Relationships to Manage in a Real Estate Negotiation

One of the many functions of your real estate agent is to be an expert negotiator on your behalf in your real estate transaction. Part of being an expert negotiator is understanding the different relationships involved in the negotiation. Once you understand who is involved, and their motivations, it is all up to negotiating tactics. I like the following Forbes article for a tactics review: Six Surprising Negotiation Tactics That Get You the Best Deal. See below for a quick explanation of the different relationships in a real estate transaction.


  1. Agents – Every real estate agent has a fiduciary duty to support their client’s best interest. No matter the scenario, all their efforts are going to help their client receive the best deal possible.
  2. Lender – The lender’s client is the buyer in a transaction and will work hard to get the deal done. Many lenders are very loyal to the agents who recommend them and will make special efforts to support those transactions.
  3. Escrow Officer – The escrow officer is technically hired by the person in the contract who is paying for the title policy, but operates mostly in a non-biased role. Their job is to ensure that ownership is transferred in the transaction successfully, so most of the investigation is on the seller side. Most escrow officers will have a relationship with the selling agent in a transaction because of the referral opportunity.
  4. Inspector – The inspector is 100% committed to the buyer. Typically, this person will speak to no one other than the buyer and buyer’s agent.
  5. Appraiser – The appraiser is hired by the lender and is a non-biased party in the transaction. In some scenarios, the appraiser will connect with the selling agent to discuss comparable properties.
  6. Seller – The seller is motivated to sell his or her house for the most amount of money possible. Many sellers love their home and think very highly of it, making them more stubborn during the negotiation phase of the transaction. Additionally, their love for the home could create a scenario where the seller picks an offer that makes them believe the home will be most taken care of instead of being sold for the most money.
  7. Buyer – The buyer motivation in a transaction is easy to interpret. They are looking to get the best house at the lowest price possible. There are a few types of buyers. Investors are buyers that are highly qualified, but not emotionally involved. Home-seekers will be emotionally involved and typically will pay top dollar for property that is ideal for their situation. Value seekers are buyers who are looking for a deal first and are willing to wait until they feel like they are receiving one.



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