Raleigh - Cary Home Reviews & Market News!: Did You Enjoy Your $900,000 Breakfast?

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Did You Enjoy Your $900,000 Breakfast?

I'm re-blogging this for the benefit of those who read my outside blog.  Sellers, please read and take to heart. There truly are serious buyers out there and they want to see your home before they make an offer.

Yes, there are circumstance that prevent you from letting them in, but, when put in perspective as fellow Active Rainer, J. Phillip did below, is it really worth it?

Nice house in New RochelleYes, there are $900,000 breakfasts. There are $400,000 out of town guests. There are also $600,000 naps. Have you ever seen a $300,000 pack of cigarettes? I have. I personally witnessed a $900,000 litter box once this past spring. I'll never forget the $675,000 dog either. 

What I am referring to are the banal, small indulgences many home sellers grant themselves that cost them the sale of their home to another more motivated homeowner. This morning, an out of state buyer asked me to add on two homes to the tour we had scheduled, and the homes we were seeing weren't far shy of $1 million. There is still 6 inches of snow, it is cold and windy, and they are serious buyers or they wouldn't be out in this weather on a Monday. 

One home declined the showing with 2 hours' notice. Now, as a listing agent I see both sides of this; 2 hours notice can be an inconvenience. They might not want to run around and straighten up. There could be more compelling reasons, such as a sick child or home dialysis. After several months of bending over backwards for inconsiderate mud trackers I can see how people wouldn't be up for that again. It's like dating. By the time I was in my early 30's I was so sick of asking first dates about social small talk I wanted to put a voice-activated tape recorder on the table and eat in peace. I get it. But that's how it is. And all too often viewings are denied because they just aren't up to it on shorter notice. They might be having their first quiet breakfast on the Monday after 2 straight frantic holiday weekends.  

But if people with close to $1 million to spend are going to drive in from out of state in the snowy winter to see your house and you say no out of convenience, that coffee had better be mighty delicious. Those croissants should be laced with ambrosia. That quiet morning after 2 weeks of holiday madness might be well earned and hell to give up for people to walk through your home, but I've got news for you: it may well have cost you every dime of $900,000 to say no and stay in your bathrobe. 

Buyers don't mean to be bullies when they request showings. They can tweak their criteria and see something new and worth seeing on their smart phone when they are taking their ride up here. They have money to spend. And they are looking to spend it. Maybe even on your house, if you let them. They are going to look at something when they go out, and if they like it, they'll buy it. And then they are gone. They simply have too many other choices. 

There is a natural tension between the urgency of million dollar buyers and the desire for million dollar sellers to not be living in a constant state of accommodation. But in this market, the buyers win the stalemate.

Buyers, my dear people, are rare in this market. 

Very rare. 

As my home stager friend Marie Graham says, the way we live is very different from the way we sell our home. It is a hassle. It is intrusive. It takes us away from our routine. But the sums of money involved ought to motivate us to bite the bullet and let the folks in. Yes, it would be nice to have a week's notice, preferably on a day when your kid isn't home from college or the laundry isn't piled up. But buyers who are willing to wait a week aren't what I'd call urgently interested, would you? Someone who found you today and wants in today is a hot buyer. And accepting the showing request from a hot buyer could be a trip to the drugstore or coffee shop that pays you $900,000.  

The prices I am discussing reflect the Westchester County, NY housing market. Your mileage may vary. 

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Comment balloon 4 commentsCarla Freund • January 05 2011 01:42AM


I had a $5 million dollar buyer who had driven by a home and they were excited to purchase one in the specific area.  I have know them for yrs.  The home would be a second home and they were flying back home but had to see a couple of homes in the neighborhood.  One agent on an appointment only property told us it took a 24 hour advance notice to get in.  I told the agent I know the buyers and they were leaving on a flight that afternoon.  They turned down a buyer in this market at that level.  They purchased another home. 

The agent called me back and told me I did not understand the market at the high end.  I could not expect the agent or the homeowner to jump at any buyer.

Posted by Tim Lorenz, 949 874-2247 (TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team) over 9 years ago

Carla:  Thanks for re-blogging or I might have missed this one.  Very interesting post and "ouch" when you think about what losing a sale or something frivolous really can cost a seller.

Posted by Donna Yates, Blue Ridge Mountains (BHGRE - Metro Brokers) over 9 years ago

Carla, J. Philip did a great job of explaining how it is.  I have a seller (an adult, not ill or working a crazy shift) who decided to go to bed at 6:40 in the evening while buyers were in the house. It was a luxury house and the buyers opened the door to the bedroom and saw the seller in bed. It was very uncomfortable to say the least.  This was even after an appointment was made and I had explained the importance of not being there while an agent was showing the home.  I just don't get it.

Posted by Jen Bowman, Realtor - Anna Maria Island & Bradenton FL (Keller Williams on the Water) over 9 years ago

Tim - Wow! I'm sure you and your clients do understand luxury home sellers don't "like" to jump fpr a buyer.  I'm sure they now understand it might not hurt to be a little flexible in situations like this.

Donna - Yes, it can cost a seller.  There are always situations they can't help but, sometimes I think they just want to exercise their rights. 

Jen - Yes, J Philip did a fantastic job illustrating the importance of showing your home. Seems like we're hearing unusual stories such as yours on a regular basis.  People just don't understand sometimes.

Posted by Carla Freund, Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489 (Keller Williams Preferred Realty) over 9 years ago

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