Learn How To Negotiate From The Most Successful Business People


“Negotiation.” The word itself can stir up a variety of reactions from excitement and anticipation to dread and fear. Those who aren’t well-versed in the art and science of negotiating might feel like it’s too close to confrontation, but those who have mastered it will likely disagree. Negotiation is more about listening and finding common ground – a well-balanced conversation.

One of the first things people mistakenly assume about negotiating is that being overly confident and assertive are necessary for “getting your way.” In reality, pushiness is a turnoff and will likely make people resistant to seeing your point of view. People who are good listeners are much more successful in negotiating.

Dale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” points out that self-interest is at the core of our motivations. Each negotiating party has different goals, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t find common ground and form bonds. In addition to being understanding and a good listener, there are a variety of tactics and traits that you can use to negotiate successfully.

See some of those tactics below:

It’s Not Them, It’s You

Self-awareness is crucial, everyone has biases and beliefs that become the default when dealing with conflict. Don’t let your emotions and predispositions get in the way of a successful negotiation. Try to see the negotiation from their point of view in order to find common ground.


Do Your Due Diligence

Do your homework and research the topic of your debate. You need to come prepared with stats and information from reliable sources to back your claims. It’s also important to learn about what’s important to the person you’re negotiating with. When possible, frame your arguments in terms that satisfy the other person’s self-interest.


Humility Is A Virtue

One of the best ways to build trust in a negotiation is to concede points quickly and apologize when it’s necessary. This honesty and willingness to be humble makes the other person more receptive and will likely lead them to admit their own faults as well. This also contributes to the old saying, “pick your battles.” If you concede on smaller points along the way, you increase your chances of closing the whole negotiation with a more favorable outcome.


The Authentic Bird Gets The Worm

Show a genuine interest in learning about people and what they value. This does not include, insincere flattery, most people see right through that and it usually results in the opposite of your desired effect. Developing your people skills is not only great for everyday situations, but it will also have a great impact on your ability to negotiate. The more likable you are, the more likely people will be to compromise and work with you.


The more comfortable you become with different tactics and interacting with various personality types, the less intimidating “negotiation” will sound. Some people seem to have a natural-born ability to negotiate. If you aren’t quite there yet, no need to worry: negotiation is a skill that can be learned and perfected with practice.

The tips below will equip you with the tools to negotiate like a pro and are applicable in a variety of situations from job promotions to closing the sale of your own home!


Real Estate Negotiation Strategies

When selling or buying a home, superb negotiation tactics are a must. Both negotiating parties should come well-prepared with estimates and stats that they can back up. This includes the home pricing, broken down by market value, cost of any repairs and how far you’re willing to deviate from your ideal price.

Both buyers and sellers should keep a running list of any agreements made so nothing slips between the cracks. If you find yourself stuck in a stalemate on price, consider adding different bargaining chips to the mix like furniture, repainting or repairs.

See some buyer- and seller-specific tips below.


Tips For Buyers

As a buyer, make sure you know what you’re doing to avoid missing out on your dream home. Check out our buyers guide here and see some highlights below:

  • Before entering any contracts, get the property appraised and inspected to make sure you understand the value versus the potential cost of any issues.
  • Put yourself in the seller’s shoes. Learn as much as you can about them to figure out what they’re most interested in. If you’re able to find some common ground, you’ll stand out from other buyers.
  • This also helps you pinpoint their style. Would they prefer straight facts and data-driven negotiation or sentimental ties? Sometimes sharing your family’s background story helps warm the seller up to you.
  • How long has the listing been on the market? If it’s longer than 30 days, the buyer has an upper hand as sellers will be more eager to settle at that point.


Tips For Sellers

If you’re selling your home, you need to be prepared for the different buyer personalities that you’ll encounter throughout the selling and negotiating process. Recognizing a buyer’s personality will also help you anticipate what tactics they’ll use (including those outlined above).

  • Listen carefully and watch to see which features of the home are their favorites. Later on, you can remind them about the features they liked the most to pique their interest.
  • Have facts and figures ready. If there are parts of your home that require repairs, have exact numbers and quotes for how much that will cost so you can’t be talked down further than what the fixes will set the buyer back.
  • Be honest, but don’t dwell on property issues. Present the facts and keep the conversation moving if there are minor issues that the seller is bringing up.
  • Avoid getting emotional during the negotiation process. This can be hard, especially if the home holds a lot of memories or sentimental ties.


There are many reasons to improve your negotiating skills: they can help you in personal relations as well as business matters, like selling your home. With so many resources available to help with listing tactics, accurate pricing and the legal paperwork, nothing is holding you back from selling your own home. Not only can you save on commission fees, but who knows your home better than you?