In this negotiation, I played the role of the seller’s agent, and the negotiation was conducted via email. My seller wanted to sell the house at $270,000, and I would receive a 6% commission in this case. I prepared to negotiate this price by emphasizing the seller’s circumstances (they needed this exact sum quickly as they were moving into a new house) and the amount of work the seller put into this house. The seller acknowledged that the eventual price could be lower and warned me that my commission would be reduced as well. Based on this, I set my reservation point at $265,000, and I believed the bargaining zone to be between $265,000 and $270,000. During the negotiation, the buyer’s agent told me that the buyer wanted to purchase the house for $260,000. I notified the buyer’s agent that my seller intended to sell the house for $270,000 and got the reply that the buyer agreed to that price.
I used distributive tactics since I negotiated over one issue – the house price – and aimed to increase the gains for my seller and, consequently, myself. In hindsight, there were ways to create value by sharing information about the seller’s interests and learning about the buyer’s concerns. However, my negotiation ran smoothly, and the buyer quickly agreed to the requested price. Therefore, even if there were ways to create value, I had no opportunity to implement them in this particular negotiation.
From previous negotiations, I learned that it was important to have a reservation point and focus on the parties’ interests. I used those experiences to manage this more complex negotiation. I coordinated the communication between the teams by promptly notifying the buyer’s agent and the seller about any updates in the negotiation. The biggest challenge in moving to emails with multiple parties involved was the delay in response and the inability to talk directly to the buyer.
Using emails had certain advantages, such as having all the information recorded and represented concisely. In addition, although delayed responses could be considered a challenge, they also allowed for additional time for considering my negotiation tactics. However, I do not think an email negotiation accurately represents a real-life negotiation. This is because, in real life, negotiators’ personalities and emotions may influence the outcomes, while the email environment is stripped of this opportunity. Impersonality can be considered the major disadvantage of using only emails.