I pride myself on being able to research and provide evidence (comps) showing why my clients are offering what they are offering when it comes to buying a home. But not even the facts could persuade this seller. The following story is a true account of a recent situation I had with presenting an offer to purchase. I can not give out too many specifics in terms of town, price or names for that matter, but the following account was and still is unnerving to me for different reasons. Let me explain:

For some time now, I’ve been showing houses to a young couple (Eager Buyers) qualified to purchase up to $315,000 with 10% down. We focused on houses in the $265, 000 to $330,000 range, and even went as high as $340,000. Unfortunately, after many attempts and houses I showed, did not completely satisfied the clients.

I explained to Mr. and Mrs. Eager Buyer that it was possible that there are properties in the wrong price range and we should take a look at a couple of others, specifically 123 Main Street. I had seen 123 Main Street before with another client and found that it matched the wants and needs of Mr. And Mrs Eager Buyer better than the first couple I had shown the house to.

After showing 123 Main Street, which was listed for $345,000, the couple was thrilled, but spoke plainly to me and said that even after looking at other home sin the same town, they felt the price of 123 Main Street was overpriced. At Weichert, Realtors, we are believe that any offer is a good offer. So, I wrote up what they wanted to present, but with it I looked for comparable sales within 1-2 mile radius of the home and found 6 that took place within the past 4 months (most appraisers are only going back 3 months), but I went to 4 months so that I would not miss anything. I found that the average sales price in that 1-2 mile radius was $305,000 with only one home selling as high as $315,000. 3 homes sold for $295,000. One for $305, 000. Another for $300,000 and one for $315,000. I suspected that I would have a hard time persuading the seller that a $290, 000 offer was good given the market, but with my 6 closed sales, I thought I would be able to come to terms, somewhere in the middle.

I was sadly mistaken. When I presented $290,000, I was countered at $330,000 FIRM. I asked the seller’s Realtor to show me comparable sales that would justify or even command a higher price. The seller’s agent said that first, the houses I was using was in a different school district and second, he had no concerns over the house appraising at $330,000 even though I showed him that 6 houses sold for significantly less than what the seller wanted for his home.

I then went on to the MLS and looked at all of the sales that took place in the town at the $325,000 to $330,000 range regardless of bedrooms and bathrooms. What I found on the $325-$330k list was that these properties were larger and on a different size of town, which means they would not meet the 1-2 mile radius marker. 

What frustrates me about the situation is that I did the math, I did the work and even though my client even came up in price, the seller would not budge on his FIRM price. I asked the Realtor if the owner was in a short sale position, and the Realtor confirmed that the seller was not.

In this market, I am 100% certain that your pricing strategy is the first piece of your marketing plan.

In all actuality, my clients would have never seen the home since we search for properties as high as $325,000 and the one we bidded on was priced at $345,000. If you are in the wrong price range, you are less likely to sell because clients will:

  • In some cases, clients may not bid at all knowing they are bidding so much less, which could be preceived as offensive or they may not want to bid because they know the market themselves and feel that the house is overpriced.
  • Bid even lower just so that they can show they came up in price.

By inadvertently or purposfully pricing your house too aggressively or above the market, buyers sometimes offer even less because they perceive or think you to be desperate. Buyers will rationalize to themselves you must be are willing to negotiate if you are still on the X market. The number one questions of all buyers when it comes to making an offer on a home for sale is: How long has this house been on the market?  

In conclusion, despite my best efforts, this seller was not persuaded by the facts. It’s unfortunate, but this seller is likely to lose out on several buyers and depending on what direction the market takes in the next few months, he could be depreciating in value.

Post By Audeliz Angie Perez (160 Posts)

Angie Perez is a NJ Circle of Excellence award winning real estate agent for Weichert, Realtors in Edison. She sells anywhere from 12-25 houses per year on a consistent basis since 2005. Ms. Perez is primarily a buyer's agent on 60% of her real estate sales where she represents rental income investors, first time home buyers & trade up home buyers of 1-4 family homes within specific towns encompassing 4 NJ counties: Union, Essex, Middlesex and Somerset County. Many of Ms. Perez's clients appreciate her ability to negotiate favorable real estate deals for them. Many of her clients commented that her research abilities, her honesty, her knowledge of local market trends and her proficiency to manage multiple real estate transactions from start to close are some of the reasons why she was hired as their agent of choice. Please call, text or email Angie Perez to ask if she lists or sell in your town. If she can not help you, Ms. Perez would be more than happy to help or refer you to someone who can.

