Thursday, March 20, 2008

If You Want to Sell, Take the Offer

A friend of mine had a home listed for sale for $519,000, when he received a low-ball offer of $450,000, which started a series of counter-offers going back & forth. In the end, the buyers wouldn't budge above $470,000, and my friend wouldn't budge below $480,000 (against my advice), so they both moved on.

My question regarding killing a half-million dollar sale over ten thousand dollars was answered with something about the numbers on his spreadsheet saying he couldn't do it. (my second question was, if you're willing to sell for $480k, why are you listed at $520k?)

A couple months later, when the home was listed for $475,000, he had another offer on the table – this time it was for $440,000. After speaking with the buyer's realtor, he was assured that the buyer would accept a counter-offer of $448,000, so he countered. Unfortunately, while the counter-offer process played out, the buyer's 2nd choice home lowered their price by $30,000, so the buyers decided to purchase that home instead. Was this just dumb luck, or did leaving the door open allow the sale to walk out?

A few months after that, construction had finished on my friend's new big, beautiful, custom-home, and he had to either close on it or take a loss of his deposit. He lowered his asking price to $425,000 and did one last big marketing push to get another offer. Unfortunately, no final offers came in.

The moral of the story: it's a buyer's market right now. Sellers, what's your bottom, bottom, bottom line? The price that, if you can't get that price, you'd rather not sell. The price you'd accept in desperation. Now go list your home very near that price and see what happens. If you don't get your price, then it wasn't meant to be & you've already decided you're happier not selling.

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Your fostering urgency Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

Related Post - Heather wrote about this topic too, much later in the same year, and much further down the slide of price retrenchment