How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

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steadyeddy
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How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by steadyeddy » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:52 pm

I’m planning to sell my current home and buy a new one in 2018. I would like to find a realtor that can competently negotiate both of these transactions. My last realtor was a people-pleaser, which made him good at handling me, but bad at negotiating with the other side. How do I go about finding a realtor that will effectively negotiate on my behalf? It seems difficult to screen for this skill in an interview since they’ll be doing their best to say only “yes” in that context.

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Chan_va
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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by Chan_va » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:56 pm

Are you in a buyers market or sellers market where you are? In general, with sale comps and other listing prices being pretty transparent on the internet, there isn't much negotiating a realtor can do nowadays.

J295
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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by J295 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:59 pm

Nearly every professional I have ever engaged I have done so based upon personal recommendations.

You or looking for negotiating skills, but remember the importance of market valuation/pricing as you will want your agent to be strong in these skills

It seems to me you could exercise a reasonable amount of control on the negotiation process by virtue of your communication with your own realtor. After all, they are your agent and will act on your instructions as the principal.

Good luck.

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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by hicabob » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:00 pm

When it comes to selling I have previously looked for the "hot shot" realtors who sell the most homes in the particular market. Worked well for me. The local board of realtors can tell you who they are.

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bottlecap
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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by bottlecap » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:03 pm

You can not rely on the real estate agent to negotiate for you. It’s your job.

You can say, here’s what I want to do, what do you think? But you should drive the negotiation.

Most of what real estate agents do is show properties. They don’t have a lot of incentive or need to negotiate.

JT

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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by cadreamer2015 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:07 pm

I never considered my realtors in charge of negotiation the big stuff, like price. They would present our proposals. They can be helpful in negotiation the small stuff - what's reasonable on inspection based repairs, closing dates, etc. But as others say, I think it's much more important for your realtor to have a very good sense of the market, not just generally but for the specific neighborhoods and types of properties you are buying or selling.
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43andcounting
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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by 43andcounting » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:09 pm

I do not have much experience beyond buying three and selling two, but with this I am convinced that the agent's best interest is to do a transaction, not to get you the best deal. This is not as much a matter of skill but of incentives, and agent's negotiation skill can conceivably work against you.

Next time I need a real estate agent, I will look for one with the lowest transaction fee (e.g. 1% refund) and will plan to do negotiation myself, with the agent being the messenger.

This is an opinion, hardly qualifies for an advice, and this is not an argument against agents in any way. With the right expectations, the whole transaction is easier too.

barnaclebob
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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:11 pm

If your situation is simple there really isn't much negotiation skills needed. You'll have a handful of offers and if they are under asking you might be able to come back at them for a little more money or refuse to do repairs after an inspection but that's about it. You might be able to get the buyers into a bidding war but that's not a guarantee. There probably isn't some magic tactic they can use that will get you another 10%. The real value is that your realtor can also help you navigate which offers are the strongest and most likely to close without hiccups. They can also suggest how to put together the strongest offer on a property you are looking to buy.

For selling, correct pricing strategy is the number one thing to look for IMO along with putting in the effort to get more offers, professionalism, and taking good listing pictures. Some of the garbage listing pictures I have seen were astounding and I don't know why clients didn't demand better photos.

Examples: When putting an offer on the house we are closing on today, the realtor made some calls and found out another offer was already on the table and they had done a pre inspection to remove the inspection contingency. He suggested we do the same. It was a $300 risk that paid off. He also said the property will almost certainly go for more than asking so we should offer the max we felt the house was worth vs. offering asking and getting into a counteroffer situation. Finally he advised that a contingency to sell our current house first would be a kiss of death so that let us know how to setup our financing for the pre approval letter.

The other agent helped the seller by countering with just increasing the earnest money from 1% to 2.5% just to make sure we were fully committed and had more skin in the game. She could maybe have squeezed another 1% out of us before we would have walked but is that really a huge deal?
Last edited by barnaclebob on Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:30 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by TLC1957 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:22 pm

Whatever you do interview at least 3 realtors and ask what they would list your home for. We asked a realtor who sold a lot of homes and had a great reputation.She suggest to price our home $75K less than what it actually sold for. She would low ball the house for a quick sale to get her numbers of units sold up. As we interviewed others agents we starting seeing what this one agent was doing. We did not list with her, so glad we got other realtors involved. Good luck selling your home.

FraggleRock
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Easy

Post by FraggleRock » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:29 pm

When interviewing them, try to negotiate a lower commission with them.
Try for 2%.

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dm200
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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by dm200 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:29 pm

No direct experience over the decades, but I have heard (from multiple folks) that a listing agent who "farms" your neighborhood or has a connection to sales in your neighborhood can sometimes hold out for the best sales price. Such agents have a strong interest and benefit in keeping the sales prices as high as possible, whereas agents with no ties or connections see your sale as just another listing to sell as soon as possible (reduce effort to get the commission).