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10 Responses to Not Even the Facts Could Persuade This Seller

  1. Debra Lawler says:

    I don't know your market but as a listing agent (and buyer's agent), my reaction to your offer of $290k would also have to take into account other items you might have asked for like closing costs, warranties, etc… that would bring the net to seller down even further. If it were my sellers, they would probably want to know if your buyers could afford my home if the offer is coming in 50k lower than my list price. I tell sellers we have to list the home in a price block that will get an offer in the door. Even though you felt this home was overpriced, you took your buyers through and presented an offer (geez, many listing agents can't even get to that point!). If you have a question about the appraisal, make your offer contingent on it appraising… Even though it's a buyers market almost everywhere, I think buyers should put themselves in the sellers shoes and see if they can come up with a win-win for everyone. Same advice for sellers who are in denial about the market realities. If the initial offer is offensive to sellers, it's most likely not going to be a smooth transaction IF you can even come to an agreement.

  2. Excellent Comment! We contemplated making the purchase price contingent upon the appraisal, but the client's simply did not see value at the seller's firm asking price of $330k, even $325k.

    I showed the client several houses in the 330k range and in the clients' opinion, they did not compare. In any case, we already made an offer on another home and it was accepted.

    I had shown the home several times as a buyer's agent to more than one couple. So, I knew it was overpriced. My clients trust me and know that I would not waste their time. I showed them the house because it met their wants and needs, but the facts just weren't there to support the seller's aggressive price.

    I'm keeping my eye out for this house to see what it eventually sells for, if it sells.

    Please note: I think I did the listing agent's job. You should see my CMA and how my detailed presentation outlined why 50k was not an offensive offer. Trust me; we, myself included, did not want to offend the seller. We were inlined with the market. . .

  3. In the book “Shift” by Gary Keller, he notes that one of the greatest obstacles to success this year is incompetent agents. Your story is a prime example.

  4. I like Gary Keller. I read one of his book's before. Not familiar with the “swift” but will look into it. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Debra Lawler says:

    Congrats on getting the buyers under contract with something! I'm sure the sellers of the first home will probably be kicking themselves down the road….I do wonder what would have happened if you guys would have come in with an initial offer of 300k instead of 290k. When you said you exhausted everything up to 315k and nothing was acceptable for your buyers, why wouldn't they just start the offer with 300k and stick close to that number?

  6. Buyers will always have a little voice in the back of their minds that says negotiate even if a property is priced to sell. The other concerns my clients had was that given what sold i.e. the two properties that sold for $295k were with a 2nd full bath as oppose to a half bath. So, my clients felt they gave a reasonsible offer. In the end, the love another house and bidded on it. So, it worked out. Yes, the seller may kick himself later. I hope not. I hope he uses our experience to find another buyer.

  7. juanjunco says:

    You stated “After showing 123 Main Street, which was listed for $345,000” so why would you think $330,000 is an unreasonable counter offer. That is not the list price. The bottom line is that the Seller is not willing to sell their house for what your buyer wants to buy it for. We, as Realtors, do not determine value. Only the Sellers and Buyers do. The seller could get a higher offer with a larger down payment (or cash) and the appraisal will not be an issue. That sale will then become a comp and reaise the values of all the homes in the area. That's how it works. Time to move on.

  8. My client ended up making an offer on another home. Yes, I totally agree with you. Seller will have to wait for an offer with a larger down payment or even a cash offer. Buyers and sellers set the market. But we track so much information on the MLS, and I do not see a buyer over paying for a home in this market with good inventory and choices. That is just my take. Thanks for the feedback.

  9. juanjunco says:

    You stated “After showing 123 Main Street, which was listed for $345,000” so why would you think $330,000 is an unreasonable counter offer. That is not the list price. The bottom line is that the Seller is not willing to sell their house for what your buyer wants to buy it for. We, as Realtors, do not determine value. Only the Sellers and Buyers do. The seller could get a higher offer with a larger down payment (or cash) and the appraisal will not be an issue. That sale will then become a comp and reaise the values of all the homes in the area. That's how it works. Time to move on.

  10. My client ended up making an offer on another home. Yes, I totally agree with you. Seller will have to wait for an offer with a larger down payment or even a cash off. Buyers and sellers set the market. But we track so much information on the MLS, and I do not see a buyer over paying for a home in this market with good inventory and choices. That's just my take. Thanks for the feedback.

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