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Negotiating 101: Tips from the Tiger

Tue, 23 Sep by Sonia Tarabay

Negotiating 101 with real estate Tiger Sonia TarabayOne of my favourite parts of working in the real estate market is keeping my negotiation skills sharp. I love the negotiation process, and this is where I really go to work for my clients, letting my skills shine. This is when you know for sure you have a tiger on your side. 

It’s an exciting time! You feel THIS close to your goals, so close you can taste success. Adrenaline kicks in, and there’s that mix of excitement and anxiety when you enter this phase of a real estate transaction. It’s kind of like asking someone on a date via text message: You spend a lot of time staring at the phone, waiting for a reply, gaming out all the possible scenarios in your head.

That high energy is great, and it’s a huge part of why I love my work. Although as a professional REALTOR® I try and make this process a Win/Win for my clients, there are times when a compromise needs to be made and all parties need to cooperate. There comes a point in the transaction when both parties realize that, if everyone gives a little, then everyone wins.

4 Tips to Help You at the Negotiating Table

Knowledge Is Power

The more you know, the better your hand will be. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, every little bit of information puts the sale in clearer context. That includes the fair market value for the home in question, the value of other homes in the neighbourhoods, and the motivations of the people involved. If a seller has to sell quickly and the buyer knows it, that information absolutely affects their positions at the negotiation table and their ability to move the offer one way or another.

On the flip side, it’s a good idea to keep your motivations for buying or selling close to your chest. As your REALTOR® and representative, I need to know if you’ve only got 30 days before you have to relocate to another city in order to help meet your goal. But that’s information we can keep between us, and it will keep us in a better position for the negotiation process.

It’s OK To Walk Away

It’s a well known fact in any negotiation that the person who can walk away from the deal holds the cards. You may not want to walk away, but you should be willing to, and it’s important to remember: No offer is the “last” offer until you accept it. There’s always another “perfect” home out there, and always another “perfect” buyer who will fall in love with your property.

Our goal is to get the deal done for you, if at all possible, but if it’s to your detriment is it really worth it? It’s important to stay realistic, even in the excitement of the moment, and know before you step foot into negotiations what your “deal-­breakers” are. Maybe it’s a budget cutoff, maybe it’s a move-­in timeline, or maybe it’s a condition on the sale. Whatever the deal­-breakers, you’ve got to know what they are before you step up to the table, and stick to them.

Choose Your Battles Wisely

The last thing you want is for the negotiations to sour over minor details: Make sure you keep an eye on the big picture and what’s really important to you. Are your stainless steel appliances really off­-limits? Is that antique armoire you spotted during the viewing worth the deal falling apart?

Just as it’s important to be able to walk away, it’s also important not to let your ego get the best of you. Fighting harder and harder for a thousand dollars here and there when you’ve got fair offer within your price range can be a losing battle, and a little like banging your head against a brick wall.

Keep It Moving

Time is a key element in the negotiation process, and if you stall the process for too long it can make things more difficult for you. That’s not to say you should ever rush, but keep in mind yours might not be the only offer on the table, or the only house someone is looking at. Buying or selling a home is a big decision and you should make sure you take the time you need to think about it, but an offer made can be withdrawn if you hesitate too long.

This is another reason why it’s important to know what your goals and deal-­breakers are before going into the negotiation process. If you’re prepared and know what you’re willing to give and where the lines in the sand are ahead of time, you should be able to keep things moving. And that doesn’t mean “accepting” something right away: A lot of the time, it means sending in a counter offer.

Another thing to remember: A negotiation means it’s give and take. Both sides will have to make concessions, and if one side won’t budge an inch then the deal’s over before it’s even begun. Remember what I said at the beginning: Sometimes if both sides give a little, then everyone wins in the end.

Lots to Love About Hot Yoga!

Tue, 09 Sep by Sonia Tarabay

Sonia Tarabay, Ready for Yoga!It’s fantastic to have a career you’re as passionate about as I am about my work as a REALTOR®, but we all need a solid work/life balance. After all, there’s more to life than just work, work, work all the time: There’s family and friends to spend time with, and favourite hobbies to enjoy. This is especially true if you own your own business or don’t work standards “9 to 5” hours (and, trust me, a REALTOR® doesn’t know the meaning of “9 to 5”). It can be hard to justify stepping away from work to take some time for yourself and your family when it seems like “The To Do List” just keeps getting longer, but it’s so important to take time away so we can come back feeling more focused, more energized, and more productive.

One of my favourite ways of de-­stressing is my hot yoga class, which I take a few times a week. If you’ve never tried yoga or hot yoga, I absolutely recommend giving it a try. It’s a great way to build strength, flexibility, and concentration, and I love how it feeds both my body and my spirit.

What Is Hot Yoga?

Take a series of intense yoga postures and mix in a studio that’s around 40°C, and you’ve got the basics of hot yoga. The heat warms up your muscles, allowing them to stretch and move into the postures more deeply, but it also increases your heart rate, making hot yoga a great cardiovascular workout.

Yoga ClassBe prepared to sweat in a hot yoga session, because that’s definitely one thing you’ll be doing constantly. (If you’re not absolutely dripping in the first 10 minutes, you are some kind of heat­-resistant superhero!) And all that sweat from the heat and the effort of the postures gets the blood circulating and washes out the toxins, leaving you feeling stronger and more relaxed at the end of the session.

I’ve been doing hot yoga regularly for a couple of years now, and so far I’m loving it! As a way to combine a body and mind workout, it can’t be beat. These are just a few of the benefits I’ve found in hot yoga so far:

  • Better strength, flexibility, and body tone. My body works hard during every session, and I feel stronger than ever!
  • Better concentration and focus. It takes a ton of willpower to hold some of those yoga postures, especially in the intense heat. I wouldn’t say hot yoga gets “easier” the more you do it, but I’ve definitely found I can more easily find the right frame of mind and call upon the determination and concentration I need to make it through a 90 minute session.
  • Spiritually, I feel more balanced during and after a session of hot yoga. I feel more mindful of the present, less anxious about the future, and more aware of my body and the world around me. And the longer I do hot yoga, the more those feelings flow into my day-­to-­day life.
  • I have never felt more relaxed than at the end of a hot yoga session. My muscles are loose, my entire body is relaxed, and yet I feel energized instead of exhausted!

Setting aside time every week to go to my hot yoga class is just one of the ways I take time for myself to recharge so I don’t feel overloaded. I love my work as a REALTOR®, but I’ve discovered I love it even more when I take time away from work to enjoy the other great parts of a good life. And that’s a great thing for my clients, because they know every time they see me I’ll be fired-­up and ready to help them win in the real estate market!

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.