Recently I had a very unusual experience – I got to see a potential real estate transaction blow up from an outsider’s perspective. I happened to know both the sellers and the buyers involved, but didn’t represent either of them. The sellers had already been listed with a local agent when I ran into them, and the husband who wanted to purchase their home was an agent himself.
The buyers had done their inspection, and requested about a dozen things to be fixed in a house that was only five years old. The sellers begrudgingly agreed, but gave the buyers a short time frame - only three more days - to release all contingencies. For the buyers that was too short – they hadn’t done their appraisal yet, so they cancelled the sale.
The listing agent didn’t question how smart the short time frame was, and instead went on to berate the buyers, called them manipulative, and accused them of never being serious in the first place. The sellers shrugged their shoulders and figured there will be another deal in the future.
After asking a few questions, I think I got down to the problem – the sellers and agent had a six-month listing. Both parties must have figured that this will be a long haul, and more opportunity will be had – and causually chucked away this deal.
You don’t know if there will ever be another buyer, so sellers – and agents especially – need to create a win-win with the buyers that do step up. What can be done to ensure the sellers and listing agents recognize this?
Sign a one-month listing.
If both the sellers and agents operated like they had to find a buyer in 30 days, they wouldn’t be so casual about price, about inquiries, and about offers & repairs.
Extend the listing beyond the one month if you have to, but only under these terms:
A price reduction of 5% if there had been offers, or a price reduction of 10% if there were no offers tendered during the first 30 days.
Because of the internet, the listings are distributed to all waiting buyers within seconds, and literally by the next day everyone knows your house is for sale. After a home is one the market for two weeks, the traffic dies down considerably – don’t think it is going to get better after 2-4 more months, it isn’t.