Some thoughts on what makes a successful negotiation, and why I'm often able to "get the best of it" on behalf of my clients. You might find these approaches helpful in your own negotiations, too
In my mind, a successful negotiation is not where one side has pulverized the other. You don't "win" a negotiation; you get the best possible outcome for your clients while doing the least harm. No one should leave a negotiation angry. After all, you never know when you might have to negotiate with the same people again. When it comes to negotiating on behalf of my clients, I keep the following in mind:
Set the stage: I like a location that's quiet, neutral, pleasant, and away from distractions and confusion. It's best if everyone turns off their devices, and refrains from calls or texts during negotiations.
Be prepared: I never enter without my homework. I verify any outstanding facts before the negotiation begins. (Later fact-finding can cause a negotiation to bog down!)
Present a united front: I represent clients and have been hired to act on their wishes. At times I may not agree with their position, but I never share that with the other side. If I feel a client's position is less than optimal, I only discuss it with them in private
Leave attitudes at the door: It's very simple... treat everyone in the negotiation with respect, regardless of personal opinions. If anyone disagrees, disagree with the idea, not the person.
Watch non-verbal cues and body language: (Sorry, but I can't reveal all of my secrets here... suffice it to say I take it all in!)
Hold something in reserve: I discuss concessions with my clients before hand and only offer these concessions when we absolutely need to concede something.
I don't harp about points that don't matter to my clients: Negotiations should never choke over a minor point. I like to get agreement on major points such as price and terms and put lesser items aside to return to later.
Never volunteer too much information: Knowledge is power in a negotiation. Telling the other side any information, however insignificant seeming, could weaken my clients' position. On the other hand, I learn as much about the other side as I can.
If you ever need someone on your side in a real estate negotiation, feel free to contact me directly.