Poker Face
Aug 01, 2013 | 2358 views | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HONESTY is the best policy. Unless you're negotiating. Nowhere is this more true than in the buying and selling of vehicles and real estate. If you pay asking price, you're probably paying too much.

Poker terms enter negotiation. "Don't ever show them your hole card." Or, "fold and cut your losses." Or, "he just doesn't have a poker face." In negotiation, we reward deception. We reward the one who can least show his or her emotional need to reach a resolution.

There are people who have no poker face. Those people typically do not like to negotiate. They'd rather pay asking price than chance rejection of a lower offer.

In most sales of vehicles and real estate, asking price is just that. It's a place to start and give ground as needed. I heard recently of someone who put their house on the market and had a contract at full price in eight hours. "You underpriced it," I told the person. You should never get your asking price for a vehicle or real estate. If you do, you didn't ask enough for it.

There is no dishonor in telling a would-be seller "there cannot be many buyers for this type of car with today's gasoline prices." If that is a fact, it's a fact which mentioning might lay the ground work for a price more reflective of true value. You do not want to overpay for a vehicle or real estate, or you'll have trouble ever selling it for a price reasonable in relation to what you paid for it.

I was taught negotiation by older business partners, gems like "you have to be willing to show them your back." This is the most critical piece of advice to anyone trying to buy anything. You don't have to be rude about it. You don't need to denigrate the seller or his price. You have to be willing to say "I can't pay that," and walk away. You'd be surprised how that action sometimes results in a drop in price which makes the purchase possible. Sellers do not want to lose a buyer who looks to be good for the purchase.

Another key bit of advice was "don't fall in love with a piece of real estate." People buy real estate they don't need. They buy real estate that is not a good investment. They do so because hopes and dreams run far ahead of reality. Most of the time, buying that home lot years ahead of the time to build on it is not a great idea. It means maintenance, association fees, maybe road upkeep, and property taxes. It means carrying costs. A real estate purchase should seldom be hurried into.

A similar notion is the advice "don't buy depreciating assets with borrowed money." While this is not always possible for buyers, staying away from long term debt for a vehicle is a pretty good idea. Buy what you can afford to drive and maintain, not what you think will impress the people you know.

A character in the film Scarface opined "don't ever underestimate the other guy's greed." Some people want to charge too much for things they sell. Others want to pay too little for the things they buy. Best to identify each as such, bid them good-bye, and focus on buying and selling with others.

If you buy anything at the right price, you stand a good chance of eventually reselling it or trading it for reasonable value in relation to your purchase price. Otherwise, you will find yourself unable to unload it when you decide to do so. I learned these lessons one big mistake at a time.

© 2013, Jim “Pappy” Moore, All Rights Reserved.

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