The last two weeks, I have had the strange feeling that some sellers think it's still 2006. We've been really busy lately so just in case, I double checked my calendar and sure enough, I was right. 2009 is winding down and 2010 is just around the corner.
In some respects, I can't blame sellers for wishing it was 2006. Three years ago, things were cranking! Business was good, prices were strong, and there were lots of transactions. But things have obviously changed. It took a while for the decline in real estate to hit the mountains of NC but by 2008, one by one, buyers started falling by the wayside, the number of transactions began to free fall, and frankly, life as we know it in the real estate business changed dramatically.
So why is it that so many sellers still think it's 2006? Have they not noticed that financing is harder to get and that there is a glut of inventory for sale? If they know those things, I'm really struggling to understand why a seller would cling to a 2006 pricing strategy.
This week one of our buyers made a cash offer (yes....CASH) on a high-end home that has been on the market for nearly three years. It's a nice enough home, but not without issues. When the home hit the market three years ago, it had a big shiny price tag. But it didn't sell. It has languished on the market since then and has been reduced a couple of times, but still isn't where it needs to be. So when we wrote up our buyer's offer, we knew it was a little low, but certainly enough to "get on the dance floor" so we could start the negotiating process. I was confident that we could find a happy place in the middle and in 45 days, we'd be sitting around the closing table. Less than 30 minutes after submitting our offer to the listing agent, we got a return phone call. There was no counter offer...just a flat NO. HUH? This offer wasn't out of line for the market and certainly warranted at least a conversation. If I was a seller who had been trying to sell for three years, and I got an offer of any kind, I do believe I would have at least returned with some kind of counter offer.
Frankly, I'm left with the nagging feeling that either the listing agent has done a disservice by not providing the seller with up to date market information...or the seller, with their rosy 2006 glasses, really don't want to sell. Either scenario is not good and everyone's time was wasted.
I'm afraid there are still too many sellers like this one who see their home through the same eyes as when they bought it...eyes that seem closed to what the market is now. Truth is, sometimes we go to listing appointments knowing that we may not get the listing because we can't tell the seller what they want to hear and that what they want for their house just isn't realistic in today's market.
In the meantime, our buyer has moved on to another property and "Mr. and Mrs. three-years-on-the-market" lost the chance to possibly sell their home. What a shame.
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