Sellers, Don't be Greedy--Buyers Aren't Playing Around!

Real Estate Agent with | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 228209

Sellers, Don't be Greedy--Buyers aren't Playing Around!

Emotion vs. IntelligenceAs one who manages both buyers and sellers, I feel that I have a good ability to understand both sides of the transaction.  When I'm representing a Buyer, I can pretty easily predict what the Seller is going to 'counter' when making an Offer--I can advise my Buyers what Sellers are 'expecting' as well as what is fair market value!

Don't ask me which side I prefer to be on--it changes with the market AND with each transaction!  I love working with both!

Today, it was with Buyers--

Seller QuestionsEnter Seller #1:  Home on the market for nearly one year--started out around $660K, now asking $579K.  The price of the home, according to archives, has been up and down (don't we generally DROP the prices, rather than raise them)?  The listing agent tells me that they've had a few 'interested' parties and a couple of offers.  The price reduction, then immediate increase coincides with the offers--not quite sure what they were thinking!

My buyers had two favorites--so, they made their Offer based on comparables that I had pulled for their review.  I honestly advised them to Offer $540K, which was just under market value but, they felt that they wanted to be sure not to 'insult' the Sellers.  Bear in mind--this was a CASH offer with a limited repair request (meaning, the buyer doesn't want the seller to make any repairs unless it's mechanical or structural--no window replacements, garage door [which needs to be replaced], etc. --he wants to do the repairs himself to ascertain that it is done right).  The home, not well-maintained, would probably rank as a 'fair' in the condition status.  My Buyers offered $550K.  I informed the listing agent that my buyers were cash buyers that have a second home that they are willing to move on but, they love this home and hope his sellers are ready to negotiate.  I said specifically that even though this is a cash deal, the buyers will have an appraisal and the home must appraise at the agreed-upon price.  I also told him that the buyers are leaving Charlotte in a day and want this resolved--we placed a deadline on the time to respond and waited.

At the witching hour, I received an email, basically telling me that I don't know my $*s See Ya Seller!from a hole in the ground, because my comparables are ALL wrong--he wrote, "I pulled MY comparables all the way back to the beginning of 2008 because nothing has really sold in the neighborhood this past year!"  YES sirree, that's what he said to me! What, what, what?  15 month comps, huh?!  He said his sellers wanted to counteroffer at $575K--yep, a WHOLE $4K off list price, which remains $39K above market value!  

See ya!

Enter Seller #2:  Home on the market for one year--started around $675K, now asking $599K.  The price of the home has been reduced in small increments but, often.  The listing agent tells me that the Sellers have had 5 very interested parties and four of them are STILL awaiting the sale of their own home.  This home is in immaculate condition, fully updated and turn key.  The comparables come in at $640K, a full $100K above the first home PLUS the second home is immaculate!

I informed the listing agent that my buyers are cash buyers, have another favorite and hope that her sellers are ready to negotiate as they are READY to buy before It's a DEAL!leaving Charlotte tomorrow.  I let her know that my clients would like to offer $570K.  PLUS, they had several items that they wanted to sellers to leave in the home and those were itemized and listed on the OTP.  We also placed a drop-dead time to respond so that the Buyers could go home with this portion of their move under their belts.

LONG before the 'witching hour,' the listing agent calls with a counteroffer--all items that the Buyer wants are his and the counteroffer is $575!  
 Now, that's more like it!


What's the difference between the two Sellers?  Could be:
    1.  informed sellers (or lack thereof)
    2.  greed
    3.  lack of desire to sell.

Either way, I hope my buyers decision to walk away is a hint to the first sellers.  Frankly, their counter was an insult--and their agent didn't bother to tell me that he 'tried' to tell them differently either--Instead, he tried to relay to me that he thought that I was a dumb blonde.  Excuse me, WHO had the cash buyer and WHO made the sale today?  

It was a great Saturday for this blonde broker!

Debe in Charlotte


About the author:

Quality Service CertifiedDebe Maxwell is a Charlotte Residential Real Estate Broker, Certified Neighborhood & Relocation Specialist, ABR & e-PRO who can assist you with the purchase and/or sale of real estate in the Charlotte NC Metro Area.   If you’re relocating to or from any other area of the country, Debe connects you with any member of her team of relocation professionals in your destination or exit city of choice.  The
destination service is of no cost to you!  The Maxwell House Group’s quality service guarantee puts this team far ahead of the competition; providing unsurpassed customer service is their #1 priority!
Debe Maxwell — Helen Adams Realty — 704.491.3310
Copyright© 2009 By Debe Maxwell, All Rights Reserved…** Sellers, Don't Be Greedy, Buyers Aren't Playing Around**

Disclaimer:  All information provided by this author is strictly an opinion, is not guaranteed, may be based on information collected from several sources, which may or may not be deemed reliable at the time of researching this article and may be time sensitive.

