I have always been a very passionate person. Some would even say a little dramatic. I guess if I have to really be honest, my very dramatic daughter (love her) gets it all from me! I find when I decide to do something, I go all in. When I decide to love, I love all out. When I decide I am done with something, I am completely done. It is just who I am and, truth be told, I kinda like me and wouldn’t want it any other way!
As an educator, I don’t get to “negotiate” much. I get a salary that is pretty much set by state guidelines. I get allotments to run my building based on state and district guidelines. There isn’t much wiggle room when it comes to my day job. The same thing held true when I built my first house. We didn’t have a realtor assist us, and we just assumed we would walk in, they would say, “this model is this much”, we would say, “ok”, and the deal was done. That is what we did, so again, no real experience with negotiating.
Fast forward to this home build….and I had to actually spend time negotiating a bit. Wow! It is not easy! I cannot tell you the amount of stress I had and the amount of patience I had to learn. And, as a very passionate person, looking to get the best deal for my very hard earned money, it was very difficult to keep my feelings out of it!
Doing a little research on the topic of negotiation, I keep seeing the phrase, take the emotion out of it. With my personality, I am not sure I am the best at negotiating….but, I think I got the deal. Here is what I did.
- I started the conversation with being honest. I had a specific amount of money, and that was all I was going to have. I even said, at one point (because I am dramatic), there is not a money tree in my yard and I can’t grow more. Once I explained what I could and could not do, the person on the other end of this was much more understanding of my situation.
- I persevered and didn’t give up until I was comfortable with the scenario that would work best for me. The negotiation had to do with buying points on my new mortgage…something I had zero knowledge of…I had to learn quickly and then take the time to work through different rates and how that would affect the loan, the closing costs, and my monthly payment. It was a lot of back and forth, work, and time, but in the end, it paid off.
- Once I got what I felt comfortable with, I got everything in writing. Of course, this is just good practice, but also, the way things started going…I kept telling myself, if something changed in the future, I would want proof that this deal had been made. Luckily, this saved me in the end. The person I began the negotiation with no longer works for the company….but, I had everything in writing, and with a little more back and forth, I am getting what I was promised.
- I continually thank the people I am working with. I know this may sound silly, and I certainly don’t want to go overboard with my gratitude, but these people also took their time to work with me and all of my questions. I need them to know that I appreciate their time. Besides, they may say I was a little emotionally involved, but they can never say that I wasn’t grateful!
I certainly am not a professional when it comes to this type of work! And, I can’t even say that I am qualified to give negotiating advice…but I can share my experience and hope that this may help anyone out there in a situation such as mine. And, this leads me to my original thought…when do you take the emotion out of the negotiation? Well, had I not been passionate enough about wanting to get the deal with the limited budget that I had, I am not sure I would have had the patience to get through this. Not only patience, but the strength, as I probably would have just thought…ok, I am not qualified to be a home owner…and given up. So, stay strong! Do your research! Use emotion when you need! And, in the end, persevere so that you can get what is best for you! If I can do it, so can you! Stay tuned, my friends!