Listing agreements do allow for some negotiation

When Teri Karush Rogers of asked me to write a post about how to negotiate a listing agreement, I leaped at the invitation.

With cold fear.

My concern was how other brokers might react to my disclosure of our vulnerabilities — the best way for a seller to negotiate a lower commission than the one that the listing broker proposes.

Happily, if anyone objected to what I revealed, I haven’t heard of it.  Perhaps that’s because Continue reading

Negotiations should lead to meeting of the minds

Butting heads is not what is meant by a meeting of the minds. (flickr photo by Shiny Things)

Buyers, sellers and their brokers can have a way of forgetting what they are trying to accomplish in a real estate transaction.

Some seem bent on proving who has the stiffest. . . backbone.

The smartest ones Continue reading

How to separate broker wheat from chaff

flickr photo by RachelEllen

How do you define a good broker?

I’m sure the answer depends on experience, and the experiences of commenters in a blog I came across suggest that many consumers believe “good broker” is an oxymoron.

Yet some buyers and sellers may praise those brokers who are some combination of responsive, patient, supportive, efficient, expert at marketing, creative, charming, connected, aggressive or a host of other qualities.

None of those is unimportant, but I argue for Continue reading

It would be so nice to meetcha

A fortrress mentality is hardly helpful. (Flickr photo by Ava Babili)

Unlike other jurisdictions, rare is the occasion in New York City when a buyer’s representative presents an offer in person to the seller.


When I asked other brokers whether they were aware of such a practice here, their eyebrows shot up and their contorted mouths betrayed their distaste for the notion. All right, I’m being sort of hyperbolic, but in-person offers almost never occur.

One possible reason is that brokers possess Continue reading

Not every offer merits a counter-offer

California broker Tni LeBlanc wrote a blog post not long ago with some provocative points.  In it, she discusses five reasons that a seller may not want to respond to a buyer’s offer.

LeBlanc effectively contends that a counter-offer in many circumstances may turn off a serious buyer.

Among the situations she mentions were a few that struck me as especially sensible — for example, Continue reading

Before e-mail and texts, there was the telephone

Alexander Graham Bell and his handheld.

A friend who attended the most recent monthly dinner meeting of Lucky Strikers Social Media Club was telling me there about a price negotiation that had her in a fury.

The numbers were something like an asking price of $2.7 million and her buyer’s offer of $2.2 million.  This experienced broker said the market value probably doesn’t support as much as $2.3 million.  But the listing agent contended otherwise, stubbornly.

Teeth gritted, my friend, was punching a text message into her handheld arguing for her position, at which point I, being who I am, felt the need to interject my opinion that an e-mail or text message was no way to conduct a negotiation.

“But I’m afraid I’ll explode on the phone,” said she, whose Continue reading