Stalling and Concessions: a Hard-Tactic Even the Easy Going Can Use

In the spirit of what we are doing here at the Real Estate Marketing, today I want to share with you a negotiation technique that I see happening more often I think than necessary.

Not always in the real estate arena: I’ve seen it with clothing salesmen. I’ve seen it with an acquaintance trying to sell his business. I saw it once with a simple street peddler in Dustin, Florida one summer.

But because real estate is my main focus, my life so to speak, I’ve of course seen it a lot in this business. And like I said: I think it’s unnecessary.

I’m not absolutely sure why it happens, but I have some hunches: desperation and fear.

Go ahead and read the remainder of this post and afterwards let me know what your thoughts are.

Salespeople are typically short on patience when they smell a deal in the air. In fact, sales trainers sometimes teach that if you do not strike while the iron is hot, you might lose the deal.

But impatience may encourage a real estate agent to make unnecessary concessions.

Knowing this, a savvy counterpart might stall for time… trying to make the impatient negotiator nervous and more willing to make trade-offs.

Imagine an investor offers a FSBO $100,000 for his home.

Over the next few days, that investor calls two or three times to ask what the FSBO thinks of the proposal.

The FSBO never calls back. He’s stalling, hoping the investor will make some concessions if he feels she isn’t offering a particularly good deal.

In fact, the FSBO might be doing business with a competitor the investor thinks, and gets nervous…

Although she is not sure if the FSBO has even had time to review any of her proposals, the investor leaves a message that her “numbers are ballpark, based on the information given, and there is room to negotiate.”

And this is exactly what the FSBO wanted.

The moral?

Never discount a price before your counterpart tells you there is a need to do so. Never make a concession until it is apparent the other side wants one.

Your best bet: wait patiently for a reply. And do not call over and over again. You’ll look desperate.

So, tell me: why do you think real estate agents–salespeople in general–do this?

And when it comes to negotiating, do you look forward to the conflict or do you shy away from conflict?

What do you think of the idea of stalling?

Is this particular technique something you’ve used in the past? If so, were you successful?

Is it something you would use in the future?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 3 comments
Ruby Zuniga- Century 21 Citrus

Stalling is a good tactic, Only and When the price is right. It is “normal” in this market for buyers and agents to submit offers that are “lowball” offers. If an agent is confident then he/she will do an excellent job at protecting the clients best interest. If an agent is desperate then guess what? He or she will Not do a good job at protecting the client, the same goes for the client—If he/she is having financial problems then of course this tactic will not work. I’ve used the stall method and yes it does work, only if the Home is Priced Well.

Gary Elwood

Very good point, Ruby. Thank you for clarifying the issue.

Gil Kloster; Harry Norman Realtors

Negotiation is always done from a position of strength. Why Stall? A proper response, from a position of strength, is to provide a counter offer with a fair price and/or concessions consitent with the market and the clients needs and wishes. It establishes ones certainty as to the price and circumstances of the client. Then one “Stalls” and doesn’t push for the forthcoming response because to do otherwise would suggest weakness and a lack of confidence in your abilities and knowledge of the clients needs and the market.


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