Dear Zuess,buyes sellers

We had an offer on my listing a few weeks back but it didn’t fly.  My sellers really believed they were going to get more money and wanted to wait to see about all the potential buyers who had seen the property.  Needless to say, no other offers came in.  The first offer was low, but my people need to sell as they have another child on the way and need more space.  I called the agent who brought us the offer to see if her buyers were still interested, but she is playing hardball and saying that her people won’t offer again because they feel that I will use their offer to get other, better offers on the table.  I don’t want to let her know that we have no one else interested but at the same time, I think that my sellers would likely take the buyers offer now.  Can you help?



Hello Irene,

It’s always frustrating when you can see both sides and you know that there is likely a deal to be made.  I think you are right on the money when you say that you don’t want to reveal to the buyer’s agent that there are no other buyers in the wings.  That would be giving away your BATNA (Best Alternative to Negotiation Agreement) and giving the other side more power.  At the same time, you need to create some collaboration if you want to get this deal done which would be good for everyone.  Ah – the negotiators dilemma.   Try a seller’s offer.  Get your seller to make an irrevocable offer to the buyers.  I would suggest making it at or very close to the offer that the buyers made before, include the necessary conditions but give it a relatively short fuse (irrevocable).  This should create some goodwill without giving away your power in the process.

Good luck!


Columnist, The Nature of Real Estate

Dear Zuess is a column dedicated to offering tips for real estate agents who might consider a seller’s offer during a negotiation. Do you have any real estate binds you’ve been in lately? Drop Zuess a line at