- Episode 39 -
To recap from where we left off last week...
Two sellers affectionately known as “Dumb and Dumber” listed similar homes way above my suggested list price, neither will reduce their price or counter back the offers that they have received.
Everyone caught up?
Now onto my surefire, could-never-fail plan to get these sellers to see things through my eyes.
I met with each seller individually. Even though I have been presenting the comparables to them since first taking the listings, and had been suggesting that we go and see what the competition really looks like, they finally both agreed to meet me on separate days and tour the other active listings that were similar in price or lower than their properties.
I met each seller with a list of those properties that we were seeing so that they could see the pictures and take notes as we went through each one. Afterwards we would discuss what they thought about them. This way I would find out how they thought their homes compared to what the others had to offer.
House to house we went, and both sellers took notes, which I thought was a good sign. We had six homes to see – four were regular sales and decorated and updated to the hilt. They had stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, new flooring, most had hurricane impact windows installed, all featured new roofs, AC and hot water heaters, along with renovated bathrooms. They were move in ready. Each one had a pool, some had outdoor kitchens while others had landscaping that looked like something right out of Home and Garden magazine.
The price points were great – some were right at where my listings were (and warranted such a price) but most were well under our price. With the exception of the short sale that was still in decent shape and had some nice features like updated kitchens and bathrooms, and the foreclosure that truly was a mess and the low guy in the neighborhood, the homes showed well. So I was excited to hear the comments as we went door to door making note of each upgrade, renovation, or move in ready condition.
Upon completion of the house tours, Seller #1’s comments included:
“I guess those homes were nice…if you liked those kinds of upgrades.”
“The landscaping was done well, but to me, having minimal things to do is better.”
“There was a small crack in one of their floor tiles, which means they have to rip up the entire floor so that’s a huge expense.”
And the best one of all… "I think those homes are priced too low to sell.”
After thinking I heard it all from Seller #1, I proceeded with Seller #2 on the same route, same home tour two days later. Her one and only one comment was very simple, nothing fancy, nothing bitter, just what she observed from these six homes…
And I quote: “Only one of the homes had three walk in closets like I have, so I understand why their prices are lower than mine. People want walk in closets so my house should be at a higher price.”
Not sure if any of you ever had a “walk in closet” as deal breaker, but this was a first for me.
To say I stood in disbelief after hearing these comments is a true understatement. You literally had to pick up my jaw from the floor and manually close it shut. But I still had one trick up my sleeve – showing them the bottom line and everyone knows “money talks”.
After discussing with each seller their comments (and lack of understanding about anything and everything that we saw during our tour) I presented each seller with a fake check, made out to them for the amount of money they would pocket if they chose to accept the deals that were on the table.
Neither seller has a mortgage.
Both paid just a little over $100K when they bought them back in the 1980s’ and obviously they don’t have a lot of upgrades to pay off since they did very little over the years in terms of renovations.
Seller #2 is actually approaching dire straits on the fact she has not paid her property taxes in two years. This being the third year, her home will go to auction in a few months. Surely seeing the amount of money they can walk away with, and get out of any issues that they have by paying off all outstanding debts, I knew they would finally realize what I was saying.
To both sellers, I presented checks totally over $323,000 clear profit after all expenses were paid (and in the case of Seller #2 her outstanding tax liens) – I told them I could put that money in their pockets within the month.
I watched for their expressions knowing something had to register.
The excitement and anticipation was killing me as they looked at the checks, studying them intently…and as I was reaching for the contracts, for them to reconsider and now either sign and/or counter because I felt that the “money did talk” and that they were hopefully “seeing the light,” I was once again mistaken.
My plight wasn’t over yet.
On both occasions I was stopped dead in my tracks when both sellers came back with roughly the same final words…
”thanks for the offers but please decline them. We have decided that after seeing the other homes our home is priced right based on what we have to offer the buyers. We will wait for the buyers to pay what we want and I am sure they will soon.”
I need a vacation.
So I am taking one after this exercise…
And when I get back, the umbilical cord tying us together will be cut.
It’s time to move on.
Kay Conageski is a professional Realtor® with The Keyes Company based in Plantation, Florida. Check out her RESAAS profile ›