Don Coughlin REMAX Leading Edge Email Don


Negotiation is a complex matter and all transactions are unique. Both sides – buyer and seller – want to feel the outcome favors them. Experience shows there are four basic keys which help determine who wins at the negotiating table.


At various times we’re in a “buyer’s” market, a “seller’s” market, or a market where housing supply and demand are roughly equal. If possible, you want to be in the market at a time when it favors your position as a buyer or seller.

Because all properties are unique, it is possible to have more leverage than the marketplace would seem to allow. For instance, if you find a property where the seller has overpriced his home and the Days On Market are stacking up, you may be able to get a better deal. Or, if you’re a buyer who can close quickly, that might be an important negotiating chip when dealing with an owner who just got a new job 500 miles away.


A lot of attention in real estate is paid to transaction prices. This surely makes sense, but the key to a good deal may be more complex.

Consider two identical properties that each sell on the same day in the same town for $390,000. Are the deals the same? Maybe not. For instance, one owner may have agreed to paint the exterior, replace the roof, purchase a new dishwasher, and pay the first $3,000 of the buyer’s closing costs. The second owner made no concessions.

In this example, the first house actually sold at a discount – the $390,000 purchase price less the value of the roof repairs, closing credit, and other items. If you’re a buyer, this is the deal you want. If you’re a seller, you would prefer to give up nothing.


A real estate transaction involves a trade: a house for money. We know the house is there, but what about financing? There are a couple of factors that impact the money issue: Has the buyer been prequalified or preapproved by a lender? (See article below) If the seller accepts an offer from a buyer with unverified financial strength, it’s possible that the transaction could fail because the buyer can’t get a loan.

It used to be that downpayments were a major financing hurdle – but not anymore. For those with good credit, loans with 5 percent down or less are now widely available. But the buyer with a larger downpayment is less of a risk due to the diminished chance that a low bank appraisal will matter to the lender.


Imagine you’re caught in a fight. The other guy has black belts in 12 martial arts – and you don’t. Who’s going to win?

A buyer/seller can hire their friend who started two years ago, or the former practicing lawyer turned real estate agent with 20+ years of experience in every type of negotiation imaginable. Who has the advantage at the bargaining table? As a former practicing attorney, I’m anxious to put my additional negotiating knowledge to work for you.


To learn more about me, email me at or call anytime at 339-927-2759.