Saturday, December 31, 2016

Working With Unreasonable Sellers

The story is the same all over, not just in Greenwich, CT.   Negotiations feel like a long slog through a rainstorm.  This was certainly the case in a deal  which I worked on that finally closed yesterday.  From the first offer from my buyers, the counter from the seller was unclear at best, and convoluted more likely.  The seller ignored one of my first rules of negotiation, which I call the Musical Chairs Rule, otherwise known as Perspective.    

When you are crafting a counter move, look at how it feels from the other person's seat as well as your own.  Look at solutions from each person's perspective.

When you fail to shift in position towards a compromise and dig your heels in to what you want and only what you want, that's hardly trying to get a deal done.  The minute you consider what the other side wants and deems important, you've got critical information that can be used to think through a creative solution. 

So, how do you work with, or work around, a seller that only seems to know the word "No" when it comes to resolving any number of issues that arise after the initial accepted offer.  Most commonly, these are issues that emerge as a result of a building inspection, where repair, replacement or compensation would all be seen as reasonable options.

In our deal, Priority was our focus.  The issues that were of key importance to the buyer we remained steadfast on, and proposed varies rectifications.  In a number of others, that any logical, fair thinking seller would have agreed to, the buyers let them go.  With each issue, we reminded ourselves of the ultimate goal and repeatedly separated out the person from the purpose.   

1.  Separate out the person from the purpose-- You aren't buying the seller, you are buying his property.
2.  Keep your emotions out of it-- The more unpleasant the seller's personality, the more the buyer and his agent should stay calm, cool and collected.
3.  Focus on the priorities-- Keep your eye on the prize and don't be distracted by negotiating points that would be "nice to have" but not critical to the deal
4.  Be self- aware-- Look at your own behaviors, mannerisms and actions in the negotiating process

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