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Listen to the Market

2017-12-12
By: Wayne Clements

Let me tell you the story of the sale of our home. 

After a month on market, countless showings and four offers, we sold to a nice young couple looking to plant roots in a great community. Overall, we are very happy for the new owners and are relieved to have the sale off our plate, but let's talk about how we got here.

The selling process was like a rollercoaster ride. Even as professionals in the field, negotiating with buyers, reading the market and determining the right price for our property was challenging.

In fact, we found ourselves in a very common situation: many months ago when we were in a seller's market, we committed to the purchase of a custom home.  We based that purchase on the market conditions at the time and assumed a nice big forecasted sale price for our home.  Fast-forward to the fall of this year, where home prices have fallen considerably and look as though they may drop even more.  Despite looking at a significantly lower sale price for our existing home, the purchase price of our new home has not changed.  Sound familiar?  Guess who was not happy?

As a realtor, I have conversations every day about price, price trends and the economic factors that affect them.  As a seller, I wanted the big forecasted sale price for my home because, quite frankly, in my mind I had already invested the proceeds.  The reality is, the market didn’t care about what I wanted to do with our predicted proceeds, nor did it care what I “needed” to get out of the house.  The market is the market.  Buyers looking for deals where one in six homes sell every month, have lots to choose from.

After coming to terms with this new reality, we priced our home competitively and received multiple offers. The offers were close in value but still not at asking price.  Janice reminded me (several times) that, perhaps, the market was telling us what the value of our home was and that we should listen. We accepted the offer that gave us the best closing date and the most money.  What a relief! 

The moral of the story? Negotiating the sale of your home is an emotional experience because as proud homeowners you feel insulted when people try to devalue your property and eat into its equity with “lowball” offers.  Despite this you have to keep your end goal in mind, keep your emotions in check, understand and acknowledge current market conditions, and listen when the market speaks.

Your friendly neighborhood realtor,

-Wayne

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