Real Estate Negotiations: It’s Just Business…Or Is It?


Being one of the best realtor and home sellers in Montreal’s West Island, I deal with all sorts of people — from varying backgrounds, with different priorities, and embracing a multitude of approaches to the process of buying or selling property.

Sometimes the people that I deal with believe that a hard-nosed approach is going to get them farthest in a negotiation. When I point out that this may not work out in their best interest, they’ve said, “It’s just business.”

The thing is, it’s NOT just business. Most often, real estate is not just property. It’s a giant monetary asset filled with human emotion.

It’s where a young buyer places their first *new* couch and tries 7 different shades of grey before finding the perfect one. It’s where new parents spend hours setting up the baby’s brand new crib, and where baby takes their first steps. It where grandma struggles up the stairs for her grandchild’s birthday party, and where Fido knows every single corner for snoozing. It’s where friends sit around the table and toast to dreams for the new year. It’s where we snuggle with our loves, and cry in agony. It’s where a teenager storms upstairs after having their heart broken, and jumps for joy when their university acceptance comes in. It’s where someone decides it is time to move on.

It’s where love shows itself.

And as such, emotions run high, and grudges get held … even against a real estate broker’s best advice.

The entire real estate process involves a series of steps, each of which often requires a bit of give and take on both sides. And it’s hard to know from the outset whether you might end up needing a bit of the give or the take.

The best negotiators understand both sides of the process, have a strong sense of empathy, can read others well, know that the most successful negotiations end up with both sides feeling like they got what they wanted, and keep a cool head when emotions rise.

Saying “it’s just business” is not the sign of a good real estate negotiator, despite hard noses.