Comments (50)

Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Thanks ALL!  I am SO glad that it worked out like it did--seller and agent don't have a clue what the market is like--I guess they've both had their heads buried in the sand for the past year--my buyers were savvy and more than fair with their offers--they just didn't have to wait for the sellers to come to their senses.  There's enough out there to move to #2, #3, and #4!

Bo:  Funny story about that but, I recommended the #2 on DAY 1--they thought they'd like the location of #1 better and decided, against research results, to go with it.  During the delay--the time the first sellers were reviewing the offer and the offer of the second choice, they buyers 'explored' the area and realized that they didn't really want to be there!!  They were SO happy that the #2 to work out for them--turns out it's their #1 choice!

It's called Karma--right?!

Debe in Charlotte


Apr 19, 2009 03:37 PM
Charles Coachman


Great story, this last week I was on the opposite side of a deal like yours. Representing seller with a $900K listing and an offer comes in for $870K. I spent 5 hours over 2 days talking with the seller letting him know that he really need to consider this offer and realize that it is a great deal. 5 day inspection contingency and the buyer is bringing in $500K in cash. Seller is still thinking he should have offers for over $910K and I try to make sure that he understands that this offer will walk away if he doesn't accept or give a very small counter. This fellow is a poker player and I let him know that he is working with $870K pot and if he doesn't make the right move the other player is picking up all the chips. Unfortunately against my better advice the seller asks for an additional $15K and the buyer picks up her chips and walks away.

Today when I show up to do an OH, the seller wants to know if I've heard anything more from the buyer. The counter-offer had expired 3 days before and it was like he had not heard a single from our earlier conversation. As the buyer had said, SEE YA!

Charles in San Jose~

Apr 19, 2009 04:23 PM
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Debe - Now I finally know where you get all those cool fonts and colors!  Great post, congrats on the double feature.

Apr 19, 2009 10:37 PM
Janice Roosevelt
Keller Williams Brandywine Valley - West Chester, PA
OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker

Deve: Great write up and like Penny: congrats o the double feature!

Apr 20, 2009 12:10 AM
Diana Bakker Fahmie
Express Florida Realty, Inc. - Hollywood, FL
Dade, Broward, & Beaches


Great post. . . I can totally relate. . . right now I'm on the listing side with an unreasonable seller. . . Great cash offer, he won't budge. . . and not for lack of knowledge or numbers, which I have presented and explained several times over (including an exact comp as recent as 45 days). . . When I encounter someone like this, I refer to it as 'both buyers and sellers have their own "process"'. . . And it's more than just greed, it's totally psychological, albeit the psychology of 3-year-olds: "I don't want to play with this toy (or own this house) anymore until someone else wants to play with it (buy it)." Completely absurd but true =)

Diana Tonova

Express Florida Realty, Inc. ~

Apr 20, 2009 12:16 AM
Chad Janusa, MBA - New Orleans Real Estate
Metairie, LA

Great post!

Not sure why some folks think that 15 month old comps are justifiable. Especially since the market fluctuates on what seems to be a daily basis these days. I attempted to buy a property for myself through someone that wanted to sell by owner, and the seller wanted to justify his pricing on an appraisal he had done in 2003. Some people just aren't realistic about what their house is worth. Either that or they don't understand the definition of market value!!

Apr 20, 2009 12:22 AM
Michael Bergin
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - ABR - SRES - Alexandria, VA
Northern Virginia Real Estate

I agree, great post!  Bottom line - you did your job.  The first listing agent didn't and his clients suffered.  

Go blonde  -


Apr 20, 2009 02:04 AM
Thom Abbott |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

Way To Go Debe!  You Tell 'em!

I feel sorry for the Sellers on Home #1, but, I'm questioning their motivitation. And really questioning their agent!


Apr 20, 2009 02:40 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Charles:  I don't understand why your seller would think that he should get MORE than his $900K list price anyway??!  WHAT are these sellers thinking--the $870K offer should have been snagged up by THANKFUL sellers!  I feel for you--I have a seller just like that right now but, I have been sending that seller more and more information to show that his values are DROPPING and he needs to act now on an offer that is ABOVE even MY comparables!!  ARRGH!

