In Part I of our series, we talked about how negotiating over positions is a lose-lose situation. No one wins, but it seems simpler and easier. But what should we do instead? Today, we’ll dig into two key steps of real estate negotiation: focusing on interests and inventing options for mutual gain.
Let’s start by defining the difference between a position and an interest within a real estate negotiation. A position is a defined point about a particular issue. For instance, ‘I won’t take less than $60,000 for the house‘ is a position. Saying ‘I won’t pay more than $1000/month in rent‘ is another. Threatening to ‘take someone to court’ is a position meant to intimidate others.
Interests are the silent movers behind positions. They are the desires and concerns that lead people to take a certain stance. “I really need $60,000 to pay off outstanding medical bills” is an interest. ‘My hours just got cut at work, and I can’t afford more than $1000/month in rent’ is a concern that motivates action. ‘I promised my spouse I would take care of this, and I’ll look bad if I don’t‘ is another.
When you find yourself in a real estate negotiation, focus your energy on interests, not positions. This is how you can create win-win situations that work for everyone.
Shared, Compatible, and Conflicting Interests
In any real estate negotiation, you are likely to have shared, compatible, and conflicting interests with the other party. Let’s look at each of them within a typical apartment rental scenario between a landlord and tenant. Continue reading “Real Estate Negotiation Part III: Interests and Options”