Austin Texas Real Estate Blog


Negotiating Advice for Buyers and Agents Alike - Some Perspective from my 13-Year Career

One of my favorite things about being a real estate broker/agent is helping my buyer clients to negotiate the best deal on the home they have chosen.  Having represented hundreds of buyers over my 13-year career, I've found that each situation is unique, and that's part of what I enjoy.  The mental challenge makes  That may be too strong a word to describe it, but the strategy part is intriguing to me.

I have a bit of advice that I wanted to share with home buyers with regard to making offers:

  • Yes, it really is possible to offend someone so badly that they won't sell to you.  No, it's not common.
  • If you make an offer that's below the asking price and it gets accepted, don't start second-guessing yourself and wondering if you could have offered less.  Many times, it's possible to hit the sellers' sweet spot, meaning the number they had in mind in the first place.
  • If you make an offer that is well below the price suggested by your Realtor, don't be surprised if you get a firm counteroffer, or even a counteroffer of full price.  This doesn't mean that they don't want to sell.  It means, "Please get serious and try again."
  • Just because a home has been on the market a long time doesn't mean that the seller will reduce the price a lot.  They may be unable to do so, and that is reflected in the days on market.  Truthfully, that home could end up as a short sale later, but you might be wasting your time to pursue it now.
  • If a home has been sharply reduced, this also doesn't mean that you will be able to steal the house.  They may be bottomed out and near the price that they can reasonably accept.
  • If a property has been on the market for less than one week, the chances of negotiating the seller down very much are slim indeed.  Why would they want to come off of the price so quickly?  If you were in their shoes, would you?


While we're at it, I also have a bit of perspective to share with buyer's agents:

  • Don't be afraid to write up an offer well below the asking price, as long as it seems halfway reasonable.  You might be surprised by the reaction.  Then again, don't be shocked to get a pseudo-offended response, followed by a solid (meaning viable) counteroffer.  Some listing agents like to act upset on behalf of their clients, THEN they present the offer.
  • Tell your clients the truth as you see it.  If you think a home will go at or above the asking price, tell them so. 
  • As I see it (and it's just an opinion, mind you), your job is to help your clients get the home they really want/need at the best price possible.  This doesn't mean you have to squeeze every dime out of the transaction when negotiating, as long as it's a solid purchase/investment.
  • You probably won't win any big points with a listing agent by sending over a CMA or other justification for your price.  Just tell them that this is what your clients were comfortable paying, and leave it at that.  If you can say it honestly, you have leverage.  There's no need to be pushy. 
  • If you have to chip in a little bit of your own commission to make the deal work, do it, but only do it if you have no choice.  I once gave up $3,000 toward repairs after we hit a stalemate.  My commission check on that sale was $84,000.  "No brainer" for me, right?  Think about your priorities and don't let your pride get in the way.
  • While I don't think being overly prideful is the way to build your business, you CAN gently remind your clients of the work you have done for them (e.g. "I think this was a productive day of showings." or "I think that technique/idea I had worked well, and I'm happy to see the deal you got on this place."). 


Whether you are in the real estate business or not, I hope you found this to be helpful.  I don't mind sharing what has worked for me.  Feel free to share your own ideas below.

Thanks for reading!


Photo credit:




If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at  Thanks!

Comment balloon 70 commentsJason Crouch • June 15 2010 10:14PM
Negotiating Advice for Buyers and Agents Alike - Some Perspective…
One of my favorite things about being a real estate broker/agent is helping my buyer clients to negotiate the best deal on the home they have chosen. Having represented hundreds of buyers over my 13-year career, I've found that each situation is… more
I was interviewed today for Breakthrough Business Radio - Listen if…
Recently, when I was attending South by Southwest Interactive right here in Austin, I was happy that I got a chance to meet many of my online friends face-to-face for the first time. One of these friends, Michele Price is someone that I… more
Life is What Happens When You're Busy Making Other Plans
The title quote/lyric above appears in the song "Beautiful Boy" by John Lennon. I used to sing my son to sleep to that one when he was a baby, and it remains one of my favorites. I was reminded of that line the other day when I was… more
You may have seen this video already, but it's still worth sharing
Today, I stumbled across a video that is probably my favorite YouTube selection of all time. It's infectious, fun, and I see something new every time I see it. Additionally, it never fails to bring a smile to my face, so I hope it brightens your… more
A Taste of the Future of Marketing (No Crystal Ball Needed)
I’ve been somewhat heavily involved in social media marketing for several years, and involved in internet marketing for our company since 1997. I began my own online consulting business in 2009. As such, I’ve seen a lot of changes take place over… more
Eavesdropping on Your Clients (and Potential Clients) - A Couple of…
It seems that just about every decent restaurant these days has a “receipt survey” in place You know the kind I’m talking about, right? When I’m trying to pay for my meal, I get a long receipt with a code highlighted near the bottom. It’s… more
Teaching a Class for Tomato University Tomorrow! "Real Estate…
Jeremy Blanton and I will be teaching an online class tomorrow (Monday, May 3rd) for Tomato University, at 2pm EST, 1pm Central time. It’s only $20 for 90 minutes of solid instruction, along with a Q&A session at the end. Here’s a… more
Back in the blogging saddle?
I have been away for awhile. Time to get back into the blogging groove, as it were. I sincerely haven't had adequate time for posting lately. With the impending expiration of the tax credit, I have a couple of buyers who have been trying to… more
More Social Media Learning Opportunities! Three Webinars Next Week
Next week, Jeremy Blanton and I will be offering three classes from our venture, 210 Consulting Two of them are "encore" presentations, and one is completely new. On Monday, April 26th, at 10am Eastern time,… more
RETechSouth 2010 - My Post-Conference Impressions
I was excited to have had the chance to attend RETechSouth just over a week ago in the Atlanta area For those of you who read my blog regularly, you already know that I took my family (me, my wife Pam, and our four kids) on a 12-day road trip in… more