What can a home seller do to help make a sale?
Respond to an offer in less than 24 hours.
Here’s what happens if you don’t:
- Once a buyer signs a contract, buyer’s remorse starts to set in. If allowed to fester for a day or two, buyers will talk themselves out of buying just because of the anxiety.
- There are just enough other new listings coming to market that the buyer’s wandering eye gets distracted easily.
- The longer it takes to get an answer, the lower the buyers want to counter.
- After about three days of waiting, buyers give up altogether.
On the other hand, when a seller does respond quickly, it gives the buyer the impression that the seller cares, and wants to make a deal. Buyers respond more favorably to those!
I had buyers make an offer on Monday that was within 4% of the new list price (sellers raised their list price – our offer was $250,000 over their original list) and here we are on Friday with no answer.
In a different case this week, my buyers offered more than twice what the seller paid in 2002, and three days later it wasn’t good enough – the sellers had to have another $10,000. This is a house that has been on the market for 100 days with no offers.
In both cases, we were sick of waiting around, and even a more favorable response wouldn’t have gone over that well.
Listing agents are notorious for not preparing their sellers on how to respond to offers. You can predict the chances of a deal coming together purely by how quick the sellers respond. If they are adequately motivated and the listing agent has their act together, you will get a response within 24 hours.
If not, there probably wasn’t much of a chance of buying it anyway.
So based on your recent experience, does there seem to be more ‘unmotivated’ sellers than normal? And if so, does this really make the ‘real inventory’ actually lower than it appears on paper?
There are 806 active listings of house for sale between La Jolla and Carlsbad today. Only 50-60 sell each week, so yes, the vast majority have motivation that is suspect.
If you ask them, they would tell you they are motivated to sell, but it’s only if they get their price.
Heck, most realtors haven’t cozied up to the concept of value = what a ready, willing, and able buyer will pay. Instead, they lock arms with their sellers and demand that you pay their price, or get off the driveway.
In a frenzied market, they eventually get their price in spite of themselves because the market comes up to meet them.
Their wait is going to be longer now though.
The real question is how many sellers really are motivated, but their listing agents aren’t giving them quality advice.