Main Line Homes Blog


Our job is to negotiate - so why do so many agents avoid it?

Part of our job as real estate agents is to negotiate, so why do so many agents avoid it? We negotiate at first for ourselves when we first meet with a consumer, when we decide if this is someone I want to work with as a customer. We explain the legal obligations our state requires about the different agency representations and what they mean to the consumer and why they might want to work with us, how we will represent them and what we will charge.

We negotiate explaining our value either as a listing agent or as a buyers agent, laying out what we bring to the table and why the consumer will want to work with us and why they will want to pay our fee. Locally we have several buyer agents who post their fees online, a good first step to true buyer agency, the complete journey takes them through to the buyer actually paying that fee themselves and not relying on the seller to pay them so their services are FREE. I hate to hear buyers agents explain their services are FREE. Really, you work for nothing. No wonder so many buyers have no loyalty, they see no value in FREE services. Then the agent counters, no I am paid by the seller. So if I am the quarterback my offensive line is being paid by the opposition and this makes me feel good why? Our value will not be seen by the consumer till we charge a fee and explain why we are good value and what we bring to the table.

As a buyers agent, I bring my local knowledge to the table of neighborhoods and developments, I also have many years of negotiation experience. And we will be negotiating, first the price and the terms of the offer, because it is not always about price; then once we have agreed terms we will end up negotiating any issues that arise from the home inspection contingencies, once those are resolved we may be negotiating an appraisal that comes in low, and finally when we do the walk through we may find something that needs to be negotiated at the table and needs to be resolved for settlement to happen. With me you have access to multiple mortgage brokers and bankers, insurance agents, title companies, qualified professional home inspectors and contractors. You also have me making sure that the car does not come off the road during the process, and that you meet all contractural deadlines for inspections and other contingencies, and that we reach settlement on time and are able to complete as well and you are able to move in when you expect to. In the past few years I have saved my clients several thousand dollars per transaction, how much are these services worth to you?

As a listing agent, there is far more to listing a home than just putting it in the MLS, placing a sign in the yard and holding an open house. Today it is all about marketing your home so that the right buyer can find it and make an offer, this includes helping you as a homeowner to price it correctly so that it will encourage buyers to view the home, preparing the home for sale, because when you sell a home it is different to how you live in a home, things have to change and if you are un-prepared it can be stressful. We need to make sure there are no liens on the property and we need to make sure the deed is correct and covers all the property you are selling. This is only the beginning, after the home has been prepared we will need to get great photos and plenty of them as more and more websites allow a greater number of photos. Video is becoming the next big thing for buyers so we will also need to create a true video of your property and the surrounding neighborhood. Once we have everything prepared we begin to market your home to reach as many buyers as possible, identifying potential prospective buyer pools, advertising your home and letting buyer agents know about your listing so their potential clients can come see the property. When we receive an offer we will highlight the good and the bad points,  and negotiate for you over the terms of the offer, make sure the buyer is qualified before removing your home from the market, negotiate through the home inspection and through till settlement with any issues that might arise from mortgage appraisals, title issues etc. We understand the process is stressful, and by being removed from it one step we can bring a different perspective.

Sometimes we get a little too close to our customers and we become protective of them, that is not our job. Our job is to be your agent, to follow your instructions, give you guidance and follow your legal directions. It is not for us as agents to negotiate as if we were the principal, it is not for us to turn down low offers, that is your position we are there to help you, to be honest with you and let you know what the market is doing locally and give you the information and make sure you understand the information to make an informed decision.

This is what you pay for when you use our services and that of many other agents. But make sure they can explain it, because if they cannot, they probably are not going to do it.

If you are buying or selling on or around Tredyffrin Easttown or along the Main Line we can help you,  contact us or connect

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Comment balloon 6 commentsNick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 • July 22 2011 06:57AM


Quote of the day "the complete journey takes them through to the Buyer actually paying that fee themselves". 

The Buyer is almost always the only party bringing money to the table, so technically, the Buyer is paying for everything.  The Seller then takes some of what the Buyer pays them and pays their agent who, through agreement with the Seller and advertisement on the MLS, pays the Buyers agent.  Occasionally, the Seller also gives some money back to pay closing costs for the Buyer if negotiated into the purchase and sale contract.

Posted by Daniel H. Fisher, MCRP - Charlotte Real Estate, NC or SC ( (704) 617-3544) almost 8 years ago

Video is becoming the next big thing for buyers.... Been here, should be weaved in and polished long before now. Only 1 percent of real estate agents, brokers, REALTORS are using real full motion with audio videos. Audio is 40% of the video and not to be wasted. What is your video channel(s)?

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 8 years ago

Good morning Nick and Trudy. Generally speaking I agree with you. it is our job or a significant part of our job to negotiate and not have dinner and drinks with our clients. That being said when a green or ignorant agent shows my listing that is priced below market a buyer who can't afford it and offers 60-65% of asking I am less inclined to negotiate.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) almost 8 years ago

I truly believe that the art of negotiation is a lost skill. I negotiate everything in life. Just the way I was brought up.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) almost 8 years ago

Good post.  Indeed we are hired for our expertise which includes negotiating. Just got an offer accepted.  My clients were willing to offer $20K more but we were able to keep the first offer price and negotiate on some other concessions saving my clients the $20K.

Posted by Anja Kerstens, GRI, CDPE, CHS, ASP, Selling Silicon Valley Real (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 8 years ago

Hello Nick and Trudy -- very thorough explanation.  Part of our value to a buyer or seller is our ability to negotiate and that first step is how we present ourselves to our clients so they understand the manner in which we work

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 almost 8 years ago

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