The Seller Won’t Negotiate With You: What’s Next?

Image created by Stuart Miles, provided by

Image created by Stuart Miles, provided by

Buying a home is an exciting time and it comes with much to look forward to. Whether you are enjoying the hunt for the right property, imagining your furniture in a new space, or jumping for joy as you pass through your new threshold for the first time, the home-buying process is generally an enjoyable experience.

What if it is not all rosy? Sometimes obstacles will crop up and navigating the home buying process can lead to some frustration. One primary source of this frustration can be the person on the opposite side of the process.

In today’s market, the price of a home is a moving target more than ever. This is demonstrated regularly in hot markets like Los Angeles, New York, and the Dallas/Ft. Worth/Houston metros where buyers are chasing prices up as demand remains high. While buyers are grasping at listings and trying to find a deal even above list price, sellers are taking full advantage of the competition. However, even in the opposite market, buyers can sometimes find themselves in a tug-of-war with sellers.

The obstacle of getting a seller to accept your offer is something that your seasoned Realtor can help you navigate as both sides aim to close the deal. But what happens when your seller just says no?

Let your Realtor do the grunt work and analysis

It is no secret that a good buyer is an educated one. What also makes you a good buyer is where you are getting your information. So long as you do some of the most important homework in the beginning, i.e. researching the best Realtor in the neighborhood, you have a better shot at getting around a difficult seller. You can only try to analyze, for example, the comps in the neighborhood or the reasons why they are selling. How far will that take you? Your Realtor should already have these and other considerations in mind and leveraging the information to get sellers right where you want them. If a seller truly won’t budge then your top-notch agent should be able to recognize the indicators and consult you on whether or not to be steadfast or move on.

Lead with confidence, not with arrogance

For a hot property or a motivated buyer, sellers know that a bit of negotiating is par for the course–and the trick is to keep the course from twisting and turning in the seller’s favor as much as possible. That is, if you don’t have the know-how to avoid getting a seller into a corner they won’t budge from.

Some sellers may never move on price and perhaps were never willing to really part with the property in the first place. Other sellers can be pushed to a place where negotiating is the last thing they will do with you. There is no trick here: just don’t push them to this point as much as you can help it. All sellers are motivated by something. What you and your real estate agent need to find out is what that something is and if it is something you either steer around or head straight into. If the seller is looking to move the property fast they may very well hold out for a bid or two above asking (in slower markets), but ultimately they are motivated to sell. If the seller is emotionally tied to the property–which your Realtor can flesh out using their insider magic and expertise–they may be stick very closely to their list price even if the market dictates it should be lower. Both of these situations must be expertly handled to assure you do not offend the seller with your offer and subsequent counter offers. Negotiating the price of a property is a complicated dance between both sides and if you turn or dip the wrong way you just might find the music has altogether stopped on you.

Move on and move in…to a new home

The best way to manage the process is to use your trusted, professional Realtor to determine both how to negotiate a price, and when to walk away. Unfortunately the latter does happen for some buyers. So if the seller really won’t budge the best thing to do is simply move on. While the search and buying process can be a both a physically and emotionally demanding experience, the right property–and seller–is the one that rewards you for both. Keep in mind that should they have a change of heart, a seller and their agent will find you again if you were serious and chomping at the bit the first time around. Until then, if not despite that possibility, move forward and see if what you really want isn’t actually what you have been chasing.

It isn’t always easy, but it’s doable

So do you think your target has stopped moving and is ready for the taking? Well, you are probably no expert, especially if you are a first time buyer. Even if you are a home buying veteran with a couple properties under your belt and selling experiences to boot, your best bet in efficiently buying your next home is having a seasoned, successful Realtor. At the end of the day, your Realtor will save you time (and money) and get you inside the right home for you.

If you are buying or selling a house and are looking to hire a successful real estate agent to help you through the process, take a look at AgentHarvest's list of top-ranking local Realtors in your area. We found these agents by examining their sales track records, awards, rankings, client testimonials and by conducting personal interviews.