By Shelley Sakala

Do you know the three biggest deal-killers in real estate? Financing, timing, and emotions. And do you know the best way to combat these deal-killers? Sell like a cyborg. A logic-driven, emotionally indifferent being (who happens to have a house for sale).


A real estate sale is a serious transaction with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line. More often than not, you’re dealing with borrowed money, requiring applications, credit checks, inspections, titles, and deposits. The process is very involved – and for a very good reason: It’s the largest purchase most people will ever make. Any number of things can scuttle the deal – an appraisal coming in too low, a debt-to-income ratio that’s too high. Perhaps the inspection turns up hidden structural damage, causing the lender to deny the loan. T

he reality of real estate is that whenever you’re buying a home with someone else’s money, there’s always a risk of the deal going sideways. As a seller, it helps to be calculated and methodical. Rather than getting caught up in the positive (or negative) emotion of receiving an offer, process the information like a cyborg. Is it an offer you’re willing to accept? Does the closing date work for you? And perhaps most importantly, is there a high probability of the sale actually closing? If the offer checks all your boxes, then it’s a good offer – even if it’s a little less than what you were hoping for. Remember – cyborgs don’t “hope.”


You’re selling your home, and you’ve got a potential buyer. They make an offer – you make a counteroffer. And then you find out the buyer has just moved forward with another property. Nothing you can do about that. It’s just bad timing. Sometimes market conditions allow for back & forth negotiating. Other times you need to strike quickly when you’ve got a buyer.

The key is to have a plan that prioritizes both the price you need and the timeline you require. If you’re relocating at the end of the month and absolutely must have your home sold, you may need to price your home to move quickly. If it’s more important to sell your home at a certain price, then you may be facing a longer timeline for the sale. Either way, the final result might be a lower home price than you want – or a longer sales period than you want. But remember: cyborgs don’t “want.” They have a plan, and they stick to the plan.


Perhaps the most frustrating reason for a deal falling through is when one of the two parties makes it personal (or takes it personally). The minute the emotions come into play, anything can happen. Very un-cyborg-like behavior. Sellers tend to calculate their home’s value using history and memories, while a buyer prefers to deal in comps and negotiation. This disconnect, coupled with our “coupon culture,” can create an atmosphere of wheeling & dealing – even on a house. But no homeowner wants a lowball offer on the place where their children grew up, nor do they want to see their family home bargained for like a garage sale vase.

This is where it pays to have a good Realtor on your side. An experienced Realtor acts like a cyborg. No emotions, no impulses – just facts and figures. When a seller wants to walk away from an offer they feel is insulting, a calm, cool, and collected Realtor can keep the dialogue going and try to bridge the gap between the offer and the asking price.

Remember: More deals get done with a “no” + a counteroffer than with a plain old “no.” Don’t let emotions wreck the deal. Instead, sell like a cyborg.