AgentIndustry VoicesNewsletter

5 effective negotiation techniques to get to closing

Help your buyers and sellers through the process with honesty and information.

Thanks to the booming housing market, there’s intense demand for real estate agents who will help clients find and negotiate for the home of their dreams. But with more and more people entering the real estate industry for the potential earnings, competition for clients has never been stronger.

You can stand apart from the pack by developing a reputation as a fierce negotiator and closer. While many prospective buyers will feel comfortable with other parts of the buying and selling process, such as managing or viewing listings and handling their finances, they depend on their agents the most during the negotiations and closing process.

Here are five effective closing techniques to help you step up your skills as a real estate agent and boost your reputation with buyers and sellers.

Take them for a walk through

When a prospective seller contacts you, take them for a walk through so they can see why you’re the best person to help them achieve their goals. Start by pointing out key selling points of the home, such as crown molding, high ceilings, and proximity to parks. Explain how you can highlight these features to build interest in the property.

At the same time, identify areas that might cause concern for potential buyers, and offer them advice and solutions. Recommend someone who can quickly, and affordably, paint scuffed-up walls. Explain the kinds of replacement hardware that could make kitchen cupboards stand out.

This walk through will help your client see the potential value in their home and get them excited to work with you. Once they’re ready to sell, that’s where you step in to take over. Keep a checklist of steps to take to make sure you have a happy client who will recommend you in the future.

Ask your client questions

Throughout the buying and selling process, good realtors get to know their clients’ wants and needs by asking questions about what they’re looking for in a purchase or sale. Continue to ask open-ended questions throughout closing to find out if they are satisfied with the deal, or if they have any concerns that you can address to move the process forward.

Start simple by asking what they like about the deal, such as the price point and the timeline. Then, ease into questions about any red flags they might see. In most cases, you can provide a good explanation that will put their worries to rest and turn that home into a “sold” property.

Clearly state the benefits

It isn’t unusual for a buyer or seller to get cold feet once a real estate deal is about to go through. By clearly stating the benefits of signing off on a deal at that moment, known as summary closing, you can help your client clearly understand how this particular arrangement will benefit them.

For example, if your seller is moving out of state for work, you can explain how much easier it is to close on a house now versus having to fly back later to sign the closing paperwork. Likewise, you can show a buyer how much money they’ll save or the wealth they’ll build over time by buying now instead of paying rent.

Help them visualize

While some clients can easily imagine the benefits of buying or selling a property, more often than not, it pays to help them visualize the possibilities.

When taking buyers through a prospective home, point out items from their wish list, such as a spacious primary bedroom, a wood-burning fireplace, or an extra bathroom. At the same time, point out how a property will help them live the life they want. For example, show them how a second bedroom could be staged as an office, home gym, or nursery if they have children.

Visualization also helps sellers. If you’re working with empty nesters, help them see how a smaller home will save them time and money, freeing them up to travel or take on new hobbies.

By painting a picture of all the possibilities of buying or selling a property, you’ll move your clients even closer toward making and accepting an offer.

Empower your clients

Buying and selling a home is one of the most exciting and stressful experiences a person will have in their life. Ease their anxiety and help them feel more comfortable by giving your clients plenty of power throughout the process. Help your clients see that every decision is theirs to make, but offer to be their guide.

If your seller mentions wanting to make a large profit on their home, give them a few options of listing prices to choose from. Give them a listing price that requires them to do no additional work on their home, a second that includes minor repairs — such as painting and cleaning carpets — and a third with more significant updates, like installing a new roof.

You can provide similar options for buyers, particularly ones with a list of needs that are hard to find in one place based on the current market. Show them a home that has all of the features they want, but perhaps in a different area of town. Then, show them a home in their desired neighborhood and give them ideas on how it could become the home of their dreams over time.

By giving power back to your clients, you’ll help them feel in control during a stressful time.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of RealTrends’ editorial department and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Luke Babich at

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Tracey Velt at