You seem to assume that the buyer and seller are on equal footing. I think that is hardly the case.
You are right, it is hardly the case - but I think you have it backwards who has the advantage. The buyer has another place to live and doesn't have to move, the seller is moving his family out of state. If the seller were in a position to get any price they wanted, let alone the one they initially asked for, they wouldn't have had to drop the listing price at all - and they would have other offers coming in.[/quote]
I just want to point out this "could" be a bad assumption. As others mentioned we don't know all of the buyers situation.
I'm going to use myself as a current antidotal story to say why this is possibly wrong. My employer is transferring me, I "need" to move by 9/17. My house has been on the market for 2 weeks now at approximately the same price as this example just over $400,000 I feel I am reasonably priced for the market. I've received an offer that was just below where I would accept, I countered and the buyer wasn't interested, I said thank you have a nice day. I might drop my price down by $5,000 soon I need to actually talk to my agent about that today.
But this does not signal I'm desperate to sell. I have an employer guaranteed buyout. I am happy with the buyout and the only way I can do better is to basically get an offer above asking price. However, my employer does give a small bonus if I can sell my place to an outside buyer for within a certain price of the buyout offer, meaning I can take an offer within x% of my buyout and I receive the buyout offer not the lower sales price plus a bonus. It's a win for everyone, I get more, my company has to pay less to the relocation company, my buyer gets a lower price, my Real Estate agent gets his commission, and the Relo company doesn't get my house in it's inventory. If I had a mutual friend like yours I "might" reach out to see if something could be done to add in the buyer gets the house they want if they can meet my minimum but that doesn't mean I want a new offer I won't accept.