Negotiating should be more artistic than adversarial.

I was reminded again today that helping a buyer or seller to get the price they desire is much like an artist creating a beautiful painting.  The artist studies their subject and adjust the strokes of the brush, the quality of the paint and the quantity of the paint as they create their masterpiece.

A cartoon like artist painting

I am not a painter but I have observed painters doing their magical work.  I think negotiating successfully also takes a bit of magic.

I was reminded as I negotiated much of today that it is fun, easy and productive when both sides keep a humble attitude.   Being willing to listen to the other side is so important.  Listening means you need to be actively learning.

Today I had two experiences that were such a contrast in listening.

The first seller’s agent I spoke with after reading our offer sent me a terse comment via email that I would never repeat.  I brushed that off somewhat (inside I was not a happy camper) however I never let my buyer see that side of me.  I did my best to communicate the response.  I also called the seller’s agent and  left a message asking him to reconsider  and to please call me back.  About a half an hour later I did get a call back with an apology.

This afternoon I was negotiating with an unrepresented seller.  From the very first words it was evident I was working with a good listener.  Never an interruption, an occasional yes and a calm and cool voice even though we started our negotiations “a mile apart.”  I called this gentleman back at least five times.  There was never a hint of exasperation.  In fact we both were able to laugh at ourselves and with each other.

Open Hands, Open Heart - Ready to listen.

This morning’s negotiating session was stressful and unproductive.  This afternoon’s session was relaxing and productive.  

The painting is not completed and we probably need a few more creative strokes from the negotiating brushes but I am confident we will have that masterpiece completed soon.

Images courtesy of

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