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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by German Expat » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:47 pm

My experience up to now was that it is best if you negotiate yourself. The realtor is interested to make a sell, for him a sure and fast sell is much better then holding out for some more money or negotiating on your behalf. This is true on the buyer and seller end. One house we bought the realtor told us not to put an offer in this low but we did it anyway and ended up getting it (in fairness was a buyers market though).
For buying, the more you pay the higher the commission. I am a cynic here but looking at various academic research you will see that realtors hold out for higher prices on their own homes.

e.g. see here

http://www.nber.org/digest/mar05/w11053.html

mrgeeze
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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by mrgeeze » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:50 pm

steadyeddy wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:52 pm
I’m planning to sell my current home and buy a new one in 2018. I would like to find a realtor that can competently negotiate both of these transactions. My last realtor was a people-pleaser, which made him good at handling me, but bad at negotiating with the other side. How do I go about finding a realtor that will effectively negotiate on my behalf? It seems difficult to screen for this skill in an interview since they’ll be doing their best to say only “yes” in that context.

Good Realtors are very hard to find.
Many try, few succeed.
Most of them leave the business within a year or two of taking up the profession
You should probably seek out one with a decade or two in your market.
Local Knowledge is pretty important. Do they have transactions in your geography... i mean in the neighborhood.

A good realtor will tell you what you need to do to sell your house, even if you don't want to hear it.
There's no reason to overspend but there are things you need to do to get your house ready to sell.
Get his input and see if its $10 grand or $50 grand. Sometimes realtors forget its your money.
A good one will make sure the thing will get through inspection. That's as far as you want to go.
Resist the temptation to make major improvements (windows for example) Rarely does that pay.
Carpet Caulk and Paint. That is your mantra.

The real estate business is in a state of change now, especially with tools like Zillow.
In a real hot sellers market you should not have to pay $3%.
Certainly if you're going to give him 2 deals you should get some give

Most important of all remember that a realtor is indifferent on the margin.
By that I mean he/she generally has little interest in maximizing the last 10-30k of the haggling.
Remember 10 grand to you means $300 to the realtor. At that point he just wants to get the deal done.
In the end, the person that's going to negotiate a good deal is you. Be willing to offend people with your offer.
Understand that in a hot market you won't get the deal if you offer 15% below list. But if a property has been sitting for 180 days, its time for a lowball.

Finally, don't be silly for 1%. Its only money. If you let a 400K house you really love slip through your hands for a$5k difference, its probably your fault.

Good Luck

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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:00 pm

As the seller, don't you approve or decline any offers? The realtor is a liason. They can certainly offer ideas/suggestions. They have connections, access to MLS, etc.

If you put your house on the market for $200k and you get an offer for $190k, the realtor doesn't approve or decline the offer.

You would counter the $190k or not respond if you felt the offer was not worth responding to.

Almost everyone has a pretty near connection with a realtor. Work, church, parents. Use your built in network and ask a few questions to get some ideas.
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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by jabberwockOG » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:07 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:03 pm
You can not rely on the real estate agent to negotiate for you. It’s your job.

You can say, here’s what I want to do, what do you think? But you should drive the negotiation.

Most of what real estate agents do is show properties. They don’t have a lot of incentive or need to negotiate.

JT
This 100%. It is your responsibility to negotiate based on info the realtor presents to you on market conditions, demand for the property, days on the market, motivation of the other party either on the sell side or the buy side. You should never tell your realtor how much you'd really take for selling or buying a property. Realtors are coin operated but they could care less about negotiating the best price for you. What they are motivated to do is to make the sale and then make sure it closes. Up or down in price by 5-10% means a lot to you but means very little to nothing to the realtor despite what they tell you.

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Steelersfan
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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by Steelersfan » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:33 pm

A three minute video on what motivates a real estate agent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0rV3ydBhUw

They're not motivated to negotiate (that takes time) - they're motivated to make the sale as quickly as possible.

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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by livesoft » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:32 pm

Your real estate agent does not have to negotiate for you. You can negotiate for yourself by simply telling the agent what to tell the folks on the other side of the deal. Your agent just passes on your thoughts, comments, and reasoning with every correspondence to the other party. Of course, you have to not tell your realtor anything that you don't want the other party to know. OTOH, you can give your realtor tasks to carry out which include finding out things about the other party.
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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by LarryAllen » Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:58 pm

Chan_va wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:56 pm
Are you in a buyers market or sellers market where you are? In general, with sale comps and other listing prices being pretty transparent on the internet, there isn't much negotiating a realtor can do nowadays.
I would say that is inaccurate. Every single transaction offers the ability for a good negotiator to come out ahead. In real estate it is someone who can distinguish one property from another and sell those points. Another way is in how they present offers, counter-offers, etc.... Make it clear it's take-it-or leave it rather than the soft Realtor who says "off the record" that his side will go up or down. Definitely good value in a good Realtor in my opinion. Great example of DIYers, or people who hire based on price come out behind and don't even realize it. Funny really.

