How to negotiate with a stubborn seller

Ugh... you try and try to be nice to sellers, but you find that one or two that just is encourageable! They won't negotiate, they won't listen, they won't even try to find a happy medium, but you really, REALLY love their house and want to buy it.

I've had that happen, maybe you have too. Maybe you're stuck right now dealing with a seller that just won't communicate, negotiate, or be reasonable to any scope of the imagination. So, what can you do?

Okay, first, calm down. Being agitated, irritated and frustrated (lots of 'tated stuff there! HA) will not get you anywhere. Try to keep your emotions out of it. That can be really hard when you love the home and you're afraid someone else will swoop in and take it. Well, consider this, unless you're being completely unreasonable in your offer, chances are anyone else this seller has to deal with is probably going to go through the same rigamarole. So try and keep your cool and set yourself on negotiating.

Talk to the listing agent. This only works if the seller has listed with an agent. Often times, sellers that are being unreasonable list it themselves because they couldn't find an agent they could work with - hmmm, I wonder why?

But, if the seller has an agent, have your buyer's agent talk to them about negotiations. What is it the seller really wants? Do they really want to sell their house or are they just testing the market to see if they can get a high price for their home? Often, sellers who are unreasonable or unwilling to negotiate on the list price simply are not motivated to sell and move. You might be able to find out a lot about the seller just by talking to the listing agent. But, if they don't have a listing agent, your buyer's agent needs to try and communicate with the seller on their needs, what they want, and how to accomplish a common goal.Stay Calm

A lot of times, sellers are adamant about their price and simply will not budge. If the buyer will not meet the price and if the price is too inflated for the market value, financing and lenders may have to reveal the shocking truth to the homeowner. If the buyer is applying for financing and the home does not appraise for the asking price, the lender cannot loan that amount to the buyer. The seller can stand firm and reject the offer, or the buyer can come up with the additional amount on their own. If the seller is stubborn enough to wait for the higher price, they may find themselves waiting forever.

If the seller refuses to be unreasonable on other items on the offers such as the terms, these again should be negotiated between buyer's agent and listing agent if possible. The listing agent should counsel their seller to find a win-win for both buyer and seller. This could be a difference in the closing date, items that stay on the property, financing options, contingencies, or earnest money deposits.

I think the old adage "seek first to understand and then be understood" can really benefit a buyer in this position. What is it that the seller is really asking for and how can you find a common ground? By getting frustrated, being stubborn, and refusing to negotiate will really get you nowhere. It can be frustrating to give in all the time but it also depends on how much you love the house and how hard you're willing to work for that home.

I want to make one other note here; I've had some buyers that really like the house but maybe not have fallen in love with it completely. We've had a stubborn seller that did some hard negotiations and the buyer got so wrapped up in the negotiations and attraction of winning that they were able to win the house but not be satisfied with the purchase. Consider how much you truly love the house and how much you're willing to go through in order to get the house

Listen to your agent; we've been through the ringer when it comes to stubborn sellers and unique situations. As your agent, I can offer sage advice to dealing with just about any type of seller and listing agent out there. 

Ready to find that house and buy? Call me anytime!

Read more: 

5 Things I wish I knew before buying a house

Home buying strategies all buyers should have