My broker always said, "many times the first offer is the best." But how many times have we, as real estate agents, tried to convince a seller to take an offer that we thought was a fair offer and reflective of the market, only to have that seller say, "I'm not going to let it go for THAT."
Sound familiar? I just got off the phone with another agent who related her tale of woe with her seller. She told me that they had received 2 offers when they originally put it on the market but that the seller decided that the buyer's offers were too low, declined them and haven't had another since - I'm guessing at least several months later. She told me how much they now wished they'd taken one of those offers.
This scenario is more common, of course if we receive an offer fairly quickly into the process as the seller can reason that if you just wait a little longer you'll get another one. But length of time on the market ( in this case short) does not always indicate future activity. Sometimes your home and the right buyer just happen to coincide and it's "kismet" even though you didn't have a long waiting period.
I feel that this is where we can really help our seller's. We're out there all the time, comparing prices, showing homes, reading the statistics etc. Our sellers generally have only the price they paid for their home, maybe what a neighbor's home sold for last year or an optimistic reporter's predictions for comparison. The fact is that in many cases the seller can save money by selling quicker as they will not be paying months more of interest and taxes nor will their home continue to lose value in a market that's still doing a bit of a slide.
This is, of course up to the seller and it is sometimes a difficult conversation to have as we can be perceived as "just wanting to sell the home to get a commission." In reality this recommendation should be, and generally is, motivated on the agent's end, by knowledge, experience and caring for their client's concerns.