Al and Cal Homes and Community: Negotiating What Works and What Does Not

Negotiating What Works and What Does Not

Negotiating What Works and What Does Not

Bringing two parties together in a Real Estate transaction isn't always easy, but it is done by Realtors everywhere, everyday.      It is part of their skill set, part of their job.    A skilled negotiator, in my opinion, is a person that is a good listener and is also capable of detaching themselves from the parties emotions.   They are also able to communicate and think ahead.    how to negotiate, tips on negotiating, negotiating successfully

A client of mine recently asked me what I thought made a great real estate transaction.    He was being funny when he said that in his opinion it is when all parties feel like they have been taken.    I guess there are many that think that way.   I don't.  

I feel a successful negotiation is when we have a meeting of the minds.   It might be that not everyone always gets exactly what they want.  There can be trade offs and most time there are.    I mean think about it really.   Is it possible for the Seller to get the more than market value and the Buyer of the same transaction "steal" the home?   Of course not.   That's ridiculous.   When both parties are comfortable with the outcome, it is successful.   

For a Realtor, it is very frustrating to see a person who wants to buy a home and a person who wants to sell a home unable to fulfill their desires.    The home buying and selling process is riddled with emotion and is such a big ticket item that one seemingly very small thing can stall and end a negotiation.  

In my opinion, it doesn't matter what side of the fence you are on, or if it is real estate for that matter.   

Things that kill a deal.  

 Ego, Ignorance, Fear, Freezing, Stalling, Pit Bull Attitude, Being Unreasonable, and not thinking ahead.  

Things that work.  

When negotiating, leave your emotions and ego at the door.    Do your homework, listen to the professionals not the well meaning "experts" and remember to think ahead.   Anticipate how the other side will feel and react to your position.   Temper your prompt response accordingly. 

It is not unreasonable to want the best for ourselves, and I am not saying give in, rather think.   (for example, if you go up on your price 20k after coming down, how will the buyer react to this?   Do you think they will understand this tactic ot walk away??   Flip side, if you ask for the Seller's Jag, will the Seller likely respond??)    Again, not saying give in, just think.

Are you looking to buy or sell real estate in the Franklin MA area or surrounding communities?   

If so, I am your gal!     Al and Cal offer years of experience and a service guarantee!

The real estate market is heating up!

Contact me today     508-494-9061


About the author

Carol-Ann Palmieri, 

is a full time Real Estate professional in Massachusetts for the past 25 years along with her partner Al Mussi have helped literally hundreds of families find, sell or purchase new places to live.

 A former US Marine, she grew up in Walpole, MA...  is committed to the serving the community through various volunteer opportunities.   She attended MA Bay Community and Suffolk University and is committed to constantly updating her Real Estate education.

 Licensed in MA and RI...

 Al and Cal's primary areas of service Franklin, Bellingham, Medway, Millis, Medfield, Norfolk, Wrentham, Plainville, Blackstone, Walpole, Milford, Holliston, Hopkinton, Mansfield, and Foxboro, North Attleboro, Norwood, Hopedale, Mendon, Millville but have resourses to help anyone, anywhere....
Her mission....  To exceed your expectations!




Carol-Ann Palmieri

Al and Cal Realty Group

Remax Executive Realty




Comment balloon 52 commentsCarol-Ann Palmieri • February 25 2013 05:29AM


This is a tough subject. I have seen people that are as nice as can be and when it comes time to talking about money things change. It seems like the good one for me is "let's meet in the middle". Some people think they can talk the seller down to a an unreasonable price which surprises me and some sellers think their house is special.

I think the average sale is about 7% off of a properly priced home.


Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) about 6 years ago

Things that kill a deal.

Ego, Ignorance, Fear, Freezing, Stalling, Pit Bull Attitude, Being Unreasonable, and not thinking ahead.


Very good advice to the sellers and the buyers...

Posted by Richard Burge Realty/ Burge Homes, Broker in Charge/Owner (Richard Burge Realty/Burge Homes) about 6 years ago

The art of negotiation is also a book.  Negotiaing is one of the most important part of being a Realtor & takes great skill & patience.

