We've already explored some common missteps that sellers and buyers (and their brokers) make. Now, here are some universal mistakes that everyone makes; in other words, here's what no one should be doing.
1. Don't underestimate the opposition—or assume they think like you do
Bankers and lawyers negotiate very differently than artists and writers, notes Deanna Kory of Corcoran. Find out everything possible about whom you’re dealing with—not only their personality and profession and background, but how they think.
“Understand where they’re coming from, their experience on the market, why they’re priced where they are,” says Kory.
Having this information not only makes it easier to plan your strategy, but also to interpret statements like, “There’s a lot of interest in this apartment.”
“Often they are just bluffing and they don’t want to lie. It depends whom you’re talking to,” says Kory. “If they’re a lawyer, they may be talking factually—they may have a lot of interest but no offers. With a marketer, it may be a different story.”
2. Don't be a jerk
Being nice will generally get you a lot further in negotiations than being a jerk, according to several brokers we spoke with.
“There’s a lot of value in being nice because residential transactions are more emotional,” says Wei Min Tan of Rutenberg Realty. “The seller has pride and ego and so does the buyer.”