When I negotiate with sellers to purchase their real estate, I spend countless hours doing “Columbo style” detective work (based on the old detective TV show). I talk with them, I study their surroundings, I meet with the kids, I drink coffee with the grown-ups and I try very hard to keep my mouth shut…at least as much as I can for a blabbermouth with a large ego. I have practiced very hard to do this and after 50 years I’ve made some progress.
LOOK FOR THE BENEFITS
Real estate investors, like myself are after benefits. .Benefits are where it’s at, but in order to get them, you must first find the folks who can provide them – or will accept them. Notice it works both ways. Webster told us that – “Confer with another and arrive at a settlement”.. That means, at least two players must be involved to negotiate anything. Allow me to pass along several tips that have worked for me.
First, before you start arbitrarily changing or negotiating terms and / or conditions, make sure you can show the reason why. If you can’t, they’re probably not valid. Worst of all, when you can’t, it will do severe damage to your credibility. You don’t need bad credibility, believe me.
Secondly, it’s more important to listen to the other side. You can answer yes or no if you train yourself. But listening to others will provide you a wealth of knowledge and information that will help you structure offers or counter-offers. People love to talk! If you’re a good listener, you’ll be very popular with most folks. Columbo is very good at this. Often suspects tell him enough to hang themselves. Makes his job much easier, wouldn’t you say?
Thirdly, never get emotional! Don’t be critical and above all, never “talk down” to anyone. If you humiliate, embarrass or ridicule, you’ll lose all chance of negotiating a winning deal. Even sellers who are about to lose their shirts won’t do business with someone who intimidates or tries to overposer them COUREOUSNESS AND UNDERSTANG are two of the most powerful tools in your negotiating kit. Use them generously, they’ll pay big dividends. Once again, Columbo was a master at this.