In real estate, excellent negotiation skills are highly prized. Understanding negotiation will help you deliver better value to your clients and can shorten the purchase time. However, there’s a secret sauce in negotiating: keeping all parties happy. But how can you manage to ensure all parties feel they got what they wanted?

In this article, I talk about negotiation for buyers’ agents and what you need to do to ensure a successful purchase where everybody wins.

Negotiate with empathy

The number one rule in negotiation is to make sure that at the end of the negotiation process, all parties are satisfied with the results. So start with listening hard to learn what is driving the purchase for your buyer. Negotiation is often viewed, incorrectly, as being all about price. When you listen to your client, you’ll hear what is really influencing their decisions. You need to understand the financial and lifestyle goals they need to achieve, if they need a quick purchase, or any other factors that are as (or more) important than location or price.

It’s all about timing

Before you even start the negotiation process, you need to know when your buyer feels comfortable. Just because you’re ready to get on with a purchase doesn’t mean it’s the right time for your buyer (or the vendor, for that matter). Buying and selling property can be stressful and although we’re here to make it easier for buyers and vendors, life can get in the way. So listen and look for signals and don’t rush in.

Understand your market

Before you leap in, you need a comprehensive knowledge of your area and rule out anomalies. Do your due diligence and find recent sale prices of as many comparable properties as you can so you build a stronger picture of value.

Go to the selling agent armed with negotiation points

Before you check in with the agent, visit the property to assess its location and condition. Ask yourself what issues the property has that could be areas of negotiation. For example the property might have ageing guttering that will need to be replaced, the third bedroom might be inadequate for use as an actual bedroom or the property might be on a busier road than are comparable properties. Any of these can be points you can use with an agent to start negotiations.

Make the selling agent your ally

When you work with a sales agent as an educated and trusted partner, the agent is more likely to impart vital information such as the seller’s motivations, price expectations and if the seller will move on price for a compelling offer. A shorter or longer settlement, for example, might fulfil the seller’s needs and enable you to offer less because the seller will save on monies they might have needed to spend elsewhere.

Make sure your buyer has approved finance

Pre-approved finance or, better, a heft cash deposit can really get the ball rolling when it comes to negotiation. Pre-approved finance puts you in a stronger position to negotiate, particularly if the seller has time restrictions on the sale.


If you get it right, your negotiations will satisfy your buyer, the vendor and the agent so everyone feels they’ve got the best out of the deal. Remember that vendors become buyers and agents become allies so it’s worth keeping them on side to build your network and enhance your reputation.

Join the conversation at Property Mavens

Want to up your game as a buyer’s agent? In our group, we discuss negotiation tactics, what has worked and what hinders a successful purchase. It’s just one of the many topics we discuss so we all learn from each other. We have more buyers wanting help than our team can handle.

Join us at Property Mavens Group

Currently we are in a growth phase and we’re oversubscribed with client leads. For a limited time, we have places available in this strong buyers’ agent business, with leads in Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat. Call me, Miriam Sandkuhler, on 03 9988 2266 to learn more.