Much of real estate is about hope.
That the next buyer through the door will be THE ONE!
That the next house we tour will be THE ONE!
That buyers will agree that our home IS the Hope Diamond of homes!
And the list could go on and on.
I'm a pragmatist, but I too still get my hopes up. Every time I get a contact from someone about patio homes, I hope they'll turn from a stranger to a client. More often than not, that's NOT what happens. I'm the holder of a key piece of information they want. Or I can't gain trust quickly enough for them to NOT go to the builder without me. So some hopes end quickly.
Other times I may work with a buyer for months. Offers written in a quickly moving market. Dropping all plans and getting to that new listing before the flood of buyers comes through. But things just don't work out. And then the buyer decides they don't want to be a buyer any longer. It's a lot of invested hope, gone just like that.
But if you're experienced, there are telltales that help you avoid getting your hopes up.
If a potential buyer calls off a yard sign about one of our homes for sale and asks the price, and then asks to see the home, that conversation tells me something important. The buyer hasn't truly vetted the home. They've not been online and they've not verified the home fits their essential criteria other than location and price. Maybe they NEED a walkout basement and the home doesn't have one. I'll show the home and do everything I can to promote the home, but the hope of a sale needs to stay pretty low.
If our sellers get a no-notice showing request, that tells me the buyer (and their agent) either a) didn't plan (unlikely) or b) were driving around and saw the home and asked for a showing. That no-notice request tells me once again the home hasn't been vetted against the buyer's criteria. There's a key characteristic about the home for sale that kept it off the initial search results (price, number of bedrooms, etc.). Chances are, the home will still not meet the buyer's needs, so I'd keep my hopes low. That said, we HAVE sold a home that was over the buyer's indicated price range with a no-notice showing because the buyer had more buying flexibility than they'd initially indicated.
If we're showing a buyer a home that's been on the market 5x the normal selling time for a market, we know to expect there's a solid reason for it. If we're lucky, it's because the home was initially BADLY overpriced and it's taken the seller months to get down to the right price. But more often it's because there IS something wrong with the house that's not apparent online. Ever walk into a home on a hot summer day that blasts you with ammonia smell as soon as you open the front door? I have.
Hope is good, but temper it with a dash of reality so you're ready if things don't go as hoped.
Until next time,
Buzzkill Bill signing off :)