One of the more common mistakes I see buyers make is not evaluating the strength of the seller.

You need to consider more than just price adjustments and days on market. Each seller is unique and some have more money and are less motivated than others. Roughly 1/3 of all the properties in the United States have no mortgage compared to about 20% of mortgages being under water. Buyers need to understand what kind of person they’re dealing with because someone with no mortgage is likely to behave differently than someone who has negative or no equity.

Money isn’t always the issue though. Closing and possession can be equally important. One seller I worked with reduced the price of the house by $50,000 in exchange for being allowed to remain in the property for 6 months after closing so the kids could finish school.   Most sellers will play their cards close their chest, but that shouldn’t prevent a buyer from looking for alternative negotiating techniques.

TIP: Try to find out what’s important to the seller and work with it to your advantage.