Sometimes it’s about more than money. Selling a home can be a sensitive thing, particularly if someone spent six months personally renovating the kitchen or—in the case of my own home—someone’s relative built it in 1910. The seller even took the time to write an open letter to prospective buyers pleading with them not to paint the original wood molding. So I wrote a letter right back promising to keep the home as she remembered it. Lo and behold, our offer was accepted over another. If you and the seller can reach an emotional agreement, then you may be able to edge out another buyer. Where to begin? Think about the elements of the home that might make it special: hardwood floors, original fixtures, stained glass, landscaping. These are things that the homeowner probably tended with love and care. Reassure them that you’ll do the same and you just might have a deal—but only if you really mean it! Telling lies may help you win the day, but you’ll pick up some seriously bad karma.