“We aren’t in any hurry.”
I’ve heard this from sellers more times than most Realtors have heard the words “under contract.” It comes up when we talk about the marketing process and the outlook for a sale.
For the past year or so, if you put the property on the market at any rational price, it will sell in days or even hours.
“But we’re not in any hurry”, sellers insist. At which point I tell the sellers to either be prepared for a quicker sale than they are expecting or to wait until it is really time for them to sell.
Often the property is rented and the seller wants to keep the income up until the day before closing or the seller wants to take advantage of the strong market but wants to use the place for just a few more months before closing.
“Can’t the buyers wait?” Or worse: “We’ll just have to find the right buyer”: meaning one who will pay us now and then let us use the place for another year.
Well, good luck with that. It’s never been a great idea and it’s even worse right now. In today’s short inventory market, if you put it out there, you need to mean it. You’ll probably have multiple offers from folks who have recently been out bid or missed the chance entirely. They want to buy today. They have the money today. They want to close yesterday. Mess around too much and you may insult and lose all the buyers.
“But we’ll just find some more buyers”, you say, “there’s more where they came from.”
Well, this is a small town and word gets around about unreasonable sellers or ones who are not serious. Brokers and buyers really won’t put up with too much more than they already must to get an offer accepted. You probably won’t see offers as good or as numerous after the initial rush.
As a seller, you need to consider several things: Will the market remain like this until all the pieces – your schedule, your rental agreement, your ability to let go – line up perfectly?
Will the buyer you are asking to wait still have the money when it finally comes time to close? Will the stock market tank and take the buyer’s second home cash – and maybe the rest of the market – away? Will the buyer get hit by a bus next week? How much is the extra income and enjoyment worth compared to hundreds of thousands of dollars in sale price? How much will it cost in future sale price or peace of mind for you to lose the sale?
Time is absolutely not on your side once you go under contract. Everything happens before you think it will, even failure. Trying to slow or delay the process adds many kinds of risk and cost to you. Even in a solid seller’s market, there are limits.
So how long did you want me to take to sell your property?