Many times, I would go on a listing appointment to talk with a potential seller and they would tell at the end of the presentation, “Well, I really don’t have to sell!” Which then prompts my response of, “So why are you putting your home on the market?” After all, selling a home and keeping it in constant show-ready condition is not a lot of fun and usually requires a lot of work and patience. The sellers go on to say, “If I can get my price, I would sell the home.” If you want me to translate this last sentence for you, I will. It means the following from the seller: “I am going to ignore good data about the price of my home, overprice it, and let it sit on the market until I get what I want for it.” That is a recipe for disaster for everyone involved.
When I represent buyers and I submit offers to the listing agents, I often hear from the listing agent that the seller did not accept the offer. I go on to discuss with the listing agent why we think it’s a fair offer. Then lo and behold, the famous sentence comes out, “Well, my sellers really don’t have to sell.” I then say to the agent, “Well, maybe they should take their home off the market.”
You see, the days of some fairy tale buyer walking off the street and overpaying for a home stopped about five years ago. Buyers know exactly what a home is worth and in some cases, put in fair offers. Sellers cannot fall back on the old “I don’t have to sell” excuse anymore because that market does not exist. If a seller really doesn’t have to sell, they should not have their home listed. By overpricing the home, it ensures that it will sit and accumulate days on the market which hurts the seller and the marketability of the home. The listing agent will be frustrated because they can’t sell it, and buying agents will stop showing it because they’ll realize that the seller will not look at a reasonable offer. The end result may be a seller chasing down the market and being forced to do a series of price drops or take the home off the market. In either case, it ends up being an exercise in futility for everyone involved.
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