The Psychology of the Home Sale

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After 23 years of assisting families with the purchase or sale of a home I have noticed trends in behavior, currents as you will, of thought. A homeowner’s biggest concern is what they will eventually sell the house for. I will highlight three phases of the sale process that most sellers go through.

The first stage is denial and anger. The seller generally does not like the listing price since their perception of value is very different from the market reality. When an offer comes in lower than the list price anger tends to surface. Many sellers quickly move to denial, the wakeup call to the market is often met with swift resistance and a disbelief that the agent really understands what he or she is doing. Some agents are met with outright hostility.

The second stage is consent. For some sellers consent comes quickly and the opportunity of an offer turns into a contract of sale. For others consent comes long after the first offer has passed. Guess what? The seller now has a better understanding of value but makes the fatal flaw of thinking the lost offer price is the new market price. Experienced agents know what I am talking about and this is why we continually try to educate sellers that the first offer is the best offer in good markets and in bad markets. This ‘post offer consent’ can continue to frustrate a seller primarily because they still have not relied on their agent as a valid sounding board.

The final stage is acceptance. It is in acceptance that the seller puts their full trust in their agent. Sellers who do well selling homes have this trait in common. They trust their agent to give them good information, to think of their interests above the agents interests. They rely on the professional to give professional advice. The seller does not necessarily like the price that they are accepting but they understand intuitively that the odds for a better price diminish with time. This is especially true with a declining market that we find ourselves in today.

As a seller your best interest to you, is in the agent you select. Selecting an agent to represent you because you like the price they are telling you is not always the best indicator of true success. Successful sellers enter the relationship with acceptance. Ask for facts and data. Let the agent prove that he or she knows what they are talking about. Look at their track record of success and be willing to listen to what the market is telling you, even if you don’t like it. This acceptance will most likely save you thousands!

Posted by:  Glenn Hanon

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Categories: Home Selling, Real Estate News

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