Personal Development

6 Rules for Negotiating your Next Real Estate Deal like Frank Underwood

Expertise: Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate News & Commentary, Real Estate Investing Basics
47 Articles Written
How to negotiate like Frank Underwood

"Power is a lot like real estate. It's all about location, location, location. The closer you are to the source, the higher your property value." -Frank Underwood

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If you've been watching the hit series on Netflix, House of Cards, then the title of this post gives you a clear indication of the caliber of a negotiator I'm talking about. Negotiating is a major lynch pin associated with success in locking up your next real estate investment.

6 Rules for Negotiating Your Next Real Estate Deal Like Frank Underwood:

Related: 5 Crucial Steps for Successful Real Estate Negotiations

1. Focus on the first 5 minutes

According to a study by The Journal of Applied Sciences, the first 5 minutes of a negotiation can predict the outcome. In this first 5 minutes, people decide what direction they will take in the negotiation. Get right into why you think working together is a good idea and how their work/ business/ idea is a good one. Yes, people like praise but they love it when they feel someone understands them. A feeling of connection makes your value skyrocket.

2. Appear according to your story

If you are marketing yourself to distressed homeowners as a professional real estate investor then act the part. Dress the story as I like to call it. Frank Underwood is always looking sharp, as looking sharp gives you an advantage from the get go.

3. State Your Value

Homeowners have the ability to work with numerous investors so you must be explicit in the value you offer to them. It's your job to make sure that the seller knows what they will actually be getting when working with you. Frank Underwood shows his offer/deal value by painting the picture of the other party's new reality after they agree on the deal. How they will appear amongst their peers and how it will make them look. He makes sure he focuses on benefits rather than features.

4. State Your Price

You must come from a position of strength when you convey your offer price to a seller. When quoting your price be cautious of how you deliver it.

How NOT to do it:

I can offer you $100,000 for your house given the issues. This is because we want to close quickly. How does that sound?

So why is this unfavorable? Firstly, “we would have to” sounds like you are doing something that is painful for them when in fact you are giving them a value-laden offer. Ending with “how does that sound?” puts you in a position of weakness. Why would you need to ask for the client’s permission to give them amazing value at an incredible price?

How to do it better:

Given all the issues we discussed, my offer is $100,000. That should give you enough money to help solve all your issues. I am excited to close on your house. Once a contract is signed we can work together to solve the issues quickly.

Come from a position of strength and deliver your offer as a win-win solution for both sides.

Related: A New Solution to Getting Your Real Estate Investment Offers Accepted

5. Revel in the Silence

After you state your price, DON’T SPEAK FURTHER. Don’t begin a ramble off justifications as this makes you look needy and unsure of yourself. Allow the seller to think and ask questions. This keeps you in a powerful position. If there is a gap of silence, don’t feel the need to fill it with any kind of chatter. Keep calm, and revel in the silence.

6. Create a sense of Urgency

Frank always makes the other party feel like his offer is a once-in-a-life time opportunity and if not acted upon quickly, their moment of glory will be gone. Missed opportunities are painful; Frank knows this and uses it to his advantage when negotiating.

If there is no pressure to close the deal, there is no reason for the seller to take action soon. Make sure you are honest with them and let them know, as shown in the example of stating your price, the deal is time-sensitive and it may not be available if they don’t act quickly.

Always have a negotiation plan and use these six rules to negotiate and win at the real estate game.

Happy Investing!

Ankit Duggal(G+) is the Investment Director of a New Jersey Income Operating & Consult...
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    Ray O
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Great tips and great show! Next time I win my next round of negotiations I plan on knocking on the table before shaking their hand. Ha
    Ankit Duggal
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Thanks Ray. I appreciate it. Love the knocking on the table before shaking method.
    Brian Gibbons
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Ankit, love this. A few other pointers.. 1. Build Repore so the Seller likes you and wants to work with you, people like to do business with people they like and trust. 2. Use an upfront agreement, say something like, “My Seller if your 100% happy with our agreement today, I would hope we can both be effective with our time, as your time is very valuable, as mine is. However if you find one issue not acceptable I would hope you would say “Well that’s not going to work for me.” I will not be insulted. And in return, if I feel it will not be a solid transaction for me, I will be straight forward with you and tell you upfront, “This wont work for me.” “Can we both agree to that?” “On the other hand, if I feel this is a solid transaction for me, I will be prepared to get the paperwork done today, and have this property under an agreement today. You see I have to be effective with my time, and I cant keep coming back, it costs too much in time and money. And I would request from you that you in turn would move forward, that is if you are 100% with the terms I propose. Could I have your commitment to that framework? This avoids “Let me think it over” or “I need to talk it over w my lawyer, my adviser, etc”
    Ankit Duggal
    Replied over 6 years ago
    I like the framework. It is a way to crush the I am not sure objection. Thank you for sharing that great framework.
    Replied over 6 years ago
    I have been watching the show for a while and I always try to remember how he negotiates. I am glad you wrote these down. I am becoming a realtor soon and have been reading into negotiations lately. This is a great post. Thanks
    Kimberly T.
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Great article! Negotiation is not one of my strengths, and is definitely something I will be working on as we look to acquire more properties.
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Great article, short, quick, and to the point I am looking for some tools to help me deliver my offers in negotiations a little stronger, any suggestions?
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Love this! I am definitely going to use this for my next transaction.
    Replied over 6 years ago
    I would add in that it’s important to build rapport people do business with those folks that they like and trust.
    Ryan Dossey Real Estate Broker from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I like how you recommended phrasing the offer. We do that with most of the questions we ask motivated seller leads. Position the question in such a way that it continues the conversation. If you give them yes/no questions it’s going to be a choppy conversation. I don’t pressure sellers on the spot though. We make them an offer of what works for us. I don’t want someone to ever regret selling us their home.