Use these real estate negotiation scripts and strategies in some of the most difficult situations that agents commonly encounter with other agents, and even clients.
We have some high-powered real estate negotiation scripts and strategies to go over in today’s training. As a real estate agent, you do a lot of negotiation, and not just with your opponent. You also negotiate with the inspector, contractors, and even your own clients.
Real estate negotiation scripts & strategies to use in negotiation
There isn’t a whole lot of face-to-face negotiation that goes on these days. A lot of a real estate agent’s job is fairly “plug-and-play”. Mostly, you are sending a lot of contracts back and forth. That is usually how you negotiate with the other agent.
The most negotiation you will do in a transaction is with your own client. You have a fiduciary duty to represent your client’s best interests. So – how do you negotiate with someone who you also need to represent? It can be touchy.
7 practical applications for real estate negotiation scripts and strategies
In working with your clients through careful negotiation, here are 7 practical applications.
1. Educate your clients on alternative options
How do you help control these negotiations with your clients? Education. Demonstrate the “why”. Then use objection handlers to overcome their denial and get them where they want to go even if it isn’t the most comfortable path.
Very rarely is the comfortable path the road that will lead to the desired outcome in any situation.
Example: Luxury agents using lockboxes
I run one of the largest real estate coaching companies in the world. We coach agents across the spectrum – and today I’m going to use the agents working in high-end markets as an example.
Most luxury agents will say, “There’s no way to use a lockbox on a 10 million dollar listing.” So, they must be present for every single showing because that is customary in the luxury market.
Why? “This is what’s customary in our area.” “Brian, you don’t know our market.” “This is what my clients want.” Oh boy – what your client wants! No! You are the professional. Tell them why this isn’t the best idea.
Breaking bad habits through education
So, working with these luxury agents, we get them to break this habit. We help them create real estate negotiation scripts to use with their clients on why lockboxes work, and soon enough, they are using lockboxes on their listings and everything is fine.
Now, they don’t have to be present at every showing. Suddenly, listings start selling faster because they don’t have to be there.
By using a lockbox, you are making things easier for everyone. You just have to get past your limiting beliefs. More showings means more offers. More offers means negotiating a higher price for your client. Everyone wins!
Think outside the norm
You may think something is customary, but that doesn’t mean it is the best option. Agents with low skill-development don’t know the real estate negotiation scripts and dialogues to use to get their client’s home sold at the highest prices. Be the agent who knows how.
2. Stop answering the phone
We coach a lot of agents that talk about how they seem to be working 24/7. They chalk it up to an occupational hazard. “Well, that’s being a real estate agent for ya!”
Well – if you say so! It doesn’t have to be.
Low producers answer the phone 24/7. High producers don’t. They know the real estate negotiation scripts and strategies that allow them to set hours for themselves and time block in a way that allows them to serve their clients at a high level while also protecting their own time.
Do you call your doctor at all hours of the day and expect to speak with them immediately? No! You know the doctor has appointments. So, you book an appointment. You respect their time. This is the norm.
This should be the norm for you too.
3. Protect your lead generation time through using these real estate negotiation scripts
Let’s say you are lead generating and it’s 9am. All of a sudden, your phone rings. It’s a seller you are already working with. You could answer, address your seller’s concerns, do some follow up phone calls or perhaps meet with your seller – and be derailed from your lead generation.
It isn’t likely that you will return to your lead generation activities for the rest of the day. You are pushing aside your efforts to generate more business to service your existing business. Not a good strategy to adopt.
Let your seller leave a voicemail. You can call them back when you’re done with your lead generation. Or, shoot them a quick text. “I’m in an appointment right now – I’ll call you back shortly.” Nobody will be mad at this.
You are not available to your clients, vendors, or affiliates in the morning. Your mornings are for you. Mornings are for exercise, prayer, meditation, family, lead generation activities, etc.
4. Listings go live on Wednesdays and offers are received on Mondays
If you put your listings live on Thursdays and Fridays, like so many agents do, you are going to work all weekend long. Everyone is going to be calling you on Friday and Saturday.
And, as a result, you will reduce the exposure for your sellers. If you list on Wednesday, you have one or two more days to field all the questions during the work week (when more agents will see it) and it also becomes an extra day that you can show the house. There’s less scrambling and you get more attention.
Another bonus? Your sellers aren’t getting a bunch of last-minute showings. You are disrupting their weekend less. Some agents say, “That’s the way it is! This is what we have to do in this crazy market.” No – this isn’t the way it has to be. Your life doesn’t have to be a tornado.