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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by staythecourse » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:07 pm

livesoft wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:32 pm
Your real estate agent does not have to negotiate for you. You can negotiate for yourself by simply telling the agent what to tell the folks on the other side of the deal. Your agent just passes on your thoughts, comments, and reasoning with every correspondence to the other party. Of course, you have to not tell your realtor anything that you don't want the other party to know. OTOH, you can give your realtor tasks to carry out which include finding out things about the other party.
Agreed. Your agents job is to get you all the information you need, such as: Recent comps on sold homes of similar properties, the usual sales to list ratio in the area, days on the market that is usual for the area, what folks are looking for in terms of finishes at this price point, etc... Many will NOT want to tell you to buy or sell at price point X as they always seem irrationally worried about legal liability down the road.

Really the no. 1 trump card in ALL negotiation has nothing to do with the realtor, but the issue of time. If you have time on your side you always have the advantage no matter how good the other negotiator is or is not. For example, if you want car x for price y there is a big difference on the negotiation if you are trying to buy on the weekend as you totaled the car on Friday and need one for Monday for work (like I did :( ) or you are just looking to buy if you get a great deal as you already are fine with the one you have for now either way (like my wife is currently doing). Big difference. Either situation does not matter who is negotiating against you. Same for buying/ selling house. If you need to sell as you can not carry 2 mortgages then that is MUCH different then if you plan on renting it out if you don't get the price point you want.

Good luck.
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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:26 pm

steadyeddy wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:52 pm
I’m planning to sell my current home and buy a new one in 2018. I would like to find a realtor that can competently negotiate both of these transactions. My last realtor was a people-pleaser, which made him good at handling me, but bad at negotiating with the other side. How do I go about finding a realtor that will effectively negotiate on my behalf? It seems difficult to screen for this skill in an interview since they’ll be doing their best to say only “yes” in that context.
1
Find a realtor that is "your" advocate. . . even over their commission. As a sales, commission based, it is not in their interest to get the lowest price for a buyer or the highest price for a seller, but rather to get any deal they can close before another agent sells the property. If the property is listed on the MLS then it is open to all agents. The lst step is to get the sales listing contract from you. Some realtors only do that and never sell anything because once it's listed on the MLS and is old by any agent, they will get a cut as the lister.
2
Find a realtor that will do what "you want" and say what "you want", not what they want or "think" is best for you or their wallet. This is the difficult part because most realtors are empowered by the seller, or buyer, to do what's best because "they are the professional". Not so. It's your house. You do your own due diligence. You know what it should sell for and what it's worth, and how much you're willing to sell it for. Often a realtor agent will talk you down to make the sale. Is that in your best interest? Or if you're in a good market, wait for a higher offer from another potential buyer?
3
Negotiating is in your hands, not the realtors. Again, you are the CEO. You tell them what to do, when to counter, how much to counter, when to stand, when to walk out on an offer.
4
The value of the realtor agent is as a 3rd party interface so it remains business and impersonal. And, to gather all the information about the property and the prospective buyer and buyers agent for you so you can make the right decisions and steer the ship.
5
Being pleasant is great. But you want effectiveness. This is business. You want results.
Interview them and background check and get past successful sales list, etc. as you would an employee. I you can, look for an associate broker that is still in the "field". Harder to find but worth it.

j :D

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Wildebeest
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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by Wildebeest » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:58 pm

It is difficult.We were never impressed with real estate agent added value .

We bought without a real estate agent and when we sold at list price, we saved 6 % many moons ago,
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Re: How to find a good realtor that negotiates well

Post by stan1 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:06 pm

hicabob wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:00 pm
When it comes to selling I have previously looked for the "hot shot" realtors who sell the most homes in the particular market. Worked well for me. The local board of realtors can tell you who they are.
This. You want a realtor who likes to win and is successful (closes sales on many houses each year). Some realtors are very concerned about interior design and staging. I prefer to work with realtors who are business focused (work with investors, own investment property themselves, maybe even a contractor's license).

Yes pricing is more transparent than it might have been many years ago especially in a fast moving market but a good agent can still earn their pay during negotiations after the offer is made to remove contingencies (finance and inspections). Agents who sell a lot of houses will also have access to low cost, reliable, and fast contractors to do any needed repair work.

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