Negotiation Tactic #71 – Withdrawn Offer

Summary: Taking back an initial offer to keep from being taken advantage of.

Truly withdrawing your initial offer may be in your best interest in some situations. This tactic can be used when you feel you are being taken advantage of or put in a position where you can only lose.


Joseph is selling a house that he owns jointly with a partner. The asking price is $226,000, but the buyer is a very tough negotiator. By using the Salami tactic, the buyer manages to reduce the price to $221,000, have the escrow extended to ninety days, and stipulate that Joseph and his partner will carry back a $20,000 second mortgage at 9 percent. Joseph thinks the deal is finalized… until the buyer brings his wife into the picture.

The buyer’s wife says she hates the kitchen and will not allow her husband to pay any more than $219,000 for the house. That is when Joseph says he has bad news for the buyer: Joseph’s partner has decided that they should not sell the house for any less than $223,000. Since the buyer really does want the house, he spends the rest of his negotiating energy trying to get the price back down to $221,000.


First, rather than scrambling to get the price back down, the buyer could utilize These Boots Are Made for Walking. If Joseph really wants to make the deal, he will come back. Second, the buyer could use Apparent Withdrawal, giving the appearance that he is quitting, to regain control of the situation.

Have you used or encountered this tactic in your negotiations? If so, how’d it go?

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