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Negotiation tactics: how to handle a client who won’t budge

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When it comes to buying or selling real estate, negotiation is considered part of the game. However, there will be times when a client simply refuses to negotiate over the price or other factors involved in the potential sale of property. While this may sound like the end of negotiation, in many cases it’s simply the beginning. Consider the following negotiation tactics to keep the discussion and hopes of closing the deal alive.

When most people buy or sell a home, they set a price for the property and leave themselves some room for negotiation. However, there are sellers who set a price and refuse to budge or buyers who offer an amount with a “take it or leave it” attitude. While both of these situations can be difficult to deal with, they are far from impossible.

If a client refuses to listen to any counteroffers, it’s often a good idea to wait several days and before getting back to them. Those who initially refuse to negotiate often need some breathing room and a good dose of reality before they begin to rethink their strategy.

Timing is also a big factor in dealing with difficult clients, because it tends to show who is really in control of the situation. For example, making frequent counteroffers allows the client to stay in control rather than actually putting any pressure on them. Clients who don’t feel any anxiety about closing a deal are unlikely to budge from their stance, so it’s crucial to make them feel that they will lose the deal if they continue to be stubborn.

According to a study by the American Psychological Association, almost 75% of people will eventually give in and negotiate on a matter rather than risk losing the chance to make a deal altogether. The study concluded that people see only what they expect to see, so difficult clients who perceive that the deal is slipping through their fingers are much more likely to blink first and return to the negotiating table.

For those who have the strength to do so, walking away from the negotiating table only to return later on works wonders. Similar to the car salesman who runs after customers walking out of a car dealership empty-handed, real estate clients who see a potential buyer walking away may decide some money is better than none at all.

When all is said and done, clients who set a non-negotiable price will often rethink that strategy as days and weeks go by without a deal being made. By being patient and calm, most difficult clients can be tamed over time.

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