Scenario: House #1 and House #2 are similar in comparison and location. The owners of House #1 list their home for $155,000. The owners of house #2 list theirs for $135,000. Buyer A approaches the seller of House #1 and negotiates for a sale price of $140,000 (arguably it's true value). Buyer B gives the seller full asking price of $135,000. Who got a better deal, Buyer #1 or Buyer #2? Assuming all variables and values are equal on both properties I'm telling you Buyer #2 got the better deal. The only thing Buyer #2 didn't get is fabricated bragging rights at the water cooler. How much a buyer gets a seller to negotiate down doesn't necessarily determine the 'deal' the buyer gets. If house A and B are both valued realistically at $140,000, then Buyer B got the better deal. Buyer B walked through the door with $5k in equity and Buyer A didn't.
Over the years I have seen on countless occasions where buyers walk away from stunning deals on houses priced right and below value out of principal because the seller won't negotiate down. I constantly hear novice purchasers with their first question being, 'How much did you get the seller down?' On multiple occasions I have personally and have represented real estate investors who have bid higher just to win the contract. Because, paying a $1000 more than list price still guaranteed $20,000 in equity.
True Story: A long-term investor/landlord and real estate agent told me of his own personal experience after we had exchange war stories about buyers who miss deals because they think negotiating a seller down is the key to getting a 'deal.' This agent went on a listing appointment and arrived early. He noticed down the street a neighbor was having a garage sale. Thus, to burn some time he decided to walk around and see what was for sale. After a few minutes at the sale he noticed four, newer, matching appliances sitting at the back of the garage. A refrigerator, dishwasher, range/oven, and built in microwave. Being a landlord, appliances are a hot commodity for rentals. He asked the owner if they were for sale and what was the story. Apparently, the owner had just gutted his kitchen and put in stainless appliances. These were only a couple years old and in immaculate condition. The agent asked the seller how much he wanted for the matching 4 piece set. The seller said $800. This friend said to me, "I couldn't back my truck fastest enough into his driveway before he changed his mind."
Wealthy investors, aren't just good negotiators. They know when to stop negotiating and just jump on a deal.