Selling a home can be a complex process, filled with a range of emotions — for both buyers and sellers. While it may appear the dollar reigns supreme when purchasing or selling, there is quite a bit more at play in real estate negotiations. After all, at the heart of it all are people, which means there are no set rules on how a purchase process might go.

This is where having a real estate agent with a Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE)® designation can be a real asset. Brie Forrester, CNE and 2021 Reno Gazette-Journal’s Best of Reno Real Estate Agent, said its essential to utilize a real estate agent’s negotiation expertise, which can not only help clients save money, but ensure their needs are being met throughout the purchasing transaction.

“Buying or selling a home is one of the most expensive transactions most people will make in their life,” she said. “It can be very complex in so many ways and you want the best outcome. An expert is needed to protect clients from what they don’t know or know how to handle and to guide them through all the legal documents, disclosures, contingencies, laws and regulations that can hold up a close, help avoid costly and timely mistakes, and do this with an unbiased and objective eye.”

Introduction to Real Estate Negotiation Expertise

In today’s market, it may seem that the cleanest offer — cash, over asking, and as-is — ensures a quick and certain home purchase. These ideal scenarios may provide an easy purchasing transaction, but the bottom line is, it’s not always that simple. The home buying and selling process often involves emotions, preferences, needs, and desires.

A real estate negotiation expert has a specialized skill set to help mediate offers and negotiate real estate fees, counteroffers, contracts, and contingencies between a seller and buyer. This can help clients navigate the complexities of a transaction under the guidance of a real estate agent that understands their motivations and can ensure they are being represented, guided, and protected throughout the process.

Forrester said it’s important to understand who you’re working with and anticipate their needs. She said this skillset can help her buyers save money, or sellers make as much as possible, because she’s working toward getting the best terms and results.

“I feel that I interact with my clients honestly and openly,” Forrester said. “I also have a sense of humor which seems to help them be comfortable around my personality. I want my clients to feel comfortable in their decision. This may mean steering them away from buying a house because I can tell their emotions are tied to the house and those differ from their purchasing goals.”

Brie Forrester: A Case Study in Expert Negotiation

In real estate school, students learn real estate principles, legalities, ethics, industry practices, and finance. What they don’t typically learn is transaction negotiation skills. As a licensed realtor for about eight years, Forrester understood the importance of working with a real estate negotiation expert and wanted to expand her skillset for her clients. So, she completed her CNE.

During her certification, she was trained on different negotiation styles, such as collaborative, which is a win-win situation, or competitive, where there is a perceived winner and loser. She said less than 5% of agents hold this certification designation in North America.

“We learned persuasion principles to influence others, the psychology of buying and emotions involved in that, and we spent hours going over scripts with multiple scenarios to apply the different principles and approaches we learned,” Forrester said. “Transactions are not always about money; sometimes, it’s about knowing what the other party wants. This is where anticipating the needs of the parties is necessary.”

Negotiating Real Estate Transactions

When buying and selling a property, there’s no set formula for how the process may go. This can lead to various outcomes — many of them high stakes and higher emotions. A real estate negotiation expert shines in these scenarios as they’re not only trained to handle complicated transaction situations, but they typically have reputable contacts in their network they can utilize, such contractors, title officers, lenders, etc.

“A real estate agent knows the market conditions and will ensure their clients are paying the right price, or getting the maximum price for their home, all the while navigating the emotions of multiple people in the transaction, understanding motives, and knowing how to use that to their clients’ advantage,” Forrester said.

As a buyer, it’s important to balance your emotions and focus on your main goals in what you’re looking for. It’s easy to get emotionally attached to a property and let that carry you into negotiated terms you’re not comfortable with. Brie said a real estate negotiation expert can help by understanding both parties’ motivations in the transaction. This may mean negotiating the home price you want so you don’t overpay.

It’s equally important as a seller that you find the best offer for your needs. Forrester said sellers may have a specific buyer in mind, such as a family or one that doesn’t plan on significantly changing the property and can get into the negotiation process with a viable offer only to deny it when motivations are clearly defined.

For both buyers and sellers, it’s essential to know when to walk away. By employing specific negotiation tactics, such as asking open ended questions, remaining silent when necessary, and keeping emotions out of the transaction process, the needs and wants of both parties become apparent and help all parties involved to make an informed decision.

“For life’s largest purchase, wouldn’t you want to know that you’re in the hands of someone who is an expert not only in real estate but in negotiating with your money?” Forrester said.

Looking to get the best deal on your next home purchase or sale? Connect with Dickson Realty’s real estate negotiation experts, like Brie Forrester, and experience the power of professional negotiation on your side. Click here to learn more and start your journey toward a successful real estate transaction!