Stop Negotiating Like A Child

negotiating real estate like a child

Bringing buyers and sellers together is more difficult today than ever before. Buyers want it all and sellers are sick and tired of seeing their equity disappear. Negotiating in this market can be especially challenging when one of the parties or even the other agent, negotiates like a child.

Don’t get me wrong, children can be great negotiators, especially when it comes to wanting an extra dessert or staying up past their bedtime. However, those of us that have kids can attest first hand that their arguments are illogical and tactics can be downright, well, childish.  While negotiating between adults is usually a little more civilized, there are times when I feel like I’m dealing with a five year old.


At the end of the day, negotiations are about money and to some extent winning. This alone can make even the most level headed person become emotional, and that’s ok. However, when you let your emotions and ego overtake your logic and decision making ability, that’s when you get into trouble.

I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone let their emotions get the best of them. They become  so wrapped up in the personal side of the transaction that they lose sight of what they are trying to accomplish.  They start to talk about “the buyer this”, or “the seller that” and end up spending more time and energy discussing the other party than focusing on the  transaction or solutions to the problem.

Some folks get so emotional that they really end up thinking and acting like a child.  They practically kick and scream and make ridiculous statements that  usually end up being counter-productive to bringing the sides together.  If I could record their conversations and play them back to them, I’m convinced they would be quite ashamed at their behavior.


No matter how riled up someone gets, I am always the calm during the storm, the rudder of the ship. I believe a real estate agent can and should be able to  detach themselves emotionally so they can help bring people together.

I realize that our clients want us to fight hard to get them what they want, and I completely agree. However, that doesn’t mean we have to take on their emotions to do it.

Making demands of the other party or idle threats that “we want this or else” just aren’t effective.  Those tactics may work once in a while for a little kid, but there is no place for them in a business transaction.

If you want to be angry because the buyer or seller isn’t cooperating, go ahead and take it out on me.  Let it all out if that makes you feel better. But in the end, take a step back, look at the big picture and stop acting like a child. If you don’t, you’ll end up doing more harm than good.

After all, winning the battle but losing the war is not an effective strategy for home negotiations.


About The Authors

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or via email, or

The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Bainbridge, Bay Village, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Westlake, Woodmere.

Stop Negotiating Like A Child is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©October,2011

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