There’s so much noise out there on how to navigate a challenging market. This April, let Inman help you cut through the clutter to make smart business decisions in real time. All month long, we’re taking it Back to Basics and finding out how real estate pros are evolving their systems and investing personally and professionally to drive growth.

Pulse is a recurring column where we ask for readers’ takes on varying topics in a weekly survey and report back with our findings.

If you’ve ever found yourself in a negotiation that suddenly went south, you may have said one of Bernice Ross’s seven never-say words. If you’ve been in a negotiation that suddenly became smooth sailing, it might have been because of one of Christy Murdock’s body language tips.

Whether it’s what we say, how we shake hands or even the color of a scarf or necktie, there are a host of things that can impact your negotiations.


That’s why (as we wrap up Back to Basics Month), we asked you to tell us your top negotiation tip, and you had some good ones.

Do you do power poses before you walk into the room? Decline to speak first? Is it all about the follow-up or the expectation setting? Do you insist on your turf or wear your lucky socks? What is it that makes all the difference when it’s time to hash things out at the negotiating table? Here’s what you said:

  • Be kind. Even when saying no to a request or offer, say it in a way that makes the other side feel heard. Or offer something very small instead. 
  • Close in 10 days, let the seller stay rent-free for 30 days (and obtain renters insurance), give the seller a week to think on it. This is related to all-cash, lower than asking price. It works! 
  • I listen to what the other side is not saying more than what they are saying. 
  • Using odd numbers. It’s easier to sell that your client “crunched the numbers” and the most they can do is $517,200 vs. $515,00 or even $517,000. I’ve had an agent actually say, “That’s a very specific number,” and then they accepted. 

Now it’s your turn. Tell us about your never-fail closing strategy in the comments below.

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