How Do You Negotiate? Like Vinegar or Honey?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Rulnick Realty, Inc.


This week I dealt with two agents offering a startling contrast in styles.  Sort of like "vinegar" and "honey".

Agent Vinegar Tactics during negotiations:

"Your seller must not really want to sell.”

"How many offers have you had so far?”

"It’s not priced right in the first place.”


Agent Honey Tactics during negotiations:

"I am not Houdini, but I’ll try to do magic!”

"I’ll do the best I can to make this work.”

"Thank you!”


Which agent do you think will be more successful negotiating for their client?  Both are representing their buyers with low offers.  Agent Vinegar’s approach is an aggressive attack.  It is meant to show the listing agent that the house was overpriced and the listing agent could not sell it.  Agent Honey shows he is approachable and calls for empathy. 

Agent Vinegar will probably get the listing agent defensive and build up a wall.  Remember, agents are not automatons, they are human.

Agent Honey will probably get the listing agent to act like a teammate to get the deal done.

Which agent are you?


It's Wendy!

Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Call toll-free 1-877-ITS-WNDY (1-877-487-9639) or local 850-650-7883 ext 204

Email Wendy:

Destin FL Real Estate

Destin Short Sales & Pre Foreclosure Help.

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Wendy is a short sale and pre-foreclosure specialist and has been featured in "Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine" and "Florida Realtor Magazine". Call Wendy Rulnick, Broker/Owner,to list and sell your home or condo on the Emerald Coast of Florida in Walton, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa County-  Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Crestview, Rosemary Beach, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field. 

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"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Wendy Rulnick, Broker/Owner Rulnick Realty, Inc.

Call Wendy Rulnick 1-850-650-7883 ext 204

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Wendy Rulnick is the marketing choice for sellers on the Emerald Coast who want to list and get their homes and condos sold in Destin, Sandestin, Bluewater Bay, Santa Rosa Beach, 30-A, Watercolor, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Seacrest Beach, Kelly Plantation, Regatta Bay, Destiny and more.

Rulnick Realty



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  1. Christa Borellini 09/17/2010 11:46 AM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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Christa Borellini
Prudential California - San Diego, CA

I so agree with Agent "Honey"!   I really don't understand why an agent that presents a low ball offer really tries to convince the listing agent that it's good?  If baffles me.  I mean do they think the list agent will be stupid enough to "say...ohhh you're right, 10% below market value/list price is a great offer".

I got some really good advise from a colleague of mine that I use when I have to present a low ball offer.  I just say "Hi, I got good news for you and bad news.  The good news is that I have an offer for you, the bad news is it isn't a  really good offer".  

 I mean come on, everyone knows a shitty offer when they see it. 

Just fess up and see if there's anything you can do to come to a deal!

Nice Post Wendy!

Sep 17, 2010 11:43 AM #1
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Christa - I think your approach is disarming!  Let's be honest here.

Sep 17, 2010 11:57 AM #2
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Wendy... I am definitely a "Honey" but sadly there don't seem that many "Honeys" out there these days.

Sep 17, 2010 03:50 PM #3
Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Your Realtor Down the Shore!

It isn't often I read about the agents attitude and demeanor in negotiating a deal.  I always try to be upfront and serves no one to try to intimidate or bully another agent, or suggest that they don't know as much as you.

Sep 17, 2010 10:28 PM #4
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Wendy I think I may be a mix of both. I sure as hell would not want to drink that concoction - LOL

Sep 18, 2010 01:09 AM #5
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Frisco TX Real Estate Co. - Frisco, TX
Real Estate Agents

I sure hope I'm a HONEY agent. I put myself in wanting it work for all parties involved.

Sep 18, 2010 01:16 AM #6
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Steve - I like honey, too!

Laura - Upfront and helpful is good.

Bill - Hopefully, there is a little more honey to make it palatable!

Loreena - Right on!

Sep 18, 2010 02:08 AM #7
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Wendy, this is so true.  I think the agents that use the vinegar approach fail much more than those who use honey. 

Sep 18, 2010 02:12 AM #8
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Wendy, it never ceases to amaze me when I read these things. They are not really helping their buyer out are they. 


Sep 18, 2010 03:35 AM #9
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Gabe - I tend to agree.

Missy - Being adversarial with the other agent usually doesn't help.

Sep 19, 2010 02:47 AM #10
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

I once wrote a blog post where I said that people either negotiated like verb or prepositional phrases. Verbs are your vinegar.

Sep 20, 2010 10:28 AM #11
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Melissa - Your version sounds more deeply thought out:)

Sep 20, 2010 10:33 AM #12
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Wendy~thanks for the post. I think I tend to be more honey loaded with statistics.

Feb 03, 2011 02:19 PM #13
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