History, literature, film, and even sports have taught us that a great negotiator is tough- threatening, cajoling, constantly issuing demands and drawing lines in the sand- fully expecting the other side to cave in and accept an exceptionally one-sided offer. We often see a negotiator depicted as a user of bravado, intimidation, inside information, and Jedi-mind tricks in order to get what he or she wants. Here at Kelly Blanchard Real Estate, we might sometimes wish we had some of these tricks or superpowers on our side, but reality is that real estate negotiations just do not resemble Hollywood, Wall Street, TV, or the NFL. 


There are several reasons for this:


1- Perfect information


The incredible access we have to so much information in this technological age dramatically levels the playing field. These days, the buyer, seller, both agents, and the appraiser all have access to the same housing data, making the difference between what a home is worth and what people will pay for quite minimal.


2- The Number of Transactions


Each year, only a handful of Hollywood blockbusters will be produced. Only two or three really good NFL quarterbacks will become free agents. The number of Internet startups that will go public this year could probably be counted on your fingers. But about 25,000 homes will transfer in our region this year. 


When there are so many transactions in a marketplace, no one feels compelled to make any single deal. Buyers and sellers know that another opportunity is likely only days or weeks away. Therefore the pressure to accept an offer well below or well above market value is simply not there. The impact of negotiation declines significantly in this situation.


3- The Similarity of Housing


The difference between Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Arnold can mean box office smash or flop. The difference between the best and the worst quarterback in the NFL can be a Super Bowl victory or last place. 


At Kelly Blanchard Real Estate, we believe each house is unique, and we want to help you find the home that is just right for you. But we know that the right home will be right only if it is bought at an appropriate price and secured with the right terms. We know that if a house you love does not work out, the right one will come along. We will keep looking until the home and the details are right. 


4- Inbox to Inbox offers


In the past, face to face presentation of offers was fairly common –– and perhaps there was a little more posturing between agents over deal points. However, that practice is largely non-existent today. Real estate offers today are generated digitally, signed digitally, and delivered to the other side digitally. While agents might chat a bit on the phone, agents no longer sit down across the table from the other and engage in a point/counter-point back and forth tennis match, making the “back-and-forth” pretty simple and straight-forward.


5- Market Imbalance


Lastly, the idea that a buyer can sit back and play coy and eventually end up with the house he or she wants is extremely low. Because Richmond is currently experiencing a housing shortage, you are likely one of about ten people seeking the exact same price range and qualities in a house. Because of this, purchasing real estate in Richmond far more resembles an auction than it does a balanced market.


Then What in the World Are We Supposed to Do?


So you may be wondering- If you cannot depend on negotiation tactics to help you buy or sell a home, what can you do to be prepared? We at Kelly Blanchard Real Estate can help you! 


We help our buyers think through just what you want in a home and understand values so you can feel confident to act quickly and decisively when the time is right. We can also use the other terms of the contract to make your offer more appealing than that of your competitors. Flexible closing dates, escalation clauses, rent backs, and fast inspections are just some of the tools we use to tip the decision in your favor. We have also found that a trustworthy agent and reputable lender can help move an offer to the top of the pile, so we work hard to be the kind of agents others want to work with to close a deal.


And to assist our sellers, we do everything we can to bring multiple buyers to compete for your home. When buyers are not only negotiating with you but also against each other, you will end up with not only the best price for your home but also the best terms. We can help you think through how to make this happen, with pricing, timing, presentation, and promotion. Then, we can help you compare the offers to choose not only the highest price but also the best terms so that your transaction can be smooth and satisfying. 


To make good real estate decisions, you do not need to be a master negotiator, but you do need to understand both sides of the process. We are here to help! If you have questions or are considering buying or selling, reach out to us, and we will be happy to talk with you!

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