Real estate agents typically fall into one of two categories -
The first, and most common, are the deal doers. These are agents who jump to action when they have a buyer on the hook. They won't let a deal pass them buy. They are opportunistic and often charismatic. They thrive on a sale and know that the only way they get paid is to sell, sell, sell, and they never lose sight of this.
These agents are very skilled at understanding their vendor's motivations and gettin those owners udner cotnrol.
They realise there is 2 sides to sides to a sale – getting the owner to have the right expecations on price and getting the buyer to part with that amount of money. It’s that skill of bringing together those two elements that will help you as a buyer as well.
The more skilled agents in this category will be very charming and persuasive and you will want to buy from them, even if the property they are handling isn't ideally suited to your needs.
The less skilled "deal doer" agents will resort to playing games. So you are unlikely to trust these guys as much and will probably not want to buy from them unless they happen to be selling a property that really suits you.
Regardless of their skill level, a quick sale is a good sale in their eyes. The best way to deal with these type of agents is to be decisive, really show them that you’re interested and come in strong with an offer.
The second group are process-oriented agents and usually more difficult to deal with.
Often inexperienced, they will be lead by the owners, who generally don't know how to negotiate either. They couldn't manage their way out of a wet paper bag so the chances of them having their vendor's price expectations under control are less than nil. Not only that, but quite often they haven't even worked out that without covering this crucial base they are less likely to get a sale. And they don't have the skills to close the gap between a buy at a low price and an owner at a high one.
Typically these people follow a very rigid step by step process and aren't able to roll with the punches. They don't think on their feet and won't know how to handle a curve ball. C follows B follows A and don't get the order wrong! So now is not the time to get creative with your offer and try to negotiate on things like inclusions, settlement periods and lease-back arrangements. Whatever you do, don't confuse these poor souls!
Often they can’t even manage to bridge the gap between an owner’s high expections on price and a buyer’s realistic expections on what they want to pay.
Generally those who are the worst negotiators will give you the least amount of usable information. They don't know how to use information to move a deal forward. So buyers get frustrated with them and sometimes even give up in disgust. Or they dig their heels in and nobody gets anywhere.
When negotiating with these agents, keep in mind they are probably not controlling their vendor’s expections so you are going to have to do it by proxy. What that means is that you might have to go in with a really low opening offer to warm them up – to make the owner think that the agent is working hard on their behalf.
So it takes a bit more time, energy and patience, but there is no point going in with your best offer with these type of agents because they won’t recognise it.
It’s really important you do your own research and have a thorough understanding of what recent sales are like on comparable proeprties n the area – and that’s sold prices, not just listed. This is a very powerful tool when you’re trying to negotiate.
So when you finally get to the point of submitting your final offer, the vendor is better prepared to recognize it for what bit is and hopefully accept it.