Professional real estate negotiation is all about making and taking concessions until a mutually agreed upon outcome is reached. Successful real estate negotiation techniques can help to reach that agreement faster. One of the strongest negotiation tactics available to you is that of linking issues: that is, tying two or more issues / outcomes together conditionally. If you are going to agree to a concession, make sure that your agreement is tied to a concession important to your client.

In human behavior, there is an almost universal feeling of obligation that arises when favors are exchanged. If you do something nice for someone, they will feel compelled to do something nice for you in return. This is known as reciprocity, or the Exchange Principle, and is taught in nearly all cultures from a young age.

Linking your concession to a needed issue keeps the negotiation in balance. Linked issues are a foundation of successful real estate negotiations: never give a concession without taking one in return. For example, link your price to the other side’s desired closing date; “If you pay $XXX,000, then we can close on your desired date.” Or, link paying a higher price to the seller if the seller includes the refrigerator, washer, and dryer.

On the other hand, if the opposing agent has linked together two issues that present a disadvantage to your client, insist that the issues be negotiated separately. You can then reset their original request to a concession that is more palatable for your client, and link the more difficult concession to something more valuable for your client.