I’ve been in the Real Estate investing and selling business since 1983. Over the course of that time, I’ve bought many properties, and sold over 2,500 homes as a Real Estate Broker. In all of those deals, whether they were mine or for a homeowner or investor, I’ve noticed common negotiating concepts that have led to not only great deals, but that left both sides feeling like winners. Sounds pretty great, right?

In an effort to pass on this success, and consequently winning vibes you and others in your negotiating ring, I’ve decided to share the fundamental concepts to creating those win–win deals so you too can find happiness at the bargaining table of life.


You must know what you want going in. What would be the ideal situation, and what can I live with if I cannot get the ideal situation. Make two lists: “What I want” and “what I can live with”. Keep these lists clearly in mind as you move through your discussions.


This is a concept most people miss, not just in negotiating, but in all areas of their life! They are so busy thinking about what THEY want, they never stop to think of things from the other side. In negotiations, this is a must. You have to know what is MOST IMPORTANT to the other side. How do you find this out? You simply ask. Dig deeper, find out what they REALLY want. Once you find out their MOST IMPORTANT WANTS (Good news: it’s often something easy to make happen) you can go about finding how to deliver this.

For example: I once got a deal over two other investors with better offers because I let the seller remain in a house for five months longer, allowing his daughter to graduate high school with her senior class. His daughter was happy, he was elated, and I got to broker a great deal. Win–win-win.


One of the great things about Real Estate investing is there are always multiple ways of getting the job done. Sometimes different plans work for different circumstances. When creating deals, it is key to look at ALL OF YOUR OPTIONS.

For example, You could go to a seller and say I can buy your home for $190,000 all cash, or I can buy it for $210,000 with you carrying back a 2nd mortgage of $50000. Once you buy the property, again ask, “What are my options?” You think for a bit and list:

I can sell the home.

I can rent it, or do a lease option.

I can check the zoning with the county. Oh look, I can rezone the property as “Commercial” and get a better lease on it. Oh and it’s near the freeway! I can put a billboard on the back of the property and massively increase my cash flow.

By laying out all the options, and checking out all that can possibly be done with the property you can find “the highest and best use of the property” to maximize your profits and cash flow.

When negative situations arise, (which they often do, it goes with the real estate territory, not to mention, life in general) I’ve found it necessary to keep my head when all around people are losing theirs”. This is the time to take a step back, again, look at all options, and move forward swiftly and with conviction, to solve the situation in a win–win manner. You want to find a way to get the deal back on track (if possible) and get over, under, or around the problem in a timely manner.

If you find yourself in stuck in a tricky spot, especially when it comes to negotiation, pull out these key concepts. While targeted specifically for real estate in this article, these tips can be used for ANYTHING. Real Estate negotiating, getting a raise, or even parenting. If you can master these three concepts, there’s no reason everyone can’t walk away from a negotiation feeling like a winner.

~ Tim Rhode

Author's Bio: 

Tim would tell you that he got off to a slow start. After growing up in the rural town of Portola in Northern California and barely graduating high school, Tim Rhode found himself at the age of 25 working as a grocery clerk with two young children to provide for.

He eventually found his “niche” selling real estate; and from 1986 to 2000, he sold over 2,500 homes and from 1997 to 2006 he invested in over 100 properties. Tim focused on saving money, keeping his expenses low, and playing solid “financial defense” which allowed him to basically retire, and he was financially free at the age of 40.

Not wanting to play hike, bike or ski all day, Tim threw his energy into his true passion: helping people thrive and live their most fulfilling life. He founded the nonprofit 1Life Fully Lived to help people of all ages gain the tools and skills they need to thrive and also co-founded GoBundance, a high-level mastermind, with David Osborn, Pat Hiban and Mike McCarthy to help healthy, wealthy, generous people lead epic lives. We have a women’s tribe now!

Tim has also authored numerous books and has been featured on a variety of podcasts and media outlets. He now lives near his children in the High Sierras with his wife and dog.​

You can connect with Tim at www.TimRhode.com.