Sealing the deal: How to ensure your negotiations end in a signature by Nicole Madigan
It’s the delicate dance all agents perform, with both the buyer and the seller, in the hope of acquiring the necessary signatures, a happy client and a secure sale.
Negotiations can go on for days, weeks or even months – or if all goes to plan, just a few hours.
Unfortunately, the often lengthy process doesn’t always play out the easy way.
So how can you make sure the valuable time spent during negotiation doesn’t go to waste?
Get an offer – any offer – on paper
“Whatever the asking price is just park it and ask your buyer ‘what would you pay?’ and at least get an offer on the table,” says Geoff Grist, property agent at Richardson and Wrench Mosman.
“When your buyer has presented their very best offer on a signed contract you can then present it to your seller to decide if they will take it or not. Not all sellers tell you the full story and sometimes you have to kiss a few frogs to find a prince.”
Once you have a counter offer from your seller all you have to do is close the gap.
Brendan Leahy, CEO and sales associate of Naked Real Estate agrees, adding that even rejected on-paper offers can help seal the deal down the track.
“If you get to a stage where the property hasn’t sold, yet you have had two or three offers written at a lower price, this will be an indication to your sellers of where their property sits in the market – use this to educate your sellers,” says Mr Leahy.
Take the option away
If a buyer is apprehensive about signing, remove the property from them and see how they react, says Beller Residential’s senior sales consultant, Damien Sienkiewicz.
“If they truly want it then they will fight to have it back,” he says.
“Discuss what will happen if they don’t buy. Same with a vendor, take the offer off the table. Sometimes people don’t know what they have until it’s gone.”
Reinforce the motivation behind the transaction rather than the dollars.
“With buyers or sellers there is always a reason as to why they are transacting. Remove the dollar amount from the equation and go back to the why,” says Mr Sienkiewicz.
Don’t stop until the deal is done!
Be careful not to become a delivery person with multiple counter offers, warns Mr Leahy.
“Your seller is paying you to negotiate, not play ‘real estate ping pong’.
“Also, don’t let buyers or sellers ‘sleep on it’ – this opens the door for buyer’s remorse, or they could open up their phone and see a better property come through on their email alerts.”
Do your best to ensure that the sellers, buyers and you go to sleep that night knowing the deal is done.
“The latest I signed off on an offer is 2.15am,” says Mr Leahy.
Beware of ‘contract fever’
Slow things down and make sure all of your t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted.
“I have seen contracts that have been completed incorrectly which allowed the buyer to walk,” says Mr Leahy.
Similarly, avoid strange conditions being added to a contract.
“Remember that if it can’t be satisfied, then this gives the buyer an out.”
Ensure you know what you’re writing – as simple as this seems, the slightest incorrect phrasing could cause a deal to unravel.
Make time for spontaneous negotiations
Provide plenty of opportunity for spontaneous offers to be made by arriving early and leaving late from open homes and allowing plenty of time between appointments.
“You need to provide as much information as possible including pest and building reports, strata reports and a survey to remove any barrier stopping a buyer from making an offer,” says Mr Grist.
“Your buyers need to remember the house and remember you as an agent.”
Follow up after inspections
“Every buyer on a Saturday deserves a text to thank them and acknowledge their inspection,” says Mr Grist.
“Plus it’s a great time to mention that ‘three other buyers asked for a contract, would you like a contract too?’
“You can do this as a group text through your buyer base CRM and it often triggers a call back to you.”
Remember to find out who the decision makers are and get them back for a second inspection.
“Sometimes the weekend is the only time they are both together so if you need to schedule a Sunday inspection, then do it. If they have asked for a contract then get them back through the door as soon as possible.”