Sometimes, people believe their own errors, when the truth is easier.
Our family has a wonderful friend who has spent 3-4 years searching Dr Google to find a reason he felt certain sensations in his body. He self-diagnosed everything from "I'm about to have a heart attack," to "I have cancer," to "I have MS. I'll be in a wheelchair in six months." He searched so much, he started making himself sick.
Everyday, his symptoms lined up with his web searches. He started going to doctors, lots of doctors. No one could confirm that his perceived illnesses even existed. Finally, he became fed up with the worthless local medical community and he moved to another state. Prior to leaving, he did a farewell tour. Each day, he visited a friend to say his final goodbye before his illness took his life.
One by one, he made appointments, had his tearful goodbyes, and thanked his friends for caring about him. Eventually, he moved and started the rotating doctor tour again. Again, a dozen plus doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. Then one day, a brave doctor encouraged him to make an appointment with a psychologist and see if there was a psychological reason for his continued illness. He rejected that idea because Dr Google had already diagnosed, described the challenges he would face and set him on the course for a premature death. The reality was, there was nothing, and is nothing, wrong with him.
I tell you this story because it is what I see with many buyers today. In the hot sellers market we're in, the concept that "everyone expects to negotiate" is a myth. I just had a buyer offer 27% below list on a house that sold at 7.5% over list. Did we negotiate? Not at all. His offer went in the "there's no way baby" pile of offers.
The belief that you can always buy a home below asking price with the seller throwing in cash, home warranties, and a myriad of repairs is turning out to be a myth. In this market, it's a seller's market with incredibly low inventory. My market has .9% of available inventory right now. Less than one month.
Many of the buyers who offered on this recent listing did all kinds of thing to make the purchase. Their philosophy seemed to be "he needs to sell, but I don't need to buy." That would be a real life possibility in a buyer's market, but in a seller's market as hot as ours, that's just a Dr Google diagnosis and therapy may be needed.
As real estate professionals, it's critical that we tell our buyers the truth. I had one agent on this last deal pepper me to get a commitment on her offer three days before the property went on the market. She was the 27% below list offer. She was incensed that the seller didn't pick her offer before anyone else saw the property. Ironically, the property had 55 showings in 58 hours with 17 offers coming in. Thirteen of those offers were over list and one went 16% over list. Ironically, it wasn't the winner. There are always considerations beyond dollars.
Some buyers, even in this market, want to believe their own errors in thinking, even when the market is showing them the fallacy of their logic. We can help them if they are open to listen, but like my friend, they may continue looking for an agent until they find one who agrees with them or who tells them the truth. In either case, they'll likely still experience the pain they are fostering on themselves until they received a little retail therapy.