Penny &  Janice!  Thank you so much!  I was totally blown away by that and am so grateful to the AR guys--they are truly the BEST!

Diana:  I do think that the sellers are also being represented poorly in my example--yours are getting just what they need to make the right decision.  Unfortunately you can't make that decision for them--just keep stuffing them with REAL facts and stats!!

Michael:  You've summed it up in a nutshell!!  And, I loved having the savvy buyer who was not going to play these games with this seller!  Unbelievable in this market, isn't it?!  And, OH, I love being blonde in this business--many cross-sale agents don't give me up front credibility and I LOVE winning negotiations OR walking away with my buyers while the agent has his chin on the floor!!--LOVE it!

THOM!!  Don't you LOVE it?!!  I feel like it's poor representation too because he basically told me that I didn't know what I was talking about--his 15-month comparables and one-year old appraisal were what he was standing on.  He's truly doing his sellers a MAJOR injustice!

Thanks for the html tip!  I was posting another blog and somehow got that in my que??!  Have a great week...

Debe in Charlotte


Apr 20, 2009 03:15 AM
Harrison K. Long
HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney

Debe ... Thanks for this article to point out the arrogance of some listing agents and their owner clients, who are often not informed about the local market, and don't understand the importance of showing respect for qualified buyers and their Realtors.

Please keep up the good writing and sharing of local information.

Apr 20, 2009 03:50 AM
Angelia Garcia
Pure Realtors - Dallas, TX

Another great post.  It worked out in the end and that is all that matters. 

If you have time, let us know what happens with the first listing.

Apr 20, 2009 04:03 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

People need to be realistic.  If they are not realistic about the price they are not going to work with you in other areas either.  I found that the over priced properties are also the ones trying to discount the commission to the buyers agent.

Apr 20, 2009 04:09 AM
Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

Debe - excellent post, and you could not be more correct when you state "lack of desire to sell". I like representing both, but when either party is unrealistic in today's market, the transaction may not come together.

Apr 20, 2009 04:55 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Good going Debe! Congrats on that sale and the featured newsletter post.  Buyers have been a little rough lately but then it comes down to after a year on the market - do you want to sell or not?  It's over a year!  The market is trying to tell them something but their agent doesn't have an ear to the ground to advise them.  LOL for the 18 month old comps!  Again, listing agent not current but asleep at the wheel of a circling bus going nowhere.

Apr 20, 2009 05:08 AM
Olga Diaz
Potter, Mng Broker, CRS, ASP, ePRO, ABR

Way to go Debe!  I feel bad for Seller #1 with representation that did not want to look at the picture of today.  A buyer with CASH is a pot of gold (literally).  Good for Seller #2 and for your buyers that had the representation that resulted in a positive outcome for all.  Olga

Apr 20, 2009 07:22 AM
Kerry Jenkins
Prime Properties - Crestline, CA

WOW!!!  Comps that old, where did he get his license, a cereal box?  I had a seller try to pull that with me on a listing appointment.  Guess what?  Didn't take the listing and it's been on the market for almost 2 years.  Ummm, YEAH....Us dumb blondes need to stick together!!!!

Apr 20, 2009 10:04 AM
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

Debe - I had the opposite story here... Agent showed property and said it was overpriced and wouldn't sell.  Guy was rude, obnoxious and condescending.  I said my comps told a different story.  He then shows me city wide comps.  I replied "so what - different neighborhood."  4 miles away in the city might as well be across the country in some cases.  Received 3 offers on it - it is now pending.  Agent calls me back to tell me that his client was going to submit offer at $30k below list against his advice.  I loved uttering these words "It went under contract this morning for 97% of list." 

I loved your story... glad it worked out for your customers... Good rule - never fall in love with a house because there is always another dream home just around the corner.

Apr 20, 2009 01:50 PM
N Hare
Miramichi, NB

Oh I love it, sounds like a typical day. Ha ha.

Apr 22, 2009 06:23 AM
Kristen Wahl
Re/Max Plus - Rochester, NY

Debe, thanks for sharing your stories! You're so right in contrasting the behaviors of these two sellers... don't we all wish for those like #2?? ;-)

Apr 23, 2009 05:51 AM
Kelsey Barklow
Hurd Realty - Johnson City, TN

Isn't it great to have cash buyers? The first offer doesn't work out and you move to the next one. I wish I had a cash buyer right about now. Thanks for the nice post, Debe.

Apr 27, 2009 10:21 AM