Sometimes, distrust your instincts

Dated: September 19 2021

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Sometimes our natural inclinations can betray us when we try to apply them to the strategy of real estate transactions. It’s totally natural, for example, for someone about to spend ten times more for a house than anything else they’ve bought in their life to want to slow down and think about things before actually placing an offer. It’s also reasonable for a seller to want to aim high when setting a price for their home. Unfortunately, these comfortable, reasonable attitudes often lead folks to spoil their own chances for success.

Buyers have to get a property under contract in order to have any standing with a seller. Even if you let a seller know that you’re very serious about buying their house, they’ll sign someone else’s offer without giving your verbal assurance a second thought. Once the seller contracts with another buyer, there’s almost nothing you can do to get the house. On the other hand, if you write an offer immediately—even though you would prefer to sleep on the decision—you can gain control of the situation and be free to complete the purchase or take advantage of several straightforward opportunities to back out. It’s better to submit the offer before you sleep on it!

Home sellers naturally want to realize the full value of the investment they’ve made in their property, and they like signaling value by setting a high list price. The problem is that a higher list price generates fewer intrigued buyers. When few buyers visit and fall in love with a home, it will take a long time to sell and the ultimate contract price drops. It may feel wrong to set a list price just below fair market value, but that strategy consistently brings in buyers to compete for the property by offering higher prices.

When I suggest that my clients ignore their natural inclinations and do something that feels uncomfortable, I’m actually working to help them succeed.

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DAVID DUNLAP

As a residential real estate executive with an extensive background in corporate marketing, I am able to apply unusually strong skills in marketing communications, e-marketing, strategic planning and ....

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