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Gather Information: Time, and 3) Power. These will be described below. The negotiator who gathers the most information usually has an advantage. GATHER INFORMATION The negotiator who gathers the most information usually has an advantage. Interview people, obtain reports, do inspections, use the MLS (Multiple-Listing Service) and other online resources. Hire a private investigator on the seller if the deal is large enough, looking for vulnerabilities (e.g., bitter divorce). You can’t know too much. THE FACTOR OF TIME It helps to know if the other party has any time constraints, along with your own, of course. Pending foreclosure, divorce, condemnation proceedings are some examples. If the property is “a steal”, scoop it up fast. If it’s priced at or above “market”, then “grind real slow”. Use time to your advantage. THE FACTOR OF POWER In some negotiations the power levels are uneven. One party has more leverage over the other. Seasoned ne- gotiators assess power levels and devise strategies to take these into account. Then, even the weaker party can optimize its outcome. BE GENEROUS WHEN SELLING Some sellers believe in “Win-Lose” negotiating. They want “top dollah”. This apparent greed and intransi- gence grates on everyone involved, sometimes to the extent of legal action or retaliation. Be generous when selling. Paint that bedroom. Purchase a Home Protec- tion Plan for those first-time buyers. You’re on your way to wealth. DON’T BE CHEAP! Keep your word. Perform everything you’ve agreed to do. And smile as you do it, even if the deal is going against you and you are taking a loss. Don’t whine. Smile. Builds character….and your reputation. so you take the other party’s counteroffer rather than force them to take yours. This way they will feel they won, and you will have less trouble with them the rest of the way. And, please, don’t arbitrarily “split the difference”. Amateur negotiators do that. “SHARP PRACTICES” The day will come, if it hasn’t already, when the oth- er party will bring “sharp practices” to the table. If these are illegal (e.g., undisclosed money back after the close), call them on it, and refuse to participate. If these are not exactly illegal, then counter them as best you can, or walk away. Life is too short, and your reputation is too important. Always “take the high road” in negotiations. RE-NEGOTIATING AFTER INSPECTIONS Y’all know to re-negotiate after property inspec- tions, right? ‘Thought so. READING LIST Included on the next page is a list of “Recommended Reading.” Buy all of them, used. Read and highlight them. Then, once a year, re-read the highlights. You owe it to your clients, and yourself, to be in tip-top shape a as a negotiator. v Bruce Kellogg has been a REALTOR® and investor for 35 years. He has trans- acted about 500 properties for cli- ents, and about 300 properties for him- self in 12 California counties. These include 14  units,  5+  apartments,  offic- es, mixed­ use buildings, land, lots, mo- bile homes, cabins, and church- es. He is available for listing, sell- in r*67VFr*VF&r*L*'FW"Цr*&V6**L*''V6VVvsv6*,*C*C*3DR( 44U54EDU$( ФFR&6Bf'FbVvFF2W"( 6Ц6W76GFW&( 2fW''FB&V6W6RB6WG2WWV7FF2FRFW"'Gv2VvFFRf&ǐFvFǒF( B66VFRFV6&V6W6RFRFW""ЧGv6VRFB2VrF6VV&Rv&6ЦBf'F&RFW2bVVB&RG'F6WBFw2W&VGCwVFR6РtRb( "#p&UtTDr6