First in a series: Negotiation tips for buyers and sellers

Afraid of negotiation? You certainly aren’t the only one. The back-and-forth of nailing down a deal can rattle the most seasoned pro. That’s why we at Paragon have put together a comprehensive set of tips specifically focused on real estate. We hope these help!

First off, understand that fair market value may be simply defined as the price that a qualified reasonably knowledgeable buyer is willing to pay or that a seller not under duress is willing to accept once the house has been given proper market exposure. To achieve this given that it is in constant flux, one must try to negotiate the absolute best price and terms in the current market.

Now, some basic principles of negotiation:

· You never know until you ask. Don’t assume that you can predict how another party will respond or what their final position will actually be.

· Make concessions grudgingly. Give in easily and you’ll convey that you’re okay with leaving money on the table and failing to further your best interests. Rather, make it appear that each concession is causing you actual physical pain. Yes, this means act.

· Money negotiations are a zerosum game. A true win-win means finding what can be exchanged that costs one party little but holds high value to the other.

· Sometimes it’s not all about the money. Negotiations also focus on things like time, fear and personalities – as well as ego. Identify these issues and use them to your benefit.

· Be careful of strong emotion. This can and will typically have a negative impact on your objectives. Passion and dispassion are what makes effective negotiations.

· Desert desperation. The desperate party usually loses.

· Forget disrespect. Strong, aggressive negotiation is one thing. Personal attacks are another.

· Seemingly fair compromises create positive reactions. Providing rationale is helpful. Splitting the difference is also considered useful.

Tomorrow: more basic principles as well as specific buyer and seller tips.

Dreaming of San Francisco? Cece Blase offers local advice to San Francisco buyers, sellers and owners– and feeds the dreams of those who wish they could live in Tony Bennett’s ‘City by the Bay.’ Call 415-577-0809 or email