This is a scene from the film 'The Notebook' by Nic Cassavetes, an adaptation of the novel by Jan Sardi. To give you a bit of background, Noah (the gentleman selling the property) purchased the house when it was derelict using a combination his, and his dying father's money. When the father dies and Noah has a chance encounter with his long lost childhood sweetheart (this happens to be the house in which they consummated their relationship) he is spurred on to renovate the house to a high standard, meeting his childhood sweetheart's dreams. Basically, Noah is very attached to his house.
When the house is finished, Noah decides to sell it on as the girl he renovated it for isn't around. He receives a few offers on the house, all of which he turns down. One of the offers he turns down is an offer $5,000 above his asking price (a lot of money at this time). Sounds good right? Well, Noah decides that he 'doesn't want a lunatic living in his house' and so chases the man who made the offer off the property with a shot gun (who's the lunatic now?!).
However, Noah has remembered a few things here in his negotiation that many of us forget. He remembered to decide before hand what is is he values, the house or the money and, to say no when the offer wasn't what he wanted. How can this not be what he wanted one asks? This isn't what Noah wanted because he values his house and the long term future care of the house more than the potential money he could get. He wants someone whom he deems reliable and of sound mind to purchase the house. A lot of people feel that a negotiation always has to come to an agreement and lose sight of their goal, Noah didn't.
Willingness to walk away from a negotiation has also been called 'Brodow's Law'. Brodow doesn't suggest always walking away but, he suggests always being open to walking away as you're less likely to cave to what the other side wants and more likely to see your other options.
Other's have pointed to saying 'no' as a key negotiation skill and have written books about it. For example Jim Camp's 'Start with NO... The Negotiating tools that Pro's Don't Want You to Know'.
So just remember, no is always an option.
Camp, J. (2002). Start with No: The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don't Want You to Know. Random House LLC.
Sophie Housden - Blog 5.