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) about 6 years ago


Very nice post. Many tines one party has the upperhand in negoiation for one reason or another. I have always practiced good communication and respect in negoiations. I have been on both sides of the fence and hope that I will receive the same back. 

Posted by Alan Kirkpatrick, Alan in Austin (Austin Texas Homes) about 6 years ago

Carol Ann: All the more reason to have experienced agents in the mix who can remove emotion from the transaction and help both sides meet in the middle.

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055) about 6 years ago

Ego, ignorance (lack of information or education) and/or fear are probably at the heart of any failed relationship.  Asking buyers and sellers for their best effort to leave their emotions out of it is often their most difficult task, but worth it in the end if they can accomplish it.  And what an accomplishment when they see it saved their deal.  Well said. 

Posted by Jean Jannopoulo, Robert Slack LLC (Love where you live) about 6 years ago

Hi Noah.       Yes, it does amaze how one's view changes depending upon which side of the fence they sit.   Thanks for commenting.   


Hi Richard.   Strange things happen.  Level heads prevail.    Thanks for checking this out!


Hi Jimmy.   A very important hat we Realtors wear.   Thanks for jumping in!


Hi Alan.  A good point that I didn't mention.      Respect!!   Thank you.

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) about 6 years ago

Hi Anita.  I couldn't agree more.   Thanks for checking this out.  


Hi Jean.    It's hard to keep emotions out of anything this big, but it definitely pays off.   Thanks for reading!

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) about 6 years ago

Good morning, Carol Ann.... it's always touch and go with negotiating....there are so many different personalities and factors that influence the outcome.... it's a complex topic for sure, but a good start would be to begin without emotion....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) about 6 years ago

Carol Ann, it is also frustrating with agents that do not guide their clients well.  It is so tough and everyone thinks we have an easy job!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Great points, Carol Ann! I think it's especially important for agents to keep their emotions over the behavior of sellers or buyers or the other agent to themselves. When your client starts to feel angry because of information you've expressed about another party in the transaction, you've become the obstacle that kills the deal!  Our job as Realtors is to help people stay calm, give them reliable business information, and guide them as you suggest.

Posted by Nina Rogoff, Sells Real Estate! (RE/MAX Executive Realty) about 6 years ago

Hi Cal,

Like always you have written a very good post about negoitiaing and I will suggest it. Your comments about emotion and ego are right on the money.

Posted by Robert Bob Gilbert, Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties) about 6 years ago

Carol-Ann, good post.  Are your negotiations solely on price or do you involve other factors to create trade-offs?

Posted by Kathy Godin, Passion for Serving (Raleigh Mortgage Gals) about 6 years ago

Ver good post with many very good point for representing both sides of the transaction. 

Allowing your "emotions to take over" will kill a deal quicker then anything!  We have to keep reminding our clients this is business, it is not easy, but extremely important.

Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Matt Keough, New Castle County, DE, Matt Keough Agent New Castle County Delaware (Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Carol Ann, I just love it when buyers come on with that pit bull attitude, it makes me sick in the pit of my stomach!

Great post and contrats on the feature!

Posted by Christine OShea (Christine E O'Shea Real Estate Broker) about 6 years ago

Negotiations are what we do best.  So many egos destroy deals, but the one that can suck the eqos out of the room wins.

Posted by Alchemy Real Estate Group Seattle Real Estate, Represent Seattle's Builders & Intelligent Clients (Alchemy Real Estate Group) about 6 years ago

Thank you for featuring your BLOG Carol-Ann. You're so right that a successful real estate agent needs to look ahead. It's like driving when you need to look out and prepare yourself for the unexpected and not make the mistake of only focusing on what's right in front of your eyes.

Thanks again.

Posted by Cooper Jacobs, Real Estate Brokers - Seattle (Looking For A Seattle Realtor? COOPERJACOBS.COM) about 6 years ago

One of te hchallenegs in negotiating anything related to real estate is that emotions run high and emotions are rarely conducive to a successful negotiation conclusion...

