You’ve heard that everything is negotiable when it comes to real estate. Price, closing date, who pays for new carpet in the bedrooms, whether the patio furniture comes with the house and so on.

Any of these can be part of the deal. Just remember that whether you think negotiating in a real estate transaction is exciting or terrifying, it’s a part of the real estate process – in fact, it’s my favorite part!

Here are five mistakes to avoid when negotiating a deal:

1. Forgetting that it’s not about you
Too many people let emotion dictate their negotiations. Don’t get angry when a buyer presents a low offer for your home. They’re not insulting you, and they don’t think your house is a poorly maintained shack. The buyer needs to start the negotiation somewhere. They may be testing the waters to see how low you’ll go. Or their negotiation tactics could have been formed in a country where negotiating is handled differently.

Whatever the case, if you see the offer as an insult and choose not to counter, you may be cutting off the process that would have resulted in a sale.

On the buying side, don’t get bent out of shape if a seller rejects your offer or counters with the original asking price. You may have determined that you presented a very fair price for the house. Good for you. Try again or move on. It’s not personal.

2. Putting yourself second
Keeping emotions out of a deal also means maintaining a business relationship and not feeling sorry for the other side. If the seller rejects your fair offer based on “needing more money for my retirement fund,” ask for a reason that’s relevant to the property sale.

On the other hand, if a buyer says they can’t afford your asking price, but you believe you’re asking fair market value, stick to your guns. Maybe yours just isn’t the house for them.

3. Exceeding your limits
What’s the lowest price you’ll accept for your home? What concessions, if any, will you make? Answer these questions before you put your home on the market and revisit them if your home isn’t seeing the activity you hoped for.

And for buyers, what’s the absolute most you can afford? How close are you willing to come to that number? Whether you’re buying or selling, be sure to share this information with me so that understand your priorities.

4. Meeting in the middle
Splitting the difference doesn’t mean that both parties get a fair deal. If a buyer offered $70,000 for your $100,000 home, you countered with $90,000, and the buyer offered to split the difference at $80,000, would you feel like you both won? Whether you’re buying or selling, don’t allow an extreme offer to affect your counter.

5. Losing sight of the goal
Are you willing to jeopardize the sale of your house because the buyer wants the entryway mirror to convey? As a buyer, how will your monthly payments really be affected if the seller won’t drop the price another $5,000? Sometimes you have to take a step back to make sure you’re not overemphasizing one detail that is standing between you and your objective.

Questions about San Antonio real estate? I’m happy to help. Let’s get started!

Pictured above: Rare opportunity to purchase 121 Starr, a downtown building that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Johann & Anna Heidgen House was built in 1890. The limestone and caliche structure has been beautifully preserved. It could function as a small professional office or live/work space with the addition of a kitchen. Guests enter the building from a private walled courtyard. There is a secure parking pad with 3 spaces behind an electric gate. Formerly owned by the San Antonio Conservation Society. Listed by my Nix Realty Company colleague Marnie Simpson. Let’s go see it!