Most people even those who think they have great negotiating skills accept the deal too quickly, according to a study on how far both buyers and sellers are willing to go in a negotiation.

''Even experienced negotiators are not immune,'' says study co-author George Wu, a professor at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business. ''People almost always underestimate'' how far they can get the other side to go.

Rick Larrick, associate professor of management at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and another co-author of the study, offers this advice for those who want to be a better real estate negotiator:
  • Weigh your alternatives. ''The only time you should be concerned about the other side walking away is when you don't have good alternatives,'' Larrick says. "If you're buying a house, you should know if there is another one out there that you would be happy to buy if you couldn't get this one at a certain price. If there is, you can make the other side sweat.''
  • Know the value. Whether you’re the buyer or the seller of a home, know the value of the property. "Look at everything in that range and know what else buyers interested in your home might be seeing,'' advises Fran Vernon, an associate with Dilback REALTORS® in La Canada, Calif.
  • Have patience. A buyer or a seller who is not in a hurry can rise above other buyers or sellers in the same price range.
  • Learn from your deals. Just because you walked away feeling like a winner doesn’t mean you were, Larrick says. Pay attention to subsequent similar sales, so the next time you can do better.