When negotiating a residential real estate contract, there are typically 4 items we "fight" over. Those are; 1) price 2) terms 3) possession 4) personal property.
Buyers and sellers should consider these items and rank them according to importance. Sometimes the best transactions occur when we find the buyer and seller have matching needs. For instance a seller may not want to close until a date in the future, but is willing to take less for the house, just so he doesn't have to move twice. If the buyer is price sensitive but has the time to wait, this could be a win-win situation.
Terms include seller concessions to the buyer. This could be in the form of paying closing costs, prepaids or even buying down a point. Buyers who are "cash poor" but well employed welcome and need a seller's concession to make the transaction workable.
Personal property should never become an issue in a contract negotiation. If a seller wants to exclude personal property, i.e. a light fixture, it should be replaced prior to a buyer seeing it. Many real estate transactions have gone sour, due to the disposition of personal property. A wonderful divorce attorney once advised me not to fight over the toaster, since paying him by the hour was much more expensive than buying a toaster! Same holds true in real estate, don't be fighting over the curtains. For want of curtains you can lose the whole house!
Sometimes learning the position of the other side is difficult. Oftentimes it doesn't matter when you do, but frequently it makes out for a very smooth and delightful real estate transaction.