Negotiating in real estate starts with an offer like this.

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You need more than just cash to pursue the best deals when developing real estate or investing in it. Negotiating in real estate is one of the most vital real estate tactics for property developers and investors. Like any skill, once you learn the best strategy, you’ll likely achieve success. You also won’t need to take a real estate negotiation course to become an expert.

First, we’ll define what negotiating in real estate is and when you should negotiate. Next, we’ll cover the negotiation phases. Finally, we’ll provide you with nine tips to make you a better negotiator.

This post covers:


What is negotiation in real estate?

Real estate negotiation involves agreeing on certain terms and conditions with several groups of people. Further, negotiating in real estate occurs during multiple stages of the real estate development process.

You typically have to negotiate with:

In other words, you must negotiate with the same four key groups of people that you have to work with when developing property.

Almost every deal requires negotiation.

For example, when buying a new multifamily property, you can negotiate that the seller will fix the roof before finalizing the sale.




How important is negotiation in real estate?

Negotiating in real estate is one of the most important parts of being a developer or investor. Anyone can throw money around and buy property, but it takes a refined set of skills to negotiate expertly.

Properly negotiating can:

  • Make you more money.
  • Help you start developing property faster.
  • Give you access to exclusive perks (such as a free home inspection).


Do realtors help negotiate?

Realtors absolutely help you negotiate when it comes to buying and selling commercial developments. But while they have a lot of experience, not every realtor is a real estate negotiation expert. Conversely, when selling a property, they do take a small fee for the sale. However, they often help you assess the value of your property and have a lot of practice negotiating.

Depending on the type of property developer that you are, you may find that using realtors is worth it. Either way, you want to be versed in negotiating in real estate to ensure you get the best deal possible.


What are the phases of negotiation in real estate?

There are typically five phases — or rules — when negotiating in real estate.

What are the five rules of negotiation in real estate?

  • Research the person or group who you are negotiating with. Keep in mind, investors require different research than contractors, etc.
  • Determine the best offer possible for yourself, with room to negotiate a better deal. Further, know the ins and outs of essential real estate terms, from ROI to real estate waterfalls.
  • Present your offer.
  • Bargain for the best deal possible (if your offer isn’t accepted).
  • Close on the deal.


Learn how to invest in multifamily real estate:


How do you negotiate the best real estate deal?

While negotiation tips for sellers and buyers can vary, many of the following tips can be applied to both.

Our top 9 tips for negotiating the best real estate deal are:

  1. Be reasonable
  2. Show respect
  3. Use friendly language
  4. Negotiate in person
  5. Become an expert
  6. Phrase the proposal as win-win
  7. Learn expectations
  8. Highlight your generosity
  9. Learn when to walk away


1. Be reasonable

With millions of properties being bought and sold around the country, the real estate market is often crowded. This means that if you fail to negotiate a deal, buyers and sellers have plenty of opportunities to operate without you.

So, if you make an extraordinarily high offer, the person you’re negotiating with will likely walk.


2. Show respect

Respect also goes a long way when negotiating in real estate. Even if your offer makes logical sense, it still needs to be presented respectfully.

For example, if a property has a terrible paint job, then it’s okay to negotiate a few thousand dollars off the price to take care of that. However, it’s not okay to say, “The paint job on the building sucks, you need to cut off a few grand.”

There are plenty of personal feelings involved in buying and selling real estate. However, we recommend taking a neutral tone for any and every issue, especially if a buyer or seller happens to be rude to you.


Respect goes a long way when negotiating in real estate.


3. Use friendly language

In addition to being respectful, you should use affirmative language to make people more comfortable. Before requesting something from the other party, make sure to give them a compliment.

For example: “I really like your proposal to split the costs of hiring the contractor. In addition to that, I would love it if you could include the kitchen appliances in the top floor units.”

The “friendly” factor, of course, depends on the negotiation settings and what you’re specifically asking for. Remember to use friendly language even when negotiating over the internet or phone.


4. Negotiate in person

If there aren’t any factors working against you, then you should negotiate in person. Negotiating in person allows you to react immediately in a conversation. When communicating via text or email, there can often be a lot of hesitation and time to think. As a result, it’s hard to convey emotion and sincerity when not communicating in person.

If meeting face-to-face is too difficult, try to set up negotiations via a Zoom call.


5. Become an expert

We aren’t exaggerating here. Doing as much research as possible about the deal that you’re hoping to negotiate will, in fact, make you a better negotiator. It’s the first phase of the negotiating process for a reason.

Every scrap of information you can put together will strengthen the argument that you’ll use to negotiate in your favor. Additional information will also empower you to know whether your requests are reasonable or not.


6. Phrase the proposal as win-win

While your interests are of course your priority, you really should keep that to yourself. Instead, throughout the negotiation process, highlight what the other party is getting out of the deal. When proposing new terms to get the best deal, ensure the other person sees the value on their end.


Making sure that everybody feels like a winner is a win-win strategy when negotiating in real estate.


7. Learn expectations

The other party is expecting something out of the deal that you’re working on. Make sure you understand exactly what this is so that you can work it to your advantage.

For example, some sellers want to sell quickly. That sort of information can influence when and how to apply pressure in the deal.


8. Highlight your generosity

It’s common psychology that people are more likely to do a favor for you or give you something if they’ve received something first. When negotiating in real estate, make sure to highlight any favors you’ve already done for someone.

For example, update the landscaping or painting on a property without asking for anything in return.


9. Learn when to walk away

Don’t settle for a bad deal.

Sometimes people are stubborn and ask for more from you than you can give. So, if negotiations aren’t working in your favor, then it might be better for you to find a good deal elsewhere. You should never be afraid to say no and walk away.



  • Negotiating in real estate involves getting the best deal possible when developing or investing in real estate.
  • Realtors can often do most negotiating for you.
  • The phases of real estate negotiation involve research, determining what’s best for you, offering, bargaining, and closing.
  • Tips for negotiating in real estate include being respectful, phrasing the deal as a win-win opportunity, and knowing when to walk away.


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Nick Manzolillo

I'm a Rhode Island-based writer fascinated with real estate development, the inner workings of the real estate industry, and how real estate and technology blend together.

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