Something needs to be done before ‘Short Sale Negotiators’ start to edge out postal employees as the most likely to start shooting into a large crowd at a local Walmart. Stress levels are high, the bank negotiators seem more focused on finding a way to push the file to the side and delay it than staying productive and getting results. I get that they are busy, hundreds of files each, okay so stop the whining and get the job done already.Here are my tips to help reduce your stress when negotiating short sales with the banks and for your clients. These tips apply whether you are a 3rd party negotiating for the Realtor or homeowner or if you, as the Realtor are the negotiator.
First I will share with you my two absolute favorite things you need to be aware of.The first it Pareto’s Principle. Simply stated 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions. But you can flip that around. For our use let’s just say the 80% of your stress and aggravation is coming from the same 20% whether it be recurring events or people you might interact with. So find what they are and remove them (I’ll explain how at the end).
Second is Parkinson’s Law which loosely states ‘Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion‘. Anyone waiting to the last 48-hours to work on a project they had 3 months to complete puts this into practice with the efficiency of an Olympic athlete going for the gold. 🙂 We need to do our best to acknowledge that much of the stress we deal with is self-imposed. Often we delay a call because we are expecting tension from the other party. Or needing to call again to push on getting a sale date on a foreclosure auction stopped and we are frustrated with the wall we keep hitting.
On the first reference to stress and identifying the sources so you might end them. I have personally found most of my stress when I started negotiating was not the negotiator on the other side but the buyer agent. They would call every day, often keeping me on the phone to discuss yet again what we both already agree on – this should not be taking this long. I solved and almost eliminated this all very quickly. Set expectations up front during the contract negotiations. Explain to the Buyer Agent (if you are a Realtor negotiating for the homeowner) how you manage the negotiations, your preferred method of them contacting you (email of course) and that while you love to chat it up that every minute you are on the phone with them is more time away from negotiating the deal they are calling you on. I suggest typing up a bulleted list of the terms you hope to see in the offer. Explain in detail of how you manage the negotiations and how often you will update them. This process alone and using it to set expectations up front just about eliminated over 90% of those calls (seriously). I suggest sending them an email once every 7-10 calendar days with an update on thier transaction. Remember they just want to make certain you are staying on top of all this. Plus your doing this helps them keep the buyer calm and if they are calm they will stay a long time to find out the results.
Now for the stress we add ourselves by delaying what needs to get done. Don’t take it all so personally. To be a great negotiator you have to stay detached from the results. This is hard with these types of negotiating because we are working with families that desperately need us to get this done and approved. Remember that there are so many variables, moving parts and personalities in all of this. Do your best to find peace with the chaos knowing that you will have some difficult calls but getting them done and off your to-do list will help you sleep better trust me.On a side note and if you have not figured this out already faxes that don’t make it through seen to double your time working them and your stress level. We always fax early morning or later in the afternoon/early evening. Trying to fax during a standard 9-5 is hard to get through because of the high volume. Fax off hours and cut your stress by 10-fold! 🙂