What To Do When A Home Seller Won't Negotiate

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

The process of buying a home is often stressful for both the buyer and the seller. Communication gaps and differences in priorities between a buyer and seller can make the process quite complicated. Understandably, many buyers struggle with what to do when a home seller won’t negotiate.

When a home seller won’t negotiate, it’s important to eliminate any unnecessary contingencies from your contract. Never pursue a home if the seller is unwilling to pay for necessary repairs, such as plumbing and electrical problems that would cost a fortune for you when you move in. Make a final offer if the seller won’t budge, so they know that you mean business and want to close the deal.

If it’s your dream home, it may be worthwhile to buy the house even if some repairs are necessary that the seller won’t pay for. Follow along as we explore what to do when a home seller won’t negotiate, so you can speed the process up.

How Do You Negotiate With A Stubborn Home Seller?

Whether it be obtaining a letter of approval from a lender or eliminating contingencies the seller doesn’t like, there are several ways to negotiate with a stubborn home seller. Let’s look at what you must do when a home seller won’t negotiate.

1. Talk To The Seller

Communication is everything when it comes to buying a house. Talk to the seller personally or through your realtor if they won’t negotiate. That is ultimately the only way that you will be able to find out what is taking so long and what they are looking for.

Communication gaps are quite common when it comes to buying a home. You and the seller may be looking for the same things without even realizing it simply because you failed to communicate. Whether it’s your fault or the seller’s fault, it’s important to cut to the chase and ask them directly what they want.

If the seller is unwilling to communicate, then it may be a sign that it’s time to move on. Ideally, you will be able to get to the bottom of what works best for both of you. If all else fails, communication can at least save you time and money, so you don’t proceed with a deal that is benefits no one.

2. Consider Your Contingencies

It’s common for homeowners to come up with several contingencies when buying a home. This is important and can help protect you as a buyer. However, not all sellers like this and it can make the process take much longer than expected.

Some contingencies may even keep a home seller from negotiating with you at all. Communicate with your real estate agent and the seller to see which contingencies are holding you back. Eliminate any contingencies that the seller is unwilling to cooperate with if you can handle letting go of them.

However, you should never get rid of contingencies that protect you, such as repairs the seller should have already made. Take a realistic inventory of your contingencies and see which ones you are willing to eliminate so your seller will budge. Avoid asking for cosmetic changes to the house, for example, as most sellers are unwilling to pay for them.

3. Make A Final Offer

Sometimes, you can only progress with a stubborn seller if you make your final offer. The finality of your offer will show the seller that you are unwilling to continue the annoying process. Make sure to put your offer in writing, so they know that you are serious.

This step can go one of two ways: The seller will reject your offer, or they will take a more lenient approach to the negotiations. Buying a home is all about making sure that you get the most bang for your buck and don’t have to spend a fortune before moving in and getting comfortable.

The seller may make a counteroffer, and it’s up to you to decide if it’s worthwhile. At the very least, your drastic final offer will show the seller that you don’t want to waste any more time in the negotiation process.

4. Prepare Yourself

More than anything, sellers want to make sure that you are ready and willing to buy the home. Any seller that knows what they are doing is unlikely to sell a home without first knowing if you have the funds. They also won’t quickly sell you their house if you don’t have a letter of approval from a lender.

Contact a lender as soon as you start the negotiation process so you can quickly get a letter of approval. Then, you can present the lender’s approval letter to the seller so they know that you mean business. Without a letter of approval, the seller will likely take the other prospective buyers more seriously.

However, a lender’s approval is unnecessary if you can pay for the house in cash. This is quite uncommon, as most buyers understandably need a home loan or mortgage agreement of some sort.

5. Buy The House

If it’s the house of your dreams, it may be worthwhile to buy the house even if the seller doesn’t make the repairs that you want. Repairing a home involves unexpected costs that you likely would rather not have to incur when you move into a new house. This is understandable, but many sellers unfortunately won’t make necessary repairs.

As long as there are no serious plumbing or electrical problems, it may be worthwhile to simply buy the house. Minor and cosmetic repairs are worth handling yourself, so don’t let them stop you from buying a house when the seller won’t negotiate.

6. Move On

It’s not worth wasting any more time if a seller refuses to budge. You may need to simply move on and look for another house on the market if the seller is unreasonable. Never continue negotiations with a seller that refuses to adhere to simple requests they should be willing to accommodate.

If the seller doesn’t accept your final offer, it’s time to move on. This is especially true if you’ve already spent a small fortune on inspections and they still want to drag you along without giving you anything in return. You will likely find another home on the market with a seller that is more willing to negotiate.

When Should You Stop Negotiating On a House?

Ideally, you should stop negotiating on a house when the seller refuses to make essential repairs or lower their listing price. A high listing price that comes along with expensive repairs is not worth pursuing. It’s also important to take the results of the inspection seriously.

A basic home inspection can unearth some major problems that would cost a fortune to repair in some cases. If major problems appear in the inspection, check to see if the seller is willing to take care of them. It’s time to move on and pursue another home if the seller wants you to cover the cost of repairs.

How Do I Ask For A Home Price Reduction?

The easiest way to ask for a home price reduction is to provide examples of cheaper houses in the area. You can also often get a price reduction if you point out that the house has been on the market for a long time. The longer a house sits on the market, the easier it is to get a price reduction.

It also helps to call the seller or their representative once per week. This will show the seller that you maintain interest in the home and that you want to expedite the process as much as possible. Unfortunately, you won’t likely be able to ask for a price reduction if there is a bidding war on the home.

Never use harsh words or attempt to pressure the seller. Not only will this fail to convince the seller to reduce the price, but it may close the door on them wanting to negotiate with you entirely.

Summing It Up

Ask the seller what they want and eliminate any unnecessary contingencies in your contract if the seller won’t negotiate. Make sure to obtain a letter of approval from a lender to present to the seller so they will take you seriously. If you are unwilling to continue the process, simply make a final offer so the seller knows how much you’re willing to pay.

Related Guides

Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

More by Nick Durante