase people make in their life. Why make irrational decisions when we spend so much money? We go through several apples at a grocery store and pick the ones that are most appealing to us. That purchase is usually $5-$10. Shouldn’t we be more selective when spending hundreds of thousands of dollars?
6. Pick the best Realtor
There are about 18,000 licensed real estate agents in Austin and the surrounding areas. Find a professional that is very experienced, knows the area well, works full time, and is a master negotiator.
An excellent Realtor will put your best interests first, give you a valuable insight during critical moments, and guide you through the most difficult parts of the process.
See Beata Burgeson's latest listings here, or contact her at 512-795-9900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.