Only an artful negotiator can take two sides with opposing interests and bring them to consensus. No formula can be applied to the process; no scientific equation can bring it about. And the back-and-forth communication that is negotiating is a huge part of the home buying and selling process.

Only an artful negotiator can take two sides with opposing interests and bring them to consensus. No formula can be applied to the process; no scientific equation can bring it about. And the back-and-forth communication that is negotiating is a huge part of the home buying and selling process.

A favorable negotiation involves an experienced listing agent working with the buyer's agent to arrive at an agreement on price, and terms and conditions. As with any bargaining session, the discussion can get bogged down, but a professional knows how to avert problems. It's about working through, around and over any potential sticking points to bring the talks to a mutually satisfying conclusion.

More than one buyer has rescinded an offer in the negotiation process, so it's best not to tackle this oh-so-important business dealing without the help of a skillful negotiator.

Having an expert negotiator manage the sale of your home is just one more reason to work with a real estate professional. Make sure your listing agent offers capable representation, objective counsel and caring guidance for this process.

Before engaging your agent, know how he/she will handle negotiation. Ask him/her questions like:

How will multiple offers be handled?

Will the buyer's agent always present his/her offer to me or will you be the only professional present?

On which points should we stand firm and on which can we compromise?

How can you help me figure my bottom-line selling price?

What will you do to get me the best price in the shortest period of time?

Answers to these and other questions will give you a good idea of how your agent negotiates the deal to get the best sale price and terms for you.

In addition, a good agent should be able to actively approach the selling process with enthusiasm, experience and patience. Look for an agent who will:

Research comparable properties to determine a fair price and terms. Help you prepare your home for sale. Work on your behalf to sell your home. Create a comprehensive, innovative marketing plan for your home, making sure that all potential buyers are exposed to it. Use the Internet to meet the ever-increasing demands of today's online buyers. Prepare all the paperwork involved in the sale of your home, including disclosure documents. Negotiate for the price, terms and conditions that are agreeable to you.

Finally, remember to employ an agent with whom you have a rapport. Knowing you're in capable, trusting hands will let you enjoy the sale of your home, not agonize over it.

For more information on the home buying and selling process, contact your local real estate agent today.