When you have done everything right and your seller knows it, try letting the listing expire. We had seen four offers, and been under contract one time. After it bounced out of contract, we reduced the price and were now the lowest priced home in West Bellevue. The home was remodeled nicely, there were two bedrooms and one bath--these limitations provided just enough hesitation that most buyers couldn't bring themselves to write a good offer. The kitchen and bath were nicely upgraded, the hardwood floors were refinished beautifully. There was a detached one car garage, a nice fenced in back and front yard. The home was 10 blocks to downtown Bellevue, and on the busline. It was a perfect condominium alternative. Inventory was tight, yet the offers weren't refective of this.
So, with only 9 days left on the listing period, and with the price having been dropped $20,000 to $399,000 we got in two low ball offers. They were below the seller's threshold of acceptance and even lower than the land value, not to mention the value of the home itself. So, I prepared my seller to let it expire with the committment to relist it in a week or two. I told her I wanted to see what came in after it expired. I was planning the Take Away and we hoped it would work.
When something has been on market for months at higher prices, it begins to be tainted with market time. Yet, the truth remained, it was a good solid home, and the right buyer hadn't come forward as yet. Within two days of it being out of the market, we started getting calls about when it would be relisted.
The agents said their buyer had been watching the listing, and now that it was gone, they wanted to know if they could see it. I left a contractors lock box on the home, having removed my sign and the MLS keybox. I gave the combination to the agent, he showed the home to his buyer. And, he got back to me that she was going to make an offer.
Three other agents also started wanting access to home, but by this time we had an accepted offer. Then one of the first agents who ever showed the property told me his client was now beating themselves up by not having purchased the home for their kids. What changed? The psychology of the home's status changed, it was no longer available and people couldn't low ball it, it was gone! When somebody can't have it, the thing becomes more desireable.
The moral of the story is this. Sometimes we need to give a listing a breather, let it go out of the market. Take some time to re-assess, evaluate the profile of the buyer, and examine what has been done. We knew we had done everything right, but the pyschology needed adjusting. We did that and we got a firm sale, closing in three weeks! My seller and I worked well together, this was our second deal in two years. The relationship was right, we persisted together and gained the sale we were looking for.