Vail Daily column: How important is negotiation on selling side? |

Vail Daily column: How important is negotiation on selling side?

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor
Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

I have been told it is very important to choose a Realtor who is an excellent negotiator when you are buying a home, or any property, for that matter. That point makes perfect sense to me, since you want your agent to negotiate the very lowest price, and most inclusions possible, when you are buying a house.

Now that I am thinking of listing my home for sale, I am thinking that maybe my best choice is someone who is the best marketing person, rather than the best negotiator. Am I thinking correctly?

Dear Soon to be Seller,

The best negotiator will do the best job for you whether you are buying or selling. You already covered some of the importance on the buying side, but you were not seeing the importance on the listing side. Let me point out a few things.

First, the Realtor you list with will have already negotiated with you on two huge items — the commission and the pricing. Hopefully, he or she will have negotiated a fair commission percentage that compensates him or her well — so he or she is incentivized to do a great job — and he or she is able to offer an attractive shared commission to bring other agents in to show your property.

Even more importantly, the Realtor will have negotiated with you to get you to list at the point of, or a freckle below, market value, to generate excitement and bring in one or more offers in a short amount of time.

The initial list price is critical to your success for selling in a timely fashion. And, almost always, this takes a skilled and knowledgeable Realtor to get the seller to view the market realistically. Once you have an offer to purchase your property, your Realtor will help you counter the offer for the best possible price and terms for you.

He or she will have to sell, which is negotiating, the other agent and the buyers on the terms and price you want. Then, once you have a signed contract, your Realtor will help you negotiate the best solution to any inspection items that the buyer asks to be fixed at your expense.

His or her ability to negotiate will continue to get you the best possible terms if there are hiccups with the dates, appraisal or loan conditions.

I guess you could say that I believe it is equally, or perhaps even more important to have a great negotiator list your home.

Marketing counts — mainly online and through networking — but the efforts can actually largely be done by administrative people that have completely different skill sets. You want a professional, ethical Realtor who knows the ins and outs of negotiating so he or she can help you net the highest possible amount of money in the shortest amount of time. Best of luck to you.

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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