I'd like to talk about something that we all have experienced at one point of another in communicating with others: blunt talk and awkward silence. In today's society, everyone is obsessed with "political correctness". Don't say this or do that for fear of offending an individual, group or specific segment of society. As individuals we are often criticized for being too forward, and also criticized for not being forward enough.
Here's a well known "secret" - most people prefer blunt talk.
Now, don't confuse bluntness with rudeness. Manners (and spelling) do count. "The Golden Rule", is just that, GOLDEN. The vast majority of real estate sellers are everyday people, who work everyday jobs to support themselves and their families. Sellers can be very blunt when approached by a potential buyer who tries to be too politically correct. If the Seller feels that you are talking "above" them or "down" to them - your deal is dead, no matter the price or terms. Save the executive jargon for the office and talk to your seller on their level. That does not mean insincere mimicking. Now this can be a bit touchy. If the seller is in foreclosure, getting divorced, dealing with the estate, or any other reason that brings them to sell - talk about it. You don't want to force the conversation, but you do want to bring all the facts out into the open. Sometimes, the seller may not have faced these facts in a realistic fashion and is waiting for someone (you) to offer them a solution that they can live with. Empathize with the seller; ask probing questions, present multiple options that may provide a solution, enlist the seller to support an outcome that is mutually beneficial.
This leads into the second half of our title, awkward silence. If you as a Buyer are asking probing questions, following up the answers with additional questions and not getting sidetracked, there will be an opportunity presented by an awkward silence. Either you or the Seller have asked a question that the answer is not known or ready to be disclosed. Don't be afraid of silence. Silence in the course of fact finding or negotiation is a very powerful tool. Usually, someone pipes up to fill the awkward void with information that is useful to the other party. You want the Seller to fill that void and provide information to you. Silence can be calming, thought provoking, reassuring, intimidating, or an excellent closing, depending on its context.