We got a full price offer on a listing this week and the buyers were a lovely young family who were genuinely excited about the property. The seller was scared of a 10 day inspection period in the offer. The seller decided she would only sell to them if they agreed to buy the property “as is” in their initial offer. The buyers were afraid to agree upfront to buy the property “as is” before doing their own inspections and so they decided to look for another property with a seller who was comfortable with a standard 10 day inspection period.
At listing appointments this week many sellers expressed that they only want to sell their house if they can get the price they have in mind irrespective of fair market value, if they can be guaranteed to sell in a very short time, if they can not be disturbed to show for no reason and only if it can be predetermined that the buyer will in fact write an offer after the showing, and if it won’t cost a lot of money or effort to prepare their house for sale.
In real life, there’s a way house sales work and it mostly doesn’t work to bypass all of the process. For the most part, houses sell for their fair market value. Houses that are in move-in-ready condition have a higher fair market value than houses that need upgrades and repairs, so if a seller makes improvements to their house before listing they increase its fair market value. Houses don’t sell instantly but listed at fair market value and marketed and shown correctly, they sell in not too much time. Buyers need time and space without the owner present to see and consider the property before deciding if they want to make an offer. Buyers can’t be asked to commit that they’ll write an offer before they see. Buyers need an inspection period to fully explore the condition of the house. Buyers can’t be asked to buy the house “as is” without having any knowledge of the condition of the house before they have a chance to inspect it.
It’s completely understandable that sellers want to bypass the uncertain and uncomfortable parts of the process but most things in life worth doing don’t happen in an instant. Courting and dating to get married has to take time and deliberation. Having a baby and raising a child takes time and deliberation. Planning and hosting an event takes time, thought, and a lot of preparation. Most significant life events take time and preparation. Since they’re major life events, for most there’s intense fear. To engage takes deciding to embrace the fear and to jump in, and then going slow and doing each step of the process to ultimately get to the finish line.
And then there are parts of the house sale process that we can control and do well. We can determine appropriate fair market value from knowledge and experience. We can expertly prepare the house for sale to get its maximum fair market value. We can diligently answer every call and rush to accommodate every showing and give each buyer as much time as they like to consider the property. We can get in our own inspectors to make sure that requests for repairs are reasonable and legitimate. We can do our absolute best to have a backup offer in place so there are options and choices once the condition is investigated. We can make sure that all the parts we can control are done the absolute best way possible.
Ultimately, it makes most sense for sellers to decide to sell or not to sell. So many sellers seem to be on the fence. They’d sell if the process happened exactly the way they write the script. That’s like deciding only to get married if the perfect stranger happens to appear and it’s an instant decision that feels right in a minute. It makes more sense to think it through and make a deliberate and thoughtful life choice and then to follow the process to carry out the choice in the smartest and best way possible to get the absolute best result. We like smart, thought out, and most of all, absolute best results.
Wishing everyone an amazing July 4th weekend!!!