Seller Negotiation Hacks 3: First Contact (and the “Higher Authority” Trick)

Cody Sperber
By Cody Sperber |

impressionAs I pointed-out in the previous lesson, Hacks 2: The Opener, it’s essential that you establish rapport from the beginning with the seller. Today we are going to go in depth into how essential the first impression is when it comes to negotiation and learn one of the single most effective tricks.

That first conversation is all about building rapport, understanding the seller’s motivation, locking-in that next appointment, and get a preliminary price (never do it too early and make them feel like they are under rapid fire).

Now, how you tweak your wording in that first conversation is vital. Believe it or not, the simple of the words you choose can decide if you make a positive or negative impact on your seller. Let me give you an example…

When you ask them their reason for selling word it like this:

“Let me ask you a question: What’s happening in your life to make you want to sell your house to us here today?

I first prepare them that I am about to ask them a question and this makes it gradual transition. If you ask question after question, they may feel like they are under rapid fire.

By using the phrase “happening in your life” I have asked them an open ended question that allows them to answer on a personal basis that is comfortable to them. But, when they answer, they will define and emphasize the reason they are selling, thus creating a heightened sense of urgency. Also, by cleverly adding the words “us” and “today”, I have again influenced their sense of urgency to sell and subconsciously do it NOW and to US. See… Jedi mind tricks, I tell you.

Now, after they answer that question, reply with something like this:

“OK, I hear you…you want to sell to us because of _______ (reflect). I understand why this would be a burden to you…but let me ask you this: If I was able to get you cash, is this something that you can wait on for 30 days? Do you have time on your side, or is this something you want to take care of in the next 7 days?”

parrotAgain I restate the problem. I am not trying to agitate the seller, but restating the reason lets them know I have a clear understanding and places emphasis on the bottom-line. Restating the reason keeps them from getting sidetracked and reminds them of why we are having the real reason we are having the conversation.

I purposely use the word “cash”, because well, everybody loves the word “cash.” Sometimes when people hear that word they are willing to wait a little longer for “cash” than money. This lets me know what their sense of urgency and my time frame in reality.

Then I will play more on that tactic by following-up with something like this:

“Well considering I can pay all cash, close quickly on your time line, and you don’t have to deal with…. (Blah, blah, and blah).Understanding all that, what’s the absolute lowest that you’re going to want in order to sell your house to us today?”

Here my goal is to get them to name the price (of course). Every great negotiator knows not to name the price first. I know what you are thinking…

“Make me an offer…”

Here is where your art skills can really play a role – learning how to craftfully answer different situations. But, if you are to learn anything from this lesson. Learn this:

Having a “higher authority” is the key to being a successful negotiator (biz partner, wife, husband, cat, mentor, coach…somebody). It lets you maneuver the conversation without being blamed for it…you always have a higher authority above your control to pass the buck to.

That’s right. Always have a higher authority you have so you are not seamless negotiator. In other words, respond by saying something like this:

“Mr. House, I really wish I could make you an offer, but my partner is really the one that has that authority. We have so many people wanting to do business that it is just my job to filter through and find the most legitimate deals.”

And that, my friends, is the secret to Awesome Sauce right there. I’ve got some more moves coming your way. Stay tuned for Seller Negotiation Hacks 4: “The Blow” that will reveal a tactic that’s saves you thousands of dollars when it comes to negotiation.

Until then, keep it real. Keep it classy.



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