It's Not About You
This column is for all those agents and sellers out there who are beating themselves up over properties that are not selling. In most cases, it’s the price. Often, the agent is blamed for insufficient enthusiasm when they deliver the bad news about value in this market. All too many times, the decision by the sellers is to start the property high. In most cases, it soon begins its inevitable slide downward toward the price at which it sells.
As everyone who doesn’t live under a rock now knows, the real estate market nationally hit a collective brick wall in September. Very little was sold for the next six months. What did sell were homes with unique value propositions—one of a kind locations or amenities-and those homes often incurred bidding wars. The latter fact proves that there are still buyers out there, and that they are motivated when they think they are getting a reasonable deal. Plus, rates are at an historic low, and likely to stay that way through the election.
With those things true, why aren’t more properties selling? It’s a simple answer—people can adjust to lower prices all too well when they are buyers (and many of the sellers are also buyers), but they cannot stomach selling their old homes at the prices they are fetching these days. Some of that is emotional attachment, and therefore blindness to a property’s faults, but more of it is just irrationality. They would rather sit there, hanging on to their old home, until some day it finally becomes worth the mental price tag they have put on it. Even when you can show them that, in the course of selling and buying, they can save more on the buying end when they are trading up in some way, and that they will often put money in their pockets monthly through lowered interest rates, they are not convinced.
It might be helpful for all concerned to realize that this market is bigger than Connecticut, bigger than the East Coast, and clearly bigger than just one property. Sellers should understand that, in this type of correction (predicted to be 20-25% off the peak prices), it’s about coming down to the curve of the past 35 years, and off the exaggerated prices caused by easy money thrown at housing for the past few years.
It’s not about you. As a famous campaign quote once went, “It’s the economy, stupid”. Let go of your bygone mythical profit, take your best offer, and move on to the property you want to buy. Someday soon, you’ll be laughing at the poor souls who sat out the low rates in homes they no longer wanted. And he who laughs last, laughs best.