Negotiations are the most rewarding part of the job, and this is where we separate the winners from the losers. Very few people are good at negotiations, because it’s as much an art as a skill; you can’t just read a book on it. Our team is hand selected for their ability to negotiate (among other things as well). Here is a breakdown of how we set up a flawless negotiating strategy.

Lay Low

What do we mean by this? It begins right with looking at homes, we will train you to keep a tight lip during viewings. You’d be surprised how many times the owners are home… listening….waiting to hear anything from you. Then we do all of our research on the home to find out if it’s over or under priced. If it’s over-priced, we can probably expect the listing agent to call us for feedback, and having them come to us first is the best scenario. If it’s under priced or clearly a high-demand house, we will contact the seller agent more promptly.

Expressing Interest

When negotiating, you have to look like you care….but not that much. You like the house…..if the conditions are reasonable. We must be calm and collected, because any level of emotion is a sign of weakness. We will say that you are interested, and that you are a serious, no-nonsense buyer. And then say no more. This is the time to see what information the seller agent will offer. And let us tell you, we often get an outpouring of advantageous information. A previous offer fell through, the sellers have already bought a home, they have young children (aka – very motivated to sell), job transfer, on and on. Or the reverse, such as the owners don’t have to sell, they’re waiting for the right buyer to appreciate the home, they just put 100k in upgrades. Either way, we can know if the owners are likely to be stubborn, or willing to work with us.

This is also when I find out if there are other offers registered on the home, which is different than an agent saying they are expecting offers. A serious offer from another buyer must be registered with the seller agent’s office and this information must be shared. If nothing is registered, there is no offer. Now not to say shady games don’t happen, and other agents try to slip in offers without registering them, but any good listing agent wants to create a multiple offer situation if possible, so this is why expressing interest is good so that we’ll be contacted with any new information.

We will take all the information that we could glean from the seller agent and decide our final strategy on price and conditions.

Submitting the Offer

It is important that you know everything that is going on, and understand everything that you sign. We will:

  • Discuss Strategy In Advance. We will consider scenario A, B and C, and what is the likely outcome of each. We will tell you which option will likely be the most effective, given what we know about the market and the seller. Then it is 100% your choice about what option you will go with.
  • Request to Present the offer in Person. There is a greater sense of commitment from the sellers if they know you are sitting in the nearby coffee shop ready to get the deal done. Your agent also gets the opportunity to meet with the seller in person, instead passing messages through the listing agent. It’s faster, more direct, and less games are played because the sellers can see we are up front and serious. Fax offers are becoming more and more common and if this is what the seller wants, we must oblige.


This may surprise you but our goal is to work collaboratively with the seller agent. Too often, emotions damage negotiating power and pride kills deals. We don’t want to disrespect or offend the sellers, because if they get their defences up, they will dig in their heels and stick on their price. When we are calm and stick to the facts, sellers are much more likely to continue negotiating back and forth to make a deal.

When you’re dealing with people, anything can happen. Only our experience and assessment of the situation can tell us when is the right time to push harder or when to step it back a bit. Striking hard often works best when its a fabulous house and you know there’s going to be lots of interest in it. And sometimes we’ve gotten amazing deals for clients by letting the offer sit out there for a few days for the seller to think about. It all depends on demand, and you need a confident agent to know what is the best action.

In all cases, we will keep you updated at all times. Whenever we hear anything we will let you know right away. We respect that this is a highly anxious time for you and we won’t leave you to guess or worry. We need you to be widely available when we are negotiating an offer, because we will be constantly discussing next steps and strategy.