True Story. I have a home listed on Bell Hill in Sequim. This home was purchased a few years ago for $540,000. The market is down, but Bell Hill is a prestigious and high demand area in Sequim. This home has a beautiful Happy Valley view of fields and the Olympic Mountains. And it is 5,000 square feet on two levels. The home is ready to move into. There’s nothing to do. It’s very nice, but it’s not an expensive high end custom home. If it were, it would probably be $750,000.
Motivated sellers instructed me to list it for a fast sale. Of course, in this market anything less than 90 days is a fast sale. Times have really changed with this real estate recession. I listed this home at $399,000, which is $150,000 below the assessed value at the treasurer’s office.
The first sale. An offer came in well below the listed price. Unfortunately, the buyers didn’t realize that a home that is already listed at an incredibly reasonable price does not deserve the same first low-ball discount as a home that is over-listed. My clients countered at just below their listed price, which was already incredibly low and reasonable. The buyers accepted the counter, but backed out for no apparent reason two weeks later without a home inspection.
The second sale. Fortunately, I was able to present my clients with a second offer the very next day. This offer was also a low-ball offer. Again, it is amazing to me that so many buyers are not differentiating a home from the rest of the market. Just because the market is down 10% (plus or minus in any particular area), many buyers think you should offer 10% less than the listed price for every and any home. Here’s what happened. My clients made a counteroffer again at just below their listed price. These buyers decided to take a couple of days to think about it and decided to look at the house again. Contractually, this meant there was no agreement yet.
The third sale. A third offer came in while the buyers of the second offer were meditating. The third offer was a full price offer. Accepted. Done deal. I immediately notified the agent for the second buyers that the house was sold and the counteroffer was off the table.
This is a valuable lesson for any buyer who finds a great home in a great location at a great price. Don’t dilly dally around. Just because the real estate market is generally down doesn’t mean you are the only buyer. Do you think the second buyers are kicking themselves?
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