Waiting for that "One Buyer"? I hate to tell you but they aren't coming!

Real Estate Agent with Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert

Over the past eight years I have heard the following statement hundreds of times, "We are looking for the ONE BUYER who is willing to pay ________."  I heard it when lake property was at the top and sellers wanted a hundred thousand or more on top of market price for their homes.  I hear sellers saying it now when they are trying to get what they paid for their house and all of the numbers say it is worth thousands less than what they paid for it.  I hear sellers and agents both say, "We are waiting for the buyer from NY to sell their house up there and buy this house because they will not care what it costs". 

I am here to tell you, they aren't coming!  That "One Buyer" is currently sitting in Bankruptcy or Foreclosure now!  That "One Buyer" already made that mistake!  That "One Buyer" cannot get a No Document, Stated Income Loan anymore!  That "One Buyer" cannot get a loan and waive Appraisal anymore!  The days of buyers buying over appraised value have come to a halt, at least for now.  The level of accountability has risen to extreme levels for Appraisers and Lenders, at least for now.
If you want to sell your house, you have to price it "At Market Price" or "Below Market Price".  Pricing your home over market price will get you two things:
      1)  The continual enjoyment of your home as no one is going to buy   it.
      2)  A lower net price once you do sell it.  Houses that sit on the market for extended periods of time WILL NOT SELL for what they could have if they had been marketed at market price or just below market price.

This market is a different market than most sellers and their agents have ever experienced.  There is so much inventory on the market now that the houses that do sell, sell for market price or below and are in INCREDIBLE condition.  Average homes and less are simply not selling.  Buyers can be extremely picky, they want and expect exceptionally neat, clean and tidy homes with fresh paint, manicured lawns and trimmed bushes and shrubs. 

If you want your home to sell quickly and for a good price, price your home to sell, and then make sure it is in the same condition you would want it in if you were thinking of buying......oh....and make sure that your agent knows how to market on the internet!

Posted by

Damon Gettier, Broker/Owner RE/MAX 1st REALTY --ABR, ABRM, CDPE, ePRO, GRI, SRES, AHWD,  VA Licensed Real Estate Instructor

Buyer and Seller Representation

Roanoke Virginia Foreclosure Agent

Roanoke Virginia REO Agent

Roanoke Short Sale Listing Agent

View my Roanoke Blog at www.BloggingRoanoke.com

View Roanoke Real Estate Listings Here



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2235 Colonial Ave Roanoke VA 24015

820 University City Blvd Blacksburg VA 24073


Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ryan Case 09/12/2010 04:28 AM
  2. Cheryl Ritchie 09/12/2010 05:01 AM
  3. Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES 09/12/2010 11:02 AM
  4. Chris Webster 09/12/2010 06:12 PM
  5. Jill Watts 09/12/2010 06:21 PM
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Ray Mikus
Green Light Real Estate - Montpelier, VT
Green Means Go!

I use the appraisal to help keep a focus on reality.  We've gone through the comps. and I explain that the appraiser is going to use the sames ones, so even if we found "the one buyer" willing to pay 20% above market, they still wouldn't be able buy it.

Sep 12, 2010 07:45 AM #34
Jerry Murphy, CRS, SRES
Long Realty West Valley - Anthem, AZ
Anthem, Phoenix, and Scottsdale AZ Real Estate

Oh God, I hate that line. Along with, "well, I guess it wasn't meant to be..."  No, it wasn't meant to be because you didn't MAKE IT be!  People get caught up in cliches these days, and tend to believe them. My question to seller's like the one you mention in this blog is, "would you pay over market price for a home these days?"  That tends to get them to re-think their strategy.  Good post and best of luck to you.

Sep 12, 2010 07:49 AM #35
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

You are right.  In a "buyers" market, there are so many homes to choose from, buyers will not waste their time considering a home that is overpriced in the current market.  Sometimes you need to just take the sellers on a tour of their competition.  Ask them to be buyers for a day and show them homes that are in great condition and properly priced, then ask the sellers to guess the prices of those homes....they will get the picture.  I hope...

Sep 12, 2010 08:53 AM #36
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I'm working with a few buyers right now.  Any seller would love to have them.  They are already approved for a loan and don't have a home to sell.  Guess what?  Sellers keep rejecting their offers.  Why?  Because the sellers have unrealistic expectations of what their property is really worth.

Sep 12, 2010 08:58 AM #37
zeta cross
Smart Green Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Getting Greener Makes Your home worth more!

After a year and a half, I am just about to close a deal with the proverbial NY buyer that I too am guilty of looking for. The couple walked into my office a year ago last spring, looking to see a $349,000 house that they seemed to love. You know how it used to be that every once in a while you'd get a buyer who only saw a few houses and just bought one? Remember those days? Now it seems every deal and every buyer is tons of work. After more than a year of looking at every house between $275 and $350, the NY couple finally decided to buy new construction for $425. They are hard working people who are just about to retire in the kind of financial shape Suze Orman would applaud. In addition to lots of cash and savings and pensions, they have a duplex in Brooklyn that should bring at minimum a million. I must have showed them 50 plus houses here in Philadelphia! Because they are from NY I just assumed they would recognize the great values here. But NO. Like everybody these days, they were looking for a a gorgeous cheap house in move in condition that screamed "true bargain." In the end they almost bought a house in the exact development and for the exact price of the first one I showed them months ago. But they weren't crazy about the electric galley kitchen. At that point I actually told them that I did not think they would ever find what they wanted and that they should consider new construction. Luckily, an acceptable new construction house was being built in an established neighborhood with the low property taxes they wanted. Anyway, long story end:  New Yorkers want a deal and a steal, just like local buyers! By the way, I once spent time in Roanoke 20 years ago. I loved it!

