SOLD STORY: Behind The Scenes At 826 Victoria Pl.
How does a home list for $1,299,000, go under contract, and then come back on the market a few days later at a HIGHER list price?
It happened at 827 Victoria Pl last month, and the situation was straightforward and more common than you might think. We Realtors take this stuff for granted, but I’ll bet it all looks like insider trading from the outside looking in. So, let me shine a little light behind the curtain.
First off, how did we arrive at the list price? The homeowner wanted a smooth transaction – their peace of mind was more important than a high price. Recent sales in the area indicated a value somewhere in the $1,300,00 – $1,400,000 range. The homeowner selected $1,299,000 as a conservative list price to attract a solid, drama-free buyer. Great buyer’s agents will always call to get more information than what is on the MLS. They found out we expected the home to sell above the list price and that the house was sold in strictly as-is condition.
PRO TIP: Make sure your agent is one of the great ones. It can make a big difference.
Side Note on “as is” condition. It is common for a buyer to agree to a high sales price to secure the sales contract and then use the inspection period to renegotiate the price based on their discoveries- even if the home is sold in “as is” condition. A buyer may feel this is a good business tactic, but the seller is almost always insulted.
The home attracted five offers within a few days, almost all above the list price. Great buyer’s agents continued to make a difference- they called to discuss their offer with me and impress with all the ways their client would be the best choice. The not-so-great agents emailed the contract and pre-approval letter with no follow-up call. Folks, it is rarely **just** about what is written on the contract. Flexibility, motivation, and the abilities of the buyer’s agent and the lender can be just as important as the price.
The response to offers is up to the seller. They can accept, reject, or counter one, some, or all of the offers. I usually advise multiple counteroffers. My home sellers took my advice and countered nearly everyone with “best and final” on price and several contract details. The one below the asking price offer did not receive a counter.
PRO TIP: Counteroffers are a privilege, not a guarantee. There is nothing worse than losing a house without making your best offer.
The responses ranged from $1,352,000 to $1,385,000. The homeowner asked me to vet the buyer’s finances while they researched each buyer and their agents online.
PRO TIP – Do you know what an online search reveals about yourself and everyone on your side of a negotiation? Find out because this is an increasingly common component of any business transaction.
My seller picked the $1,352,000 offer. Did that surprise you? It is uncommon, but I’ve had it happen several times. A buyer’s terms, motivation, and history can contribute to a home seller’s decision. It isn’t always about the highest price.
Unfortunately, the buyer changed their mind the day we accepted the offer. A change of heart is all about the buyer, not the house, and it’s a bummer, but it happens.
Many home sellers would accept one of the other offers, but my client opted for a different path. They felt the home deserved more exposure to the open market, so we changed the status back to active on the MLS and raised the list price to $1,350,000. Now it all makes sense, right?
Over the next few days we attracted three more offers, and one was just what the seller wanted. It offered $1,400,000, no loan or appraisal contingencies, a very short inspection period, and a motivation profile that gave the homeowner peace of mind.
We had a short escrow, gave no credits for any conditions, and my clients didn’t have a single ruffled feather. The buyer’s agent tried to play some games, but I shut it down. She was testing me – nothing wrong with that, but I knew my clients would walk away from these buyers in a heartbeat. I gave a stern warning, and she backed down immediately. Professionals being professional. You gotta love it.