Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The "Seasoned" Seller

One of the things that unsuccessful sellers like to do, after their listing agreement has expired, is switch brokerages. It seems like a rational action. After all if you request a service that is not met, in most other instances in life, you will go elsewhere in an attempt to meet your needs.

I think working for Re/Max, I get more than my share of the second try home sellers. Re/Max's national sales campaign really gets the name out there, and often after a local agency has failed to sell the home, the sellers say to themselves, "Lets go with a big name, and see what happens."

Invariable there are complaints about the agent. He/she was hard to get a hold of, the advertising promises were not met, feedback was lacking. Mostly they feel the agent did not work hard enough, and they-- after a flurry of early activity felt abandoned.

The bad news about being the second lister, is there is always challenges to the property. Even the laziest listing agents put the property on the multiple listing service, and there are a bunch of aggressive agents trolling for good listings, so if one comes along priced right, with the right appeal, it will sell, regardless who lists it.

However, the good news, is they have already been seasoned. They do not have the eager, my-house-will-sell-in-week, enthusiasm that brand new listers have despite what you tell them. They have had people clomp through the house, say thank you, and never see them again. They have had no-shows, and buyers turn around in the driveway--perhaps even an offer that fell through for whatever reason.

And of course price. They are much more willing to come down on the price. Just like a buyer who starts out with a vision of a little perfect place with a "crystal blue Italian stream" a huge stainless steel kitchen, and a Lancaster County barn, for under 150K,  seasoned sellers begin to realize that they will not hit the mother lode when they sell, and with solid comps, and a little reality massage,  they are much more willing to listen

Even so, here in Sullivan County a good property priced right. (Not under-priced, my job as a selling agent is to get the buyer as much as possible.) can and will often sit for a while before a buyer comes along.

I went on a listing appointment yesterday, in which the owners had had it listed a few times before, even through the boom, but they were always a little above market value. They are at about 40% less than the highest asking price, which I think is still a little high, but they owe nothing on the house, and do not need to sell. Anyway in the course of the appointment, the owner assured me that while he is gone during the winter, he has a plow guy lined up. Its July, talk about a seasoned seller with low expectations.

I think this "seasoning" of both buyers and sellers is what is going to close the divide, and get this sluggish market moving a bit again. Unfortunately like a fine wine, time is the only way for this to occur. I guess the fall numbers will tell us a bit more if there has been any sort of pick up this summer.

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