Sep 12, 2010 10:10 AM #38
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Damon -- I wish this post were plastered all over the front page of every daily paper in the nation, well said.  This needs to be drilled into sellers heads.  I turn down about 75% of listings I get offered for this very reason.

Sep 12, 2010 10:40 AM #39
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living
I just had this very conversation with one of my sellers.
Sep 12, 2010 10:52 AM #40
Anna Tolstoy
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Natick, MA

Damon, take it a step further! Why not imagine TWO of those buyers, who will FALL IN LOVE with this house, and start a bidding war like in good ol' days, and then it will sell for THAT much...

Thing is, the TWO and even the ONE buyer are still imaginary... 

Sep 12, 2010 10:53 AM #41
Damon Gettier
Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert - Roanoke, VA
Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE

Thank you all so much for your posts!  These features sneak up on me sometimes!  I have thought about writing this post for a while but I decided to do it after one of my agents had a 2.5 hour listing presentation yesterday.  They spent 2 hours on price!  The seller finally said, I am just want the one person who is willing to pay XXX,XXX.00.  My agent finally convinced the seller that this buyer is no longer allowed to buy as they have been foreclosed on!

I think all of our collective markets would be in better shape if agents were more responsible in our listing activities and did not list over priced listings. 

Thanks again for all of your comments!

Sep 12, 2010 11:32 AM #42
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Hi Damon, Very good post my friend. Sadly, many Sellers actually believe this. Some sort of a "good old boys" thinking that it is not really the price but likeability, friendship and /or some sense of required loyalty that will eventually move the property. Not gonna happen. I expect that at one time, long ago in our history, at some backwoods place, this must have actually occurred. Maybe a shotgun was involved, I am not sure though. :-) Can you even imagine where these people get these ideas from that such a thing is even remotely possible. 

Sep 12, 2010 01:04 PM #43
Nevin Williams
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation - Cary, NC
Senior Mortgage Advisor

Damon - I thought you might find it interesting that Jane peters just posted a blog about always taking listings even when the seller is unrealistic.  I agree with your position and I would never do it but she would.  I wonder if it's a different personal choice or if the market in LA is much different than Roanoke?  Just interesting I thought.

Sep 12, 2010 01:51 PM #44
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Damon, you said it perfectly.

Cut your losses by pricing it right!

Realtors get it, but way too many Sellers don't.

Sep 12, 2010 03:07 PM #45
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

Perfect post -- soooo true --- many sellers do not get this -- until its too late --

Sep 12, 2010 06:37 PM #46
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Interesting, I read a post by Jane Peters first.  She's from LA and I'm from NY.  Major cities like this might have some similarities.   A lot of people in NY are successful at taking overpriced listings and jawboning the price down later.  Though I believe this to be unethical - mostly because these agents convince the sellers they really CAN sell the house for more - even though they know perfectly well that its impossible.  Sadly, since many sellers will stay loyal to such an agent - there is no incentive to behave  more ethically.   There are several agents notorious for using this tactic.  When you go up against them in a lisitng presentation you hear "Well (insert name) says she can get us $200,000 more for our house."  This is mostly done with high end homes because they are high-end buyer's bait and can pay off handsomely - whether the home sells or not.



Sep 12, 2010 06:54 PM #47
Tim Lorenz
TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team - Mission Viejo, CA
949 874-2247

Great post it is true that buyer does not exist and never will.

Sep 12, 2010 06:59 PM #48
Roy Thomas
Sutton Group-Professional Realty - Halifax, NS

Wow! Buyers who will buy a house and don't care what it costs!!! I've never saw one of those. How would I go about getting a couple dozen of them??

Good post. Reality Check Time.

Sep 13, 2010 02:26 AM #49
Peggy Noel
RE/MAX Commonwealth - Chesterfield, VA
Bouchard, ABR, CDPE, SFR


Thanks for a great post.  You're right - to price it anywhere but just below market is crazy and yet I st=ill see agents taking a property that's been listed 3 times and "starting it out" (mind you, during the most critical initial time back on market) at exactly what it did not sell for the last couple of times it was on the amrket.  All I can say to myself is Duhhhhh.

Sep 13, 2010 02:26 AM #50
F. "Cheetah" Currier
Keller Williams Peace River Partners Realty - Punta Gorda, FL

Forgot to mention that "That One Buyer" is just like every other buyer in in this market that is flooded with distressed sales; they are looking for, finding and buying the best home, the in best location with the most features for the best price. If your home doesn't match that description then it may be listed for sale but it's not on the market.

Sep 13, 2010 05:10 AM #51
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Damon - The one buyer is a myth.  The real buyer is no fool

Sep 13, 2010 11:51 AM #52
Damon Gettier
Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert - Roanoke, VA
Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE

Nevin, is she a Real Estate Agent or a REALTOR?

Sep 13, 2010 02:25 PM #53
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