Anybody who has ever sold real estate for a living will have some rather odd stories about people. Real estate, for the most part, is really about people, and as we all know, some people can be a little difficult to deal with.
I recently had a listing. I did a market evaluation for the sellers (I agonize over them), and they liked the work I put into the evaluation and decided to list with me. The sellers are from out of the province, and really didn't know very much about the property they owned. they hadn't even seen the place in years. I think I just came up with a realistic price and they liked the fact that I had warned them that it might take some time to sell, as the property wasn't in very high demand at the moment. Perhaps they appreciated the honesty.
Sure enough, the listing did prompt a bit of interest right off the bat, but only from one prospective buyer, the guy across the street. He'd been eying it for years.
After a flurry of phone calls and requests for more and more information, he decided that the property was priced too high for his liking, so he would take a pass on it for now. He figured that it would eventually come down in price and that