Newbie Ken Gramley has graciously provided an opposing view to my post last week regarding the numbers making sense to all involved. It would be very interesting to see what how opinions can be swayed. Please post your comments on Ken's blog.
Charita Cadenhead wrote a post last week about numbers having to make sense, and that post got me thinking. I posted a reply, and she encouraged me to expand upon it, so here goes..
In her post Charita makes the valid point that the numbers have to make sense for all involved parties, which of course is true. She then goes on to "rephrase" what sellers say into what it is that we hear. As I read this I could certainly empathize, as I have "heard" the same things. I got a good chuckle out of some of them, and I assume that Charita was doing a bit of venting.
But it made me think (and that's when the wheels turn slowly and things start creaking...).
First, we shouldn't be surprised by requests for discounts. Our society INGRAINS in us the need to look for a deal in everything we do. Need some clothes... where's a sale happening? Want a car... who's got the best deal? Need an airline ticket... let's go online and try gimmethebestairlineticketpriceever.com. (Don't go there - made that up!) My point is that we look for a deal in everything we do, and I can't speak for y'all, but I can't remember turning any down.
I'm not afraid to ask either. If I'm purchasing a big ticket item and if I can find a manager I'm happy to ask if I can get a better deal. Now, I don't get upset if the answer is "no!", I just make the best economic decision I can... for me.
When I'm doing this, I'm not usually thinking, "So at this price can these people make a living?" No, I assume that THEY will make that determination in the deal that they offer me. It's THEIR business, so it's THEIR right/responsibility to set the price where they want/need it to be. But it can't hurt to ask, can it?
A second reason we shouldn't be surprised has to do with supply and demand. We counsel our clients that the market will determine the value of their home. What they "need" or "want" doesn't have anything to do with it. The market will bear what the market will bear, and they need our services to help present that home to the market in the best light possible to maximize their return. At the end of the day, though, it's all about the market. Well, same with our services. Can we blame them for pushing to see what the market will bear?
Leave (negative) Emotion at the Door
And finally, there's an important reason NOT to react emotionally to sellers request for a discount. Think how we prep our sellers to receive a low ball offer. "No reason to be emotional, Mr/Mrs Seller, it's really not personal, the buyer is just trying to see how good a deal they can get." Well, what goes around comes around!
Understand Your Value
So, next time I'm asked for a discount I'm going to smile, remember my own behavior, and explain to them why they are LUCKY to have me to sell their home, how my expertise and experience will be worth every penny they pay and more, and at the end of the day when the deal closes they will be HAPPY they hired me!