Thanks to a client who sent me this link to an article in today's New York Times, Letters From the Home Front: A Real Estate Deal from Two Sides. The sample letters from a buyer to a seller, and the reply from a seller to the buyer, are interesting, because they tend to sum up the perspective of both sides. But I find one thing missing from both 'letters' — actual comp sales data that either supports the buyer's offer price or the seller's asking price. That should be the crux of any written, supporting data passing back and forth to support an offer or support the denial of an offer or lack of counteroffer. When I confront a situation where a seller refuses to consider an offer or present a counteroffer, I always ask the listing agent to give me some comps that I can present to the buyer. The proof of the pudding that the seller's price is more emotional than fundamental is when the agent really can't support the asking price. Its also curious to me, in the seller's reply letter, that the seller isn't putting a counter on the table. In most cases, the lack of a counter just stops any negotiation in its tracks.