The Art and Skill of Real Estate Negotiation

There are few things more important in the world of Kitchener-Waterloo real estate than the true skill and art of negotiation, a fact that agents on The Mark Maurer Team know well. “A big part of closing the deal on either side of the table is coming to that point of common ground,” says Mark Maurer, “and that takes some serious negotiation.” A recent Globe and Mail article by Harvey Schachter highlights this fact, and The Mark Maurer Team couldn’t agree more with the points made in his article.

Real Estate Negotiation

Negotiating Real Estate Deals Takes Skill AND Knowledge

The Problematic Mistakes

Lacking confidence

“Often, people feel they need to be loud or in someone’s face to be a good negotiator, and since that’s not their style, they dread what’s ahead . . . But the other party senses that fear in your body language or voice.”

The Mark Maurer Team Take: If you’re not ready to go when you get to the table, the other party is going to sense it immediately. We’ve seen a number of cases where there was probably a lot of wiggle room within the price, but a fear of haggling just prevented the negotiation from going anywhere at all. The simple reality is that it’s more than possible to make your price happen, but it may take some work when you get to the table.

Thinking something is non-negotiable

“It may also come as a surprise that, beyond the flea market, everything is negotiable as well. Too often, we don’t ask – or stop when our first offer is turned down. Instead, assume you can get an alternative to what is on the table.”

The Mark Maurer Team Take: Whether it’s a facet of the contract or just the overall offer placed, everything is up for negotiation when it comes to homes for sale in Kitchener and Waterloo, but you’re never going to know what you might be able to get until you start asking.

Not building relationships first

“We live in a ‘microwave society,’ expecting everything instantly. So when we enter a negotiation, we head for the final conclusion without taking time to build trust.”

The Maurer Team Take : If you don’t spend at least an hour talking before you start discussing price or contract conditions, you’re never going to get what you want. Spend some time getting to know the other party and their needs, and negotiations are far likely to go better.

Not asking for what you want

“It’s critical that you actually name what you are seeking in negotiations. Sounds obvious, but frequently we never come out with it.”

The Maurer Team Take: The other party at the table can’t possibly know what you want from the deal until you’ve actually put it on the table. Unless you’re very specific about your wants and needs during this process, you’re not going to walk away with what you actually desire.

Talking too much

“We’ve all had the experience when we decide to buy something but the salesperson keeps droning on and ends up talking us right out of a deal. Don’t be like that salesperson. Don’t overtalk.”

The Maurer Team Take: A little quiet time for thought and reflection is just part of the process. It can be difficult to listen to your brain screaming in fear that the deal is over because of your last request, but just sit back quietly until it’s necessary to make a counter offer or accept. It will pay off in the end.

Not taking time to document

“Get the deal down in writing. Afterwards, memories and interpretations can differ.”

The Mark Maurer Team Take: Daytime television is made of court shows based on people failing to document one conversation or another. That cannot happen in real estate negotiations. Both parties need to document every change made or it won’t make it into the final deal.

Signing without reading

“This is becoming habitual on the Internet, where we routinely sign forms we don’t understand. It’s a bad habit, and the results in major negotiations can be disastrous. Don’t set yourself up for such a predicament.”

The Mark Maurer Team Take: Real estate is often one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make, so ensure you understand every single clause before you actually end up signing the document. A professional real estate agent can help simplify this process by explaining things to you in language you understand.

You can’t negotiate with a bully or a wild man/woman

“Sometimes you will be negotiating with someone who screams and bullies or presents outlandish positions. In such situations, be willing to walk away.”

The Mark Maurer Team Take: Not everyone is willing or able to negotiate sensibly. Understanding those limits before the negotiations begin is an absolute must. If you get to the table and the other party clearly isn’t going to be reasonable, you need to be ready to walk away.

Find out how I’ve helped more than 2,000 families buy and sell homes in Kitchener-Waterloo by getting a copy of my free eBook here. Also for more great real estate videos you won’t find anywhere else, subscribe to my YouTube channel. I love to share my expert knowledge so if you have any real estate questions feel free to call me at 310-SOLD or email me at

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