Posted by Paddy Deighan JD PhD, Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D ( about 6 years ago

It has to be a win-win for both parties. .

unbalanced deals are always are stressful in my opinion

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) about 6 years ago

although I do not think of negotiating as Win/Lose, we win some and others we lose. I recently attempted to negotiate for my seller clients, a divorced couple. We were able to get close but she just was stuck on the number she needed and would not listen to the carefully worded arguments I had. The Buyer's Agent went away with his offer and work unappreciated. The test of maturity in real estate is in the negotiating. You offer some worthwhile thoughts about the art of negotiating.


Posted by Mike Warfel, Associate Broker (Bauer-Reno & Assoc.) about 6 years ago

Great post and discussion. Just today I had a heated discussion about "percentage off asking . . . ."  I think those stats should ever be used in negotiations. Just because a home is well prices doesn't mean one can automatically take of 9%. Every negotiation needs specific attention and all details defined. 

Posted by Charlie Dresen, Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro (Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty) about 6 years ago

Hi Barbara.    I definitely agree that it is complex made more so by the emotional nature of our business.   Thank You!  


Hi Ginny.  haha.   You can say that again.   After going through the process most appreciate what we do.   Thank you.  


Hi Nina.   Yes, yes yes!!!    A fabulous point.  Thank you!


Hi Bob.  Thank you.   I know that comes into play in most big ticket negotiations.  


Hi Kathy.    Price and terms mostly.   I personally try and leave the personal property out of the equation.   Thanks!


Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) about 6 years ago

Hi Matt.   Even the most reasonable of people get emotional over the thought of buying or selling a home.   We need to be the voice of reason.    Thanks. 


Hi Christine.   Me too!   That's not my nature and I feel the same.   Thank you. 


Hi JR.... haha.   Perfectly said!    TY


Hi Cooper.    I personally believe that anticipation helps a great deal in couching things that aren't always easy to take.   Thank you.


Hi Paddy.    Exactly.   Thanks!


Hi Fernando.   Agree, and that makes no one happy.   Thanks.

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) about 6 years ago

Hi Mike.   Thanks.  I don't like to look at it that way either.   A win/win is when the buyer gets the home and the seller gets his check.   :)  


Hi Charlie.  Such a good point and I couldn't agree more.   Thank you.  

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) about 6 years ago

Extremely important to have good agents by your side that can look through all the mess of emotions and tactics. Food for thought. Thanks for this.

Posted by Trisha Bush-LeFore, Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area (Preferred Properties Land & Homes) about 6 years ago

Great Blog. We learn through trial and error what works and what does not work. I have been in the field of real estate for over 30 years. I have seen much of it.

Posted by Ginger Harper, Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County! (Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage) about 6 years ago

Too often, I see agent who impose their values/ideas about the transaction.. rather than really listen to the goals of the client... Too often I hear "I would NEVER let my Buyer/seller agree to X"  What?

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) about 6 years ago

Carol Ann, great post. I would equate the negotiating process to trying to watching kids playing jump rope, there's a best time to jump in and a time to pause and wait for the opportunity

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) about 6 years ago

Carol Ann, it's touch and go! And at times I do not understand why negotiating for petty things lead to fall through of a transaction. You hit the nail when you said...

"For a Realtor, it is very frustrating to see a person who wants to buy a home and a person who wants to sell a home unable to fulfill their desires."

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) about 6 years ago
Al and Cal - Keeping ego out of it can make a huge difference in getting things done.
Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 6 years ago

I've seen egos almost ruin deals.  I remember a certain buyer and seller that were $100 apart on a $220,000 deal.  Ridiculous.  Thankfully (with some serious prodding from me) my buyer came to his right mind.  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) about 6 years ago

Great post. I'm glad you listed ego as number one. Ego, ego, ego...

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) about 6 years ago

Terrific post Cal, congrats on the feature.  The best negotiated deals are when each side comes away satisfied.

Posted by Al Raymondi, Ormond By The Sea Florida - Home and Condo Sales (Ocean View Realty Group in Ormond By The Sea Florida) about 6 years ago

very good post and truly relevant today

Posted by Ron Aguilar, Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995 (Continental Mortgage) about 6 years ago

What a great overview of real estate negotiating! Compromise is not a dirty word.

