The negotiation process of real estate is a very emotional and turbulent ride. While it seems so trivial to have an agent proxy the negotiations, this is very important in getting a deal done. Why is there always an arbitrator when unions talk to management? Because this is an emotional process when it comes to money, and sometimes it can get very heated. The last thing you want to do is give off too much information, or become emotional during this back and forth.
Having a real estate agent proxy this communication, he/she is able to filter out all forms of tactics designed to create an emotional response such as "The place needs renos" , "Not the greatest area" "Not sure if its really worth the money" "Overpriced". Having a realtor proxy this negotiation, he/she is able to present to you the bare facts of the offer, without adding all the "noise" designed to affect your view of your own property.
If there is a true sticking point, without an agent there is no delay to craft a proper response, and sometimes being put on the spot can really throw you off. Case and point, how would you respond to this if asked on the spot:
"There is water damage, why would you hide this? I want 10k off, or I won't waive my conditions"
Possible on the spot reactions:
"You're crazy, I'm not giving you 10k"
"Your inspector is lying or you guys are both in on it, I'm not paying anything"
"I thought we had a deal??"
This conversation can go south real quick, but having a realtor in between can address this without jeopordizing the transaction.
"My client probably wasn't aware, let me bring this back to them and we can figure out a workable arrangement"
Now we've bought time to decide what we'd like to do, we can respond accordingly to the situation:
1. Call their bluff, seek out some interested parties, and respond with "At this time, we have other interested parties and will not be providing any concessions."
2. Split the cost and amend the contract "My client has sought out some qoutes and found a resonable one at X dollars. We're willing to split this cost in trade for waiver of this clause"
3. Fix the issue at your own cost (find a contractor friend, or seek out qoutes) "My client acknowledges the issue and will repair this prior to closing"
These are just a sample of the many crafted and thought out responses will come off professional, provide a clear stance, and help move the transaction through without the need for emotional interference. A good realtor will provide you with strong communication skills, a framework for negotiation and execution, as well as an outline of outcomes and expectations.