Negotiations -- Real Life Bargaining Research Paper

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Negotiations -- Real Life Bargaining and Negotiation

The negotiation process never has -- nor will it ever have -- a "one-size-fits-all" strategy. In fact there so many theories, strategies, tactics and books with hands-on advice about how to negotiate a deal (whether for business or personal purposes) that a party to negotiations could become bewildered and confused by all the approaches to negotiating. Indeed there are so many different kinds of situations that call for negotiation -- labor contentiousness, city-versus-police union, National Football League vs. The player's union, parent vs. teenager vis-a-vis use of the family car, and more -- that a wide range of knowledge is important in the negotiation process.

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To become familiar with the myriad number of approaches and styles to negotiation, a careful review of strategies and theories is important for the individual or group involved. Being forearmed is being forewarned, the old saying goes, and in the case of negotiations, that is an extremely wise piece of advice. This paper presents a negotiating situation between two neighbors, one neighbor that owns a two-acre wooded lot which that neighbor intends to keep; the second neighbor is considering selling her house that is on one and a half acres directly adjacent to the first neighbor's wooded property. Even the most well prepared individual can become out-witted or out-maneuvered during a negotiation process if he or she is not flexible and resourceful. The lay people involved in this negotiation base the thrust of their efforts on person-to-person discussions -- with some outside help from professional real estate brokers.

Thesis

Research Paper on Negotiations -- Real Life Bargaining and Negotiation Assignment

The seller in this paper was not in the negotiations to "win" but rather to "make a deal" (Pollan, 1988, p. 133). In fact both parties to this paper's negotiations were not looking to beat the other party but instead to approach the process "honestly and fairly, seeking a deal that will satisfy both parties' needs" (Pollan, 133). Deals don't have to be win or lose, and they are not win or lose if one of the two parties shakes hands and walks away from the potential transaction, postponing negotiations until a more fruitful window of time.

The families and issues involved

The Brown family -- a single parent family with 2 teen-aged children and a divorced mother (who is the sister of the writer preparing this research paper) -- owns a 4-bedroom home on an acre and a half that is adjacent to a 2-acre parcel that is undeveloped, with stands of pine and eucalyptus trees. The Brown family also owns a 2-bedroom home in a near-by suburban community that has lower taxes and better schools. The two-bedroom home was bequeathed to Mrs. Brown by her parents, who died in an auto accident three years earlier. Mrs. Brown has been renting that house since her parents' passing, but now that one of her sons is about to enter middle school and the other is finishing his senior year in high school, she sees that it would make sense to sell the four-bedroom house they live in and move to the home her parents left for her in their will.

The neighbors that own the three-acre stand of trees adjacent to Mrs. Brown's property, Mr. And Mrs. Randolph, have thought about purchasing the Brown's property for several years. The Randolph family has a home several miles away they are happy with but they would love to own the Browns' property because they have a married daughter with 3 young grandchildren who live in a gang-infested neighborhood in a distant city and the Randolph's daughter and her husband need a safe and health place to raised their children. The Randolph family is well to do and they see how much value would be added to their undeveloped woodsy lot if they owned the Browns' property as well; plus, the woods would be a wonderful place for young children to safely play, within eyesight of their parents. The fence between the two properties could come down and an enormous space would be available for the Randolph's children and grandchildren.

As for the Brown family, the two-bedroom home also has a garage in back and an apartment built above the garage with a small kitchen, bathroom with shower, and is perfectly adequate for Mrs. Browns' high school senior to live in. Moreover, there is a well-respected community college near the two-bedroom home and the older boy wants to attend two years of community college before deciding which four-year school he might wish to attend.

The downside of moving out of the four-bedroom home (that is 33 miles from the two-bedroom that Mrs. Brown hopes eventually to move her family into) is that the four-bedroom property had a huge back lot, with plenty of room for the boys to invite their friends over for Frisbee, badminton, playing catch, flying kites, cook-outs with friends, camp-outs, touch football games and more. In addition, Mrs. Brown has an organic garden in a portion of the back lot -- with protection against gophers -- and she thoroughly enjoyed harvesting squash, tomatoes, herbs, carrots and corn from that garden. She would miss it a great deal, because the two-bedroom house she would move into if the four-bedroom house sells has just a small back yard, about one-tenth the space that the four-bedroom property offers.

The bottom line is that Mrs. Brown and the boys will be happy either way; they love the bigger home and they know how precious it is to have the Pacific Ocean 4,200 feet away so they can hear the ocean's roar much of the time. Also their present living arrangement allows ample room in the back lot for recreation and nature observations (turkey vultures roost in the tall eucalyptus trees on the other side of the back property line; there are deer that come in to feed on the plum tree leaves and provide a thrill from the kitchen window viewing area; woodpeckers, jays, doves, red-winged blackbirds and a myriad of songbirds frequent the bird feeders; a pair of red-shouldered hawks nest in neighboring trees and make an appearance several times a week) and yet the smaller home has more positives in terms of the boys' education and future careers.

Mrs. Brown, a licensed civil engineer, took early retirement from the local electric / gas utility (she enjoys a generous pension) and presently earns her living as a freelance writer, contributing journalism for regional daily and weekly newspapers and contracting out to do copy editing for an online marketing firm.

The negotiation issues

The Brown family home was valued at between $395,000 and $402,000 prior to the collapse of the housing market in 2007-2008. Currently the Brown property is valued at $244,000, which is great when it comes to paying property taxes, but not so good in getting value out of a property that the owner believes is worth far more than the assessment by the county. Mrs. Brown has not put the property on the local real estate listings, but she has been in contact with the Randolph family off and on for over a year, and while they have contacted her in a friendly way to establish a price for the property, she resisted up until now. It should be noted that she had not planned to even talk about selling the property until the housing market firmed up again, but given the situation with her boys, and paying property taxes on two properties, she is entertaining a possible deal with the Randolph family.

Mrs. Brown was extremely thorough in her research as to how to best negotiate a deal on her house. She read the Pollan book (Field Guide to Home Buying in America) to prepare her for the interaction with potential buyers. Pollan asserted in page 133, "…the best negotiations are those that treat both sides fairly. You are in the negotiation to make a deal, not to win… if you don't aim at winning, you probably won't open yourself up to losing." She paid strict attention to Pollan's advice as to how important it is to "…set the proper tone, because sellers are under more stress than buyers" (p. 133). On page 134 Pollan explains that the seller often "…brings a lot of emotional baggage to the transaction" since the home has been much more than "four walls and a roof."

Hence, the seller, Mrs. Brown, has a huge emotional investment in the property and the truth according to Pollan is that the home-buying process "is wrapped up in the egos of buyer and seller." Having read Pollan's book, Mrs. Brown promised herself she would not get into a battle of egos with the Randolph family and yet she realizes that if the Randolphs come back with a counter offer that is far below her asking price she might feel "that an attack on [her] price is an assault on [her]" (Pollan, 134).

Strategies reviewed by Mrs. Brown in preparation for negotiations

A close friend of Mrs. Brown… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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