Posted by Robin Rogers, CRS, TRC, MRP - Real Estate Investment Adviser (Robin Rogers, Silverbridge Realty, San Antonio, Texas) about 6 years ago

You've got the right stuff Cal Gal. I too feel that both parties should feel comfortable and walk away from a real estate transaction as satisfied customers. Not sure why some people think negotiation means "beating up" on the other party. Outdated and archaic thinking in my opinion. Have a great week. D

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) about 6 years ago

Dialogue with connection rules the day....There is nothing people cannot work out if they just make it their business to do so


Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 6 years ago

The best strategy is to put yoursel f in the other persons shoes before you respond or put in an offer.  The offer is the start of the negotiations & that's where it can get off on a good footing or bad. 

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 6 years ago

A great real estate transaction is not when everyone feels taken, but when everyone feels like they won. The first one is a negative, the second is a positive. And the way in which you negotiate now can have an affect on future negotiaitions as well.

Posted by Pat & Wayne Harriman, Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate (Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499) about 6 years ago

"When negotiating, leave your emotions and ego at the door."- This is something that most buyers and sellers forget to do when negotiating a deal as they tend to take every little counter offer and special stipulation to heart. Neither one is trying to hurt the one's feelings; they are both just trying to get the best deal possible. That's why we as agents need to be vigilant in educating our clients and being their advocate.

Posted by Randy Bocook, Selling Coastal Georgia (Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners) about 6 years ago

The best transaction is when both of you and your client is happy and satisfied.. Keep those great posts coming Al and Cal! I wish you the best! 

Posted by Ridhi Raheja, FHA, 203k, VA, Jumbo, PreApproval, Jumbo Home Loan (Movement Mortgage (Illinois)) about 6 years ago

You are absolutely right in what you are saying about how to negotiate in good fatith, especially about looking at how the other side sees things.  However, when you use the the word "realtor" you leave out those of us that do not pya a lobby organization.  Just sayin.

Posted by Jirius Isaac, Real Estate & loans in Kenmore, WA (Isaac Real Estate &TriStar Mortgage) about 6 years ago

Excellent post, thank you !  Well said.  It's best if everyone works together and the nasty egos are left behind.

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) about 6 years ago

Carol-Ann, you are so right.  Ego never works in negotiation.  Seeing the negotiation from the other side often helps the buyer and seller think outside the box and get the transaction closed.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) about 6 years ago

Some people are not happy unless they beat the other person down.  That being said often just getting the thing closed leaves everyone in a better mood.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 6 years ago

Excellent Post - clearly you've been around the negotiating block more than a few times.

Posted by Keith Whited (RE/MAX Gateway) about 6 years ago

I always say that the sign of a good negotiation is all parties walking away from the table feeling like winners. If anyone feels like a loser it's trouble. Our job as agents is to help position negotiations in such a way as to ensure that our respective clients feel like winners.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) about 6 years ago

Hi Al & Cal, that is exactly what we tell our buyer's agents - leave the emotions out of it!

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) about 6 years ago

Hi All.  Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this post.   Your comments all interesting and very much appreciated.   I hope everyone has a great week.   Thank you!

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) about 6 years ago

Having proper representation in my opinion is the start of good negotiations. Just as buyers and sellers in a transaction never use the same attorney, wouldn't that principal apply also in regards to your real estate agent? Yes I know its nice to get both ends of the commission but intrinsically there are many risk to this double representation. As a buyer's agent I breath so much easier knowing I work for the best interest exclusively of my buyer client. Negotiations become just that and not  responses to keeping everyone happy and avoiding agent liablility.


Posted by Dolores "Dee" Mauriello, Realtor, Homes For Sale Wayne NJ (Keller Willaims ) about 6 years ago
Cal, Congrats on the feature and I happy for once AR liked my suggestion as lately I am not batting very high at all.
Posted by Robert Bob Gilbert, Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties) about 6 years ago

Hi Delores.   I totally agree.   Love the name by the way!   


Hi Bob.  haha.   Thank you.  I appreciate your support!!!!!

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) about 6 years ago