You have just entered the fight of your life. All eyes are on you. You feel sweat dripping off of your forehead as you stare down your opponent. Although you are at the same table, for the same reason, you are anything BUT friends. You tighten your grip, muster your last ounce of courage, and you look back at your friends for support.
Did I just describe a beer-fueled, badly-lit bar arm wrestling match or the negotiation process of buying a house? It could have been either one. The home-buying process actually has a lot in common with arm wrestling and we can learn some great tips on “winning” from expert arm wrestlers.
1) It’s not ALL about strength: Good form can help you win against the biggest and meanest looking opponent. In the real estate world, that translates into a few things. Knowing the sellers true motivation for selling (and 95% of the time, there is SOMETHING besides price that matters to the seller), knowing what to do to get in the good graces of the listing agent, and knowing when to time the presentation of your offer can all increase your chances of winning without needing any extra strength (or money!).
2) Draw your opponent to the corner: In arm wrestling, getting the other guy off balance is often the move that wins the match. In real estate, when negotiations start to get tough, you can lighten the mood (a great example is to demand fresh baked cookies from the seller when submitting an inspection response), or you can bring things to a halt by responding with silence. By doing the unexpected, you can snap the seller out of his singular focus and win the match.
3) Gain the mental advantage: We all hate to admit it, but getting inside someones head can be very effective. Arm wrestlers stare each other down, grunt and even spit. In real estate, those exact moves are not likely to be as successful. What you can do is research your opponent (the seller and listing agent, and any other offers you are up against) then find the weakness. If the seller wants the home to go to a loving new owner, write a love-letter about the house. If the listing agent values accuracy and efficiency, make sure your documents are in perfect order and presented in a timely fashion.
Want to learn how to actually arm wrestle? This guy will show you how.