About two months ago, I was working with a young couple looking to buy a home in Naperville.  We had seen many houses, and one seemed to match their criteria better than the rest...

The location, neighborhood, and the yard of the home were all attractive to my buyers.  So we wrote up an offer...

After we made our offer, the sellers dropped from their asking price a bit, and we countered again, but the the negotiations hit a snag with about $20,000 separating us...

So my buyers and I continued our search.  We looked at several more homes, but after not finding the perfect home, my buyers decided to revisit the earlier negotiations. 

They raised their offer another $10,000.

I was sure we would get this done.  We now had $10,000 separating us, I thought it would be a slam dunk.

The seller lowered a bit more.

We raised our bid another $4,000.  We were really close now... 

I could almost taste the deal...

The next day, the listing agent called.  The sellers were staying put.

OK.  I went to my buyers with the news.  By this time, we were all getting tired of the home search.  They wanted to wrap something up.  Keep in mind, my buyer's home was under contract.  They would need a place to live soon...

So my buyer's raised the offer again. 

When I called the listing agent, I was told that her sellers would not entertain any more offers from us.  They were going to stand pat...

With just $7,000 separating us.

Bold move, I thought.  Dangerous move.  But bold...

My buyers again were surprised.

Back to the home search.  We soon found a bigger house in a better location with a better yard.

We made an offer and settled on a price in a matter of hours.

A few weeks passed.  I wanted to see how the sale was going at the first home, so I pulled it up on the Multiple Listing Service (the MLS).

They had just lowered the asking price.  $3000 below their last counter to us.

A price which my buyers would have accepted.

So silly, I thought.

Negotiating is a lot like poker.  Don't overplay your hand...


-If you play your cards right, you can be a big winner.  But don't overplay the hand...


Comment balloon 5 commentsKen Tracy • April 25 2010 10:58AM


Remember too that in lower cost rural areas like Maine, there is not much room to move..less zero places. And often the price is the price. Not everything is negotiable. Prepare the buyer and discuss that with the seller..the art of pricing, wheeling and dealing. Or not.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 8 years ago

I wonder if it was the agent that wouldnt entertain any more offers....Good for your buyers to keep looking!

Posted by Teresa K. Nelson (Windermere Real Estate/HLC) over 8 years ago

As a listing agent, you always warn your sellers that holding stead fast could kill a deal, and probably should play in the sandbox!     Don't be greedy in today's market!

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) over 8 years ago

Hi Andre, Teresa, and Joan.  Thanks for reading.

I was surprised they didn't budge at the end.  I thought the house was overpriced to begin with...

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) over 8 years ago

Ken...when you take the amount of money that is separating you from a deal and divide it over the life of the loan.....are we not talking pennies here (if that)? My neighbor Joan in cubicle #3 makes sense. That "G" word haunts us all.

Thank you Ken


Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 8 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments