Thursday, October 4, 2007

Three types of sellers

After watching the market soften for the past few months, I have seen three types of sellers emerge.

1. The ostriches, who have their heads in the sand and can't figure out why their overpriced house has been on the market for 6 months.

2. The optimists, who might initially overprice their homes, but then quickly move to correct the price and start getting interest.

3. The realists, who price their house at or below recent sales prices, and sell quickly.

I have seen plenty of houses sell in one day, or in a few weeks. But more often than not these days I see the first two types of sellers.

In our own experience, we recently we involved in a minor bidding war for a duplex in a great neighborhood. We loved the location, but the duplex needed a few significant repairs to be rentable. We tried to negotiate with the sellers, but they flat out refused, claiming that the second offer would buy it at the same price "as is". As many times as our Realtor mentioned that their "as is" offer included an inspection clause, and therefore wasn't really "as is", he wouldn't budge. So we walked. And a few days later the second "as is" offer walked. And the duplex went back on the market. One of those significant repairs is now being addressed, and I look forward to seeing the final selling price.

If you want to sell quickly these days, price your house under recent comps. I'm expecting a decline in prices, even here in Portland, so I'm not going to pay your inflated price when I know I can wait for something more reasonably priced.

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