5 Ways to Tick off a Seller

Real Estate Agent


5 Ways to Tick off a Seller (and Shoot Yourself in the Foot)


By Mary Borth, Keller Williams Realty, Bloomington Normal IL


1.    Make a low-ball offer that is completely unreasonable just to “see what happens”. Sellers leave some room for negotiation, but not as much as you think. As a buyer, your Realtor should be showing you comps and past sales so you have a clear picture of the value of the home. If you make an uneducated low offer, many sellers will completely reject the offer and wait for another buyer.


2.    Counteroffer in ridiculously small increments. With a fair offer, you will usually meet in agreement somewhere in the middle. Don’t counteroffer $500-$1000 at a time just to waste everyone’s time. Remember, both sides want the deal to work so don’t make it harder on everyone by being difficult.


3.    Be disrespectful to the seller and the seller’s agent. (see 1 & 2 above) Also, be mindful of deadlines, returning emails and calls. Again, both sides are looking for a win-win, so treat the other side the way you would like to be treated. In other words, use common courtesy.


4.    Make unreasonable requests after the home inspection. Chances are there will be more issues with the inspection than you imagined. Many of these issues will be completely normal wear and tear. Talk with your Realtor about each issue and how to respond. This is a chance for you to walk away from the home if there are too many problems. However, if you decide to continue with the purchase, be reasonable about your repair/replacement requests. 


5.    Change your mind frequently with no regard for the contract details. Of course there are always exceptions and your Realtor should always work for your best interests. However, if you are constantly changing your mind about deadlines, inspections, etc., you need to remember that you have signed a legal contract and changes in those terms mean a lot of hassle for everyone involved.


Good manners, respect and reliability are essential for BOTH sides of a transaction. Everyone wants the deal to work and it will go much smoother if all parties work for a win-win.

For 5 Ways to Turn off a Prospective Buyer click here!


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Comments (39)

Edward & Celia Maddox
The Celtic Connection Realty - Queen Creek, AZ

You are right on, these are five good ways to lose the home for your buyer.

Jun 01, 2013 07:21 AM
Mary Borth
Bloomington-Normal, IL

Thank you all for taking the time to read my post! I love the dialogue on AR and always learn something new from everyone. Buyers are becoming more savvy all the time, and the majority will listen to and respect market data, but there is always that one guy,.....

:)  Have a successful (and fun) summer!

Thanks again for stopping by,


Jun 01, 2013 07:25 AM
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

Those would certainly tick me off if I was seller! It's hard for a buyer to see the sellers point of view and vice versa. But a good agent will help them see the light!

Jun 01, 2013 10:10 AM
Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate

Hhi Mary,  I'm sure there are a lot more, however, this is a terrific start.

Jun 01, 2013 10:15 AM
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

Mary - As some others already mentioned it comes down to education, which requires a good agent.

Jun 01, 2013 10:22 AM
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Mary, great list of things not to do. It's such a pain when buyers want to do things that just don't make sense.

Jun 01, 2013 11:05 AM
Jimmy Faulkner
Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage - Wantagh, NY
The Best Of St. Augustine

Great blog on attitudes needed for a good buyer to get the home that they want. Just be your self & treat the buyer the way you want to be treated.

Jun 01, 2013 11:27 AM
Charlotte Luxury Real Estate
Keller Williams - Ballantyne Area - Charlotte, NC
Eli Magids
Hi Mary, I agree. Following the "golden rule " is very sound advice,for all sides! Eli
Jun 01, 2013 11:43 AM
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Yes, these are all ways to completely derail a negotiation and even a contract. Great post! Sharon

Jun 01, 2013 12:10 PM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

It is important for both the buyer and the seller to have realistic expectations.  You raise a lot of good points.  As the market is changing so are the the neogiations changing.

Jun 01, 2013 12:37 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


I think these are great suggestions for buyers, particularly in this market. With the competition some of the common buyer behaviors are simply going to get the offer rejected since there is other competition. A good REALTOR will be adivising their buyers appropriately on these matters. Sometimes one side or the other seems to forget the common goal.


Jun 01, 2013 12:58 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Mary and you are so right, you have been in the business and must have had the experience of these 5. 

Jun 01, 2013 01:27 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Sadly, not everyone ascribes to the KW model of win-win or no deal.

Jun 01, 2013 01:44 PM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Being disrespectful of the Seller and Seller's Agent, along with no regard for contract deals can lead to a stressful transaction.  Both seem to be happening more frequently.

Jun 01, 2013 03:50 PM
Chris Frampton
Equity Real Estate - Stansbury Park, UT

Number 3 and 5 are very big ones for me... Low ball offers are too bad because I've worked with investors and seen this happen all the time. it helps to forwarn the client ;-)

Jun 01, 2013 04:25 PM
Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

Mary, great list.  Yes, alol those will work and piss off one's client.

Jun 01, 2013 04:42 PM
Marco Giancola
Beachfront Realty - Miami Beach, FL
Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida

Hey Mary-I can think of at least 5 more but your list is a great start!

Jun 01, 2013 08:37 PM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Disrespect can kill a deal, for sure. I have seen it happen when an arrogant condescending buyer (or their agent) just pushes the seller's buttons!

Jun 01, 2013 09:34 PM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Good list Mary.  These are all certainly ways to tick off a seller!                                                                                       

Jun 01, 2013 10:37 PM
Kathleen Frawley
Keller Williams 916 730-4404 Elk Grove, Wilton, Folsom, Sacramento - Wilton, CA
South County Sacramento, 916 730 4404

Great points.  It is ALWAYS easier to get what you want if you keep in mind what the other guy wants.

Jun 02, 2013 10:36 AM