In the last year or so sellers in the Oklahoma City Metro have had to adjust their expectation of what their home is worth. Many sellers still have the attitude that it’s still 2005 and if and when they sell their home they’ll get what they want for it or more! Many sellers steadfastly regard their homes as better than the competition and of far greater value.
I guess it’s not that surprising that people would lack objectivity when it comes to their own home. That’s why an experienced real estate agent is particularly useful. One of the most important things that experienced real estate agent can do is to set appropriate expectations.
Just this last weekend I experienced this myself. I wrote an offer on a 2 bedroom house that had been on the market for 5 days and was priced at $324,900 – 22% ($70,000) over the recent (6 months) comparables. My client really liked the home and offered $315,000, just 3% under asking price. He was putting down 20%, closing in a month, and had an approval letter from the lender. It had been 2 years (July 2008) since a home in this neighborhood sold for this much. There was no way it was going to appraise. Especially since we could get an appraiser from the Belgian Congo or someplace like that. (not really, but they’re sending appraisers from places where they have no knowledge of the neighborhoods they’re trying to appraise). I have one home pending that is a cash sale closing July 16th at the same price per foot. That’s the only thing I could hang my hat on for an appraisal — if they would use it and consider it comparable. There were serious doubts. The seller countered at $319,900 and reduced the repair cap from $2,000 to $750. The buyer (smartly) wouldn’t budge. The seller wouldn’t budge (really???). The home’s still on the market and I suspect will be for some time. I feel this will be a classic case of ‘should of taken the first offer – it’s the best offer’. I’ll be surprised if this seller ends up getting over $300,000.
I feel certain this is a case of the seller wanting to get what they paid for the house 5 years ago. Sorry, but that’s an expectation that just can’t be met in today’s market.