Deal or No Deal

When a deal comes together and finally closes, it feels like an orchestra playing all of the right notes at the same time. Oh, my stars, there’s literally no sweeter music to my ears!

The best deals are the ones where everybody feels like they won, where all involved feel like they got what was best for them and all involved walk away satisfied. There’s no such thing as a perfect negotiation, let me tell you. Compromises must be made on each side of the table. I cannot tell you how many times in my career that I have seen buyers and sellers want to walk away over the most piddly reasons, like when I almost lost a million-dollar sale over a silver dollar-sized hole in the wall that needed nothing more than some spackling compound and a slap of paint.

My friend Josh Flagg is one of the top real estate agents in the country. Almost no one makes more deals than him because he never forgets the give/take aspect of negotiation. In his book The Deal, he says, “Making the actual deal is all about hitting the data points in a way that satisfies both the buyers and sellers. If another broker and I have gotten this far in the process, the buyer and seller are both committed, and all parties want this to happen, so it's up to us to find middle ground. And if somehow we don't, then I get creative and I make the other broker work with me, as now we're a team trying to get the deal done. What can we do to make this happen if we can't land on a satisfactory dollar amount? Can we bypass inspections? Can we do a lease back? I always have a list of accommodations in my head for when things get dicey. But I often don't need to use them. Ninety-nine times out of one hundred, if I follow all the steps, the deal closes, and all parties are satisfied.”

Now let’s talk about deals.


Home Is Where the Heart Is

Something I quickly learned was no matter how savvy a businessperson you’re dealing with, no matter how wise the investment, there’s almost always an emotional component when you’re buying and selling a home.

When you can connect with someone on an emotional level, you always move the ball farther down the field. I was working on a deal with a famous athlete and we were trying to run the numbers in a way that would work for all involved. This athlete had just reached a particularly meaningful milestone, so I had my seller counter back with a number that included this buyer’s jersey numbers because I wanted it to record something significant. I wanted him to associate that house with this number.

Can you guess what happened?

Spoiler alert: Touchdown!

Now, I invite you to come behind the scenes with me during an actual negotiation:


Have you ever wondered what it really looks like when you’re negotiating the sale of real estate? Here is a behind the scenes look at the … See more


Do Y’all Really Want to Die on This Hill? Really??

First, one of the most common questions I get is if it’s still necessary to make an offer over list price in this market?

Obviously, my answer is yes… and also no… and sometimes maybe because there is no blanket answer here.

Every single deal is market-specific, neighborhood-specific, and house-specific, period, hard stop. What you may need to buy Sam’s house is entirely different from what you’d need to get Bobby and Suzie’s place right next door.

If you and your clients are struggling over this issue, the very best advice I can give you is to not be petty and just get the deal done. This is not an end-sum game; we really do want everyone involved to feel like they’re winning.

Now here is a cautionary tale for y’all. I list this beautiful house and it's been on the market for about five days. We get an offer, but it’s a pretty low offer. My client is like, “What do you think, Glennda?”

What I think is if we get an offer this quick, there’s likely more to come, and my pricing as a marketing strategy worked. So, I tell my seller, “Let's just sit tight for a minute and let's see what else happens.” Low and behold, we get another offer within 20 minutes! My seller opts to counter that offer, then we turn around and we get another offer! (The third, if you’re keeping track.)

Now, keep in mind this second offer comes with a 6:30pm time limit. The second offer agent calls and says, “Hey, my guy will do your counter, minus $9,000.” I’m like, “What?” That $9,000 seemed pretty random to me. Mind you, this is on a $900,000 house that the second offer guy desperately wants. When the difference is that slight, and there’s a ticking clock, all you’re gonna do by asking for a $9,000 difference is piss off my seller.

In the few minutes it takes for the other buyer’s agent to squabble with the buyer over that damn $9,000, we see the terms of the third offer. Not only is that offer over the list price, that offer has amazing terms. Well, guess what? We let that 6:30pm time limit come and go.

At 6:36pm, that seller signs off on that over list price offer with the third buyer. What that second buyer didn’t realize is not only could they have had that house if they had signed the counter that we sent, that my seller was willing to leave a little money on the table. But instead, buyer number two and his broker wanted to bicker about $9,000 and that $9,000 cost that buyer (and that broker) the $900,000 house of their dreams.

When I posted this story on TikTok, someone wrote the best comment, saying that sometimes the seller’s house isn’t big enough to accommodate the buyer’s and agent’s egos. Another commenter made the point that if you love the house and it isn’t overpriced, just offer the list price because you’ll never regret paying a fair price for a house you love. I can’t say I disagree.

Now, the moral of this story is, buyer number one never did have a chance, which is what happens when you come to the table without a serious deal.


Halloween, I’ll Never Let You Go

I know Halloween will be over by the time everyone opens this newsletter, but I can’t let go of this day without pointing y’all toward the fabulous Halloween issue of Zillowtastrophes! Sign up for her newsletter here!


It’s Never a Problem Until It’s a Problem

“Don’t be reactive to your fears.”

Glennda Baker