10 Real Estate Negotiation Strategies From an Expert

10 Real Estate Negotiation Strategies From an Expert

In real estate, negotiations are the backbone of every successful sale. The interplay of offer and counteroffer can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. How does one navigate these negotiations with finesse? Some advise buyers to bid as much as 20% below the sales price of a home. However, there’s no one universal solution to negotiations, an art that goes beyond a house’s price tag. Let’s examine the top 10 real estate negotiation strategies that experts swear by.

A factual overview of real estate negotiation

When negotiating real estate deals, an agent can be a godsend. A significant 44% of surveyed buyers stated that their real estate agent helped them get better terms on their sales contracts. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, your agent can enhance your understanding of topics related to negotiation. Case in point: 95% of sellers said potential buyers asked for a home inspection, and 67% of sellers found themselves negotiating repairs due to those inspection results.

Strategies for negotiating in real estate

An expert negotiator like Stephanie Heist may use the following tactics during negotiations.

Let the other party lead

In the dance of negotiation, timing is crucial. Letting the other party set the initial tone gives you an insight into their mindset and intentions. By holding back just a tad, you gain a clearer perspective on the entire transaction, allowing you to send a counteroffer that aligns more closely with your desired outcome.

Incorporate additional items

Every home has unique characteristics and items of value. When negotiating, don't just focus on the price. Consider other assets that could be included in the deal, like appliances, furniture, or even decor. Discussing these inclusions can bridge the gap between a seller's price and a buyer's offer, adding warmth and a personal touch to the agreement.

Speak with positivity

The language you use in negotiations carries weight. Words of affirmation and positivity foster an environment of trust and collaboration. By employing affirming language, you convey respect and openness, ensuring that the conversation remains constructive and rooted in mutual understanding even in moments of disagreement.

The silent power of non-verbal cues

In the realm of negotiations, what's unsaid often speaks volumes. Your facial expressions and body language can set the mood of the entire discussion. Warm smiles, open postures, and attentive listening can bridge the gap, even in moments of silent disagreement.

Start with a realistic offer

Starting with a price close to the market value can be both a sign of respect and a show of genuine interest. It tells the seller that you've done your homework, value the property, and are serious about coming to an agreement. It's a meaningful gesture that signals trust, laying the groundwork for a harmonious negotiation.

Knowledge is your compass

Thorough research is the foundation of any successful negotiation. Dive deep into every nook and cranny of the property's history, the neighborhood, and the market trends. When you're armed with knowledge, you navigate the conversation confidently and clearly, ensuring you're always one step ahead and making decisions that resonate with both the heart and the head.

The personal touch: Face-to-face or voice-to-voice

In today's digital age, it's easy to hide behind screens and written words. But there's an undeniable magic in personal interactions. Meeting in person or hearing a voice over the phone builds a connection that's often intangible but deeply powerful. It humanizes the process, reminding both parties that there's a person behind every offer or counteroffer.

Always have a Plan B up your sleeve

While hope is a potent force, it's also wise to prepare for various outcomes. A backup plan ensures you remain grounded, no matter which direction the winds of negotiation blow. It's not about expecting the worst but being equipped to handle any twist or turn with grace and poise.

Recognize the power of a gentle refusal

Sometimes, the most potent word in a negotiator's vocabulary is a simple "no." Knowing when to draw the line is as crucial as knowing when to push forward. It's a testament to your values, boundaries, and vision for the future.

The give and take of home buying and selling

List price

A home’s price is more than just a number. It represents dreams, aspirations, and the countless memories a home promises. A home’s list price is usually flexible, so stay positive whether you’re reaching out with an offer or responding to one.

Closing costs

Often in the shadows of the main price, closing costs are the unsung heroes of a deal. They represent the meticulous details and final touches that go into negotiations. Like list prices, closing costs are typically negotiable, offering another way for buyer and seller to compromise.

Closing date

The closing date is the day when property ownership changes hands. Buyers are often eager to move in, while sellers may be reluctant to say goodbye. No matter which side of the deal you’re on, the closing date is often a poignant day.

Home repairs

Every home tells a story. Though grounded in bricks and mortar, home repairs carry emotions of care and feelings of rejuvenation. Whether it's a creaky floorboard or a faded wall, negotiating on repairs ensures the house is ready for its new owner.


Appliances, the silent workhorses of a home, bring comfort and convenience to daily life. From the hum of a refrigerator to the rhythm of a washing machine. As such, they often become key negotiation points, reflecting the desire for continuity and the comfort of familiar routines in a new setting.


Furniture, more than mere objects, are the keepers of memories. Each piece, whether it's a cozy armchair or an elegant dining table, holds tales of gatherings, celebrations, and quiet moments. In home negotiations, furniture discussions are not just about material value. They touch upon the more profound realm of continuity and the desire to preserve old memories or create new ones.

About Stephanie Heist

Born in South Florida, Stephanie Heist brings each client a lifetime of local insights and an impressive 18-year track record in real estate. Stephanie donates to 49 charities as part of her real estate career. By working together, you gain an expert negotiator, savvy marketer, and personal advocate.

If you're looking to buy or sell a home or have any questions about the Florida real estate market, contact Stephanie Heist today.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Work With Stephanie

You choose a Realtor® that has the experience, a solid reputation, one you trust and that you know will do everything possible to exceed your expectations. That Realtor® is me, so I hope to hear from you soon!