Open house rules
Plan your open house that first weekend, preferably on Saturday.
Now you have time to create hype. You can invite your sphere of influence (SOI) to the open house. You also have time to circle prospect, send mailers, and re-target ads on Facebook for that open house. Because you listed on Wednesday, you have more time to do all of this!
All the hype just increases the likelihood of drawing multiple offers, which ultimately will get your seller the highest price. Why would you shorten your time window by listing on a Friday?
All your phone calls will happen before the weekend, allowing you to have better work/life balance. Your sellers will have a more controlled situation. You’ll get increased exposure and increased activity around your listing.
Look at offers on Monday afternoon
Most of the time, real estate agents ask for offers by Sunday afternoon. Do not present offers on Sunday because this will make your Sunday – and your sellers’ Sunday – a living hell.
The agents putting in offers will call you all day on Sunday. So – why not wait until Monday? Everybody is at work on Monday. This is better for everyone’s work/life balance. Plus, it does lengthen your window for accepting offers which could lead to getting more offers on the table.
You can negotiate for this by saying, “This is what my sellers need. This is when we will have time to sit down professionally and go over the offers. I am representing my sellers’ needs.”
With your listing going live on Wednesday and offers coming in on Monday, you have moved most of your stress away from your weekend. You are handling things before the weekend and after the weekend.
Why don’t most real estate agents like this? Because they are lazy. They want to get under contract quickly and be done. And, they are horrible negotiators.
Good negotiators can keep things in limbo and be okay. They know that it’s okay to keep it untidy for a while because it generates the most favorable result.
5. Always schedule closings on a specific closing date
Don’t schedule closings “30 days” or “45 days” from now. Make sure the closing is scheduled for a specific date, and on a Tuesday or a Wednesday.
Once you are done negotiating all of the specifics and you’re ready to go under contract, you can do one final counter where you ask to “clean things up a bit” and decide on a specific closing date.
Why not Thursdays or Fridays?
Thursdays or Fridays are rough because if anything goes wrong during the closing process, it will screw up your clients’ timeline. Most clients schedule their movers and rent their moving trucks on Saturday or Sunday. If something happens and now you are closing on the following Monday instead, everyone gets stressed out because they can’t move and they have to reschedule their movers or take days off work to move.
All of a sudden, when this happens, the clients’ entire buying or selling experience has been ruined. This is incredibly stressful. If you are the agent that let that happen, it’s your fault.
Realize that title and escrow companies get most of their closings on Fridays. They get overwhelmed with closings because it all comes in right before the weekend. This is when title and escrow companies will make the most mistakes and not get back to you quickly. If you close on a Tuesday or Wednesday, you are not competing for attention.
Note: Also, don’t close at the end of the month. Closing on the last Thursday or Friday of the month would be the worst choice you could make. You’ll get the worst service from your vendors because everyone is slammed at the end of the month. And if something happens that delays your closing, all the documents will have to be redrawn for the next month. It’s a nightmare.
6. Drag your offers using these real estate negotiation scripts
If you put the listing live on Wednesday and don’t look at offers until Monday, that gives you more time on the market. This increases your ability to drag your offers.
You always want to keep the listing untied and open as long as possible because that increases the likelihood of getting an offer. You want to entertain every offer that comes your way. Even if it is super low. That way, when an agent puts in an offer, you can say, “Yes, there are other offers.” That agent can then tell their buyer, and now they think okay, this home is desirable and already has offers. You need to make a competitive offer in order to be considered.
In luxury markets, it is especially important to drag your offers. You must drag your offers for as long as possible. Multiple offers are more rare in luxury markets, so you want to do the most that you can to try to attract as many buyers as possible. You entertain any offer you get and keep it alive for as long as possible.
7. Price at (or slightly below) market value to attract multiple offers
Most people think you should list as high as you can list to get the best price. Almost any agent with any experience will tell you that the way to get the best price with the best terms in a deal that will always close is to actually get multiple offers.
If you get multiple offers, you hold the negotiating power. You can negotiate shorter contingency periods and waive inspections, arrange leasebacks, etc. And, ultimately, multiple offers means quality buyers competing and driving up the price.
Use this script and strategy in a listing appointment when you are explaining your pricing suggestions to your client. You must explain why your pricing strategy works, and why it is so important.
Always show your work
Remember, the whole time that you work through any of these real estate negotiation scripts and strategies, tell your client what you are doing. “Showing your work” is very important because it proves your value. Your client will be so glad they didn’t go with a different agent or, heaven forbid, go FSBO.