I think a lot of buyers who are pursuing the dream of buying a place in Key West are often vexed by the perceived high or inflated asking prices on houses here. They often get overwhelmed by the process and the seeming intransigence of sellers who won't budge on asking price - or at lease budge enough. Some buyers draw a line in the sand. They take their stand and avow the seller can take it or leave it.
Unlike those dazzling dandies on BRAVO TV's Million Dollar Listing LA, I don't play games when I negotiate. How can they trust me when I tell them something if I play word games with them? They can't and they won't. So I don't. I am straight with my buyers. I expect the same from them. When a principal tells me something, I conversely believe what he or she tells me. I have an ethical duty to be honest when dealing with my principal. Why should I expect anything less from him or her.
The line in sand becomes problematic when either side uses it as negotiating tool and really doesn't mean it. And the words line in the sand don't even need to be said to have the same affect. Words do matter. Failure to respond to an offer or to make a counter-offer creates a sense of unease or worse on the part of a buyer who fears the seller really does not want to sell to that buyer. Likewise, when a buyer says "X dollars is my final price, he or she seemingly cuts off the ability to find a compromise. I run into this very often when buyers reach a point beyond which they are unwilling to go.
Sometimes the breaking point is a matter of a few thousand dollars. This becomes the cost of walking away from a potential purchase. Now I know every dollar in a deal matters. But some dollars are more meaningful than others. I can tell you what that cost is. It is predictable. It is the exact dollar amount amortized over thirty years. Let's say the buyer and seller reach the breaking point at $10,000. Buyer won't spend a nickle more. Seller won't accept a dime less. Agents won't split the cost to save the deal. The deal is lost. The deal is lost over $46.31 per month (calculated at 3.75% amortized over 30 years). A $25,000 disparity would cost $115.78 using the same amoritization. The point is the fractional issue is often a matter or pride or ego rather a genuine breaking point.