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Most of today’s real estate Buyers do seem like they are out for blood, at least according to many Sellers. We have seen Buyers pay for a short sale what they wouldn’t pay for the same property bought as a regular sale….why you ask?….because a “short sale” says “distressed” and suggests a discount to the market. We have seen Buyers making offers as low as 50% of the asking price; that more or less says it all. It does raise the question of whether these Buyers would be happy if that 50% offer were accepted. I think not. They clearly didn’t dig deep enough. What, no fight from the Sellers???
Another indication of the real estate Buyers’ mentality today is their need to know the Sellers’ reason for selling. This is a good question, given the depressed market, but what the Buyers really want to know is the extent to which the Sellers’ situation is exploitable. For properties that are not short sales or foreclosures, the Sellers need a good “hard luck” story. And for Sellers who give no indication of distress, the chances of a sale seem to diminish significantly. The Buyers simply don’t buy the story and the dishonesty card is played.
Here’s my take on this. Buyers are not blood thirsty, most anyway. Rather, they are trying to deal with the anxiety of an uncertain market. Most need to convince themselves that they are not going to be able to pick up the same or similar properties for less in the future. Or that in five years they will have to sell at a loss. The way to do this is to get the deal of the century; unfortunately, that is only possible at the Seller’s expense.
I think more sales would occur if both Buyers and the Sellers understood that there was nothing personal involved in the negotiations and that the intentions of each side is simply to get the best deal possible in a difficult market. Buyers need the assurance that they are not being foolish in this uncertain market….I get that. Sellers need the assurance that they could not do better with another buyer….I get that too. Realtors often can help by interpreting the other party’s behavior. The one thing I know for sure is where there is goodwill, there is a successful transaction.