Do you need wiggle room?

This is one of the questions I get asked a lot when I list a house.  Just listed 3 in the past week, so that is why it is on my mind so much.  I think I probably always freak out my sellers when I tell them that they don’t need to price their house way over what we anticipate it will sell for.

I guess the biggest fear, and I can understand it, is that people will assume that there is wiggle room, and that they are going to have to sell for less…..and that just isn’t the case.

Sure, there may be people who come along and offer waaaay less than you are asking.  But you know what?  I don’t consider them to be real buyers.  When I was a new Realtor, I had some people that would just go from listing to listing making crazy offers.  Eventually I would see the writing on the wall and I’d let them keep perpetuating their hobby without me.   I doubt any of them ended up actually buying a house.  Why price your house based on nuts like that out there?  Doesn’t it make more sense to price it where it will be attractive to the people who may actually buy your house?

Check this out.  Back in about 1997 I had a lawn care business.  I had grown it to the point where I needed a dedicated truck.  I saw an ad in the paper for a 1993 Ford F-150 with 48,000 miles on it.  The price was $5980.  I knew that was a good price.  Took it for a test drive.  Wanted it.  Sat in the little cubicle with the sales man and made him an offer.  He blew his chance to remind me that was a fantastic price.  What he did was make it a battle.  Dude told me that they “Couldn’t sell that truck for one nickel less than that price!!”  I was floored.  Don’t you always haggle when buying a car?  I left to see what else was available since I couldn’t go back there without feeling like I had lost to that guy.  After looking at more trucks, I realized THAT truck was by far the best one and was at the best price anywhere in town that day.  I just didn’t know what to do.  Soooo, I called the wisest man I know…..my Dad.  I told him that the truck was the best deal and that I wanted it, but just couldn’t go back there.  Being the wise person that he is, he told me to go back and offer them a nickel less.  Yep.  Offer $5979.95.  I did and I got the best truck at the best price that was available that day anywhere in Lexington.

Guess what?  Real buyers will recognize the value of your house.  They are looking at every house in their price range just like I did with that truck.  Sure, we are accustomed to wiggle room, but people don’t mind paying near or full asking price if the house is worth it.  I have done this with several of my listings will great success.  I had one where they came back twice with lower offers.  We just politely said “No thank you.  Take a look at the comps.  We’ve priced this house for what it is worth.”  They, like me with the truck, knew it was the best available house at the best price.  Here’s the difference though, I didn’t get an attitude with the other agent like my salesman did with the nickel issue.  We ended up selling the house for 99.2% of the asking price.  We came down just a little so the buyer would feel like they won…..but in reality, we all won that day!

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