This may sound a little odd, but when purchasing my first home, which had two other very interested parties, I offered to adopt the sellers' cat which they wouldn't be able to take with them. It worked, and the cat didn't have to go through the stress of a move. So there are lots of things that could sweeten the pot. If you have an opportunity to meet the sellers prior to making an offer, listen carefully to their situation and their needs/wants. Quite often, money isn't the only thing they're looking for. Most people want to sell their home to someone who will appreciate it, so never make negative comments in the presence of the seller. Personally, I'd choose a buyer who would compliment me on my landscaping over someone who might indicate that the first thing they'd do is pull up my plants. Remember, emotions can really affect the seller's decisions.