1. Be prepared. This works for negotiators just as it does for Boy Scouts. Be sure all facts are available and verified before you begin. Postponements for fact-finding can bog down the negotiation.

2. Present a united front. You might not agree with your clients’ position but don’t share that with the other side during the negotiation. Privately, you can try to get your clients to change their mind.

3. Leave your attitude at the door. Don’t let your personal opinions of the parties or the situation cloud your judgment; that could endanger the transaction. Treat everybody with respect; if you disagree, disagree with an idea, not with the person.

4. Hold something back. Plan beforehand what concessions your clients are willing to make and then use them when the bargaining gets under way.

5. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Never let a negotiation bog down over a minor point. If you can’t agree, put the point aside and come back to it later. Concentrate on getting agreement on major points like price and terms.

6. Get all the decision makers together. Nothing is more frustrating than to think you have an agreement, only to find that somebody else must sign off on it.

7. Avoid distractions. Choose a location that’s pleasant. Ask everybody to turn off phones and pagers, and don’t accept calls until the negotiation is complete.

8. Don’t share information unnecessarily. Knowledge is power in a negotiation, so giving the other side extra information may weaken your position. Conversely, learn as much about the other parties as you can.

9. Just keep quiet. Greeting an offer or concession with silence undermines the other side’s power and often prompts an immediate reaction.

10. Leave something on the table. Remember that a successful negotiation is not the same as grinding the opponent into the ground. No one should leave a negotiation angry; you never know when you might have to negotiate with the same people again.

For more information or to set up an appointment call Nesbitt Realty at (703)765-0300.
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