It’s a pretty hot market right now. I’ve always said buyers come out sooner than sellers do….which is why I urge my sellers to put their houses on the market in February or early March. This year, they are out sooner than normal. That kind of happened in 2013 too, and that was an awesome year.
Main difference between Winter 2013 and Winter 2015 is that buyers are feeling a bit more confident. Back in 2013, I’d put a listing on and it would very quickly get exceptional offers, some full asking price. This year, I’m seeing more crazy low offers. I’ve sold 4 houses in the past 22 days. None of them got offers so good that the seller would just accept them. Lots of back and forth. They all ended up at the prices I told my sellers they would get, so the market has not gone down. Could be all the new agents out there that don’t know what they are doing. Could be that everybody knew prices were rebounding early in 2013 so it didn’t matter if you paid the full asking price. Could be a little of both.
The worst one was a $40k difference between the offer and the $230k list price, which is a HUGE gap in our market. I would have suggested we reject the offer had it not been contingent on the buyer closing on a property they had already sold. I knew when I saw that contingency they were going to be homeless if they didn’t buy a house.
I got a low offer on a $125k list price. but we worked it out. I had gotten a silly low offer on this house a couple of weeks ago. As a strategy, we rejected their offer. Rejecting an offer does one of two things: It saves you the time and frustration of dealing with an unrealistic buyer, OR, you turn the tables on them and put them on the defense. Most of the time, a silly low offer ends up with the seller having little control over the negotiation process. The buyer has seen everything else on the market and made an offer on your house. They are telling you that they like your house the best. If they are really going to buy something, it will be your place. Why not use that to your benefit?
The other offer was a house that has been on the market a long time, which doesn’t happen to me often. It had a few challenges. One of those houses that always made a buyer’s short list, but was never at the top. We got such a low offer that even I felt like they had slapped my face and said my mother was ugly. The buyers felt worse. We let them walk away. I figured that IF those people were really going to buy a house, they would not be able to get another seller to practically give their house away. It was best to wait. Sometimes you have to let a buyer like that realize the market is different than they hoped it would be. That’s why I like to part company on a happy note. It makes it easier for them to come back later with a better offer……which happened this time.
The last deal was an offer I got while I was at the beach for a long weekend. I told my client what the offer was. I told him I thought he needed $1XX,XXX out of his house. I thought the buyer was probably willing to go to $1XX,XXX. We should counter $XXXX over what he wanted. If they accept, great. If they come back for more, we still that small amount of wiggle room to make the buyer feel like they won the war because they won the last battle. 20 minutes later we had a deal and I was walking out the back door towards the beach.