Real Estate February 7, 2024

The Art of Negotiation for Real Estate Agents

The Art of Negotiation


I’m Mike Ferrante, a seasoned Realtor with Century 21 HomeStar and the 21 Mike Team, serving Northeast Ohio and beyond. Today, we delve into the intricate art of negotiation, a crucial skill for every real estate professional. Joining me is Tony Geraci, the esteemed broker-owner of Homestar, with over 30 years of industry expertise.

Understanding Negotiation Styles:

Negotiation is a multifaceted skill, and agents often encounter various negotiation styles. Let’s briefly explore the five fundamental negotiation styles and then move on to real-life examples.

  1. Compete: This style adopts an “I win, you lose” mentality. While not inherently right or wrong, it can be challenging to navigate, especially in today’s seller’s market. Recognizing and standing your ground is key when dealing with a competitive negotiator.
  2. Accommodate: This style reflects an “I lose, you win” approach. In a seller’s market, buyers might find themselves accommodating more to secure a deal. However, agents should be cautious about consistently falling into this strategy, ensuring the best outcome for their clients is paramount.
  3. Avoid: The “lose-lose” or avoidance strategy involves sidestepping conflicts, often resulting in passive-aggressive behavior. This is generally not recommended, as it impedes effective communication and resolution.
  4. Compromise: Involving both “I lose some, and I win some,” compromise is prevalent in real estate. A common scenario is negotiating with buyers who aim to lowball sellers. However, finding a middle ground is essential for a successful transaction.
  5. Collaborate: The preferred negotiation style is collaboration, where both parties aim for a “win-win” scenario. Effective communication and finding common ground are crucial in collaborative negotiations.

Negotiating Multiple Offers:

Now, let’s explore negotiating multiple offers, considering both seller and buyer perspectives.

Seller’s Side: When sitting on multiple offers, the decision to call for “highest and best” or adopt a different strategy depends on the circumstances. While “highest and best” seems like a universal approach, it may lead some buyers to back out, citing a reluctance to engage in a bidding war. Listing agents must weigh the risk and potential benefits, considering factors such as time on market and buyer sentiments.

Buyer’s Side: Buyers, hesitant about bidding wars, may resist the “highest and best” strategy. Agents can address concerns by explaining the protective nature of the appraisal process, ensuring that buyers won’t overpay. Additionally, avoiding aggressive timelines can project a more collaborative and less pushy approach.

Building Positive Agent Relationships: Lastly, building positive relationships with other agents is essential. Negotiations extend beyond buyer-seller dynamics; they involve fostering connections within the real estate community. Agents who handle negotiations respectfully and transparently leave a lasting impression, influencing future collaborations.


In the dynamic world of real estate, mastering negotiation is a continuous journey. Understanding and adapting to various negotiation styles, whether competing, accommodating, avoiding, compromising, or collaborating, is essential for success. As a Cleveland Realtor, navigating multiple offers with finesse and building positive agent relationships will set you apart in the ever-evolving real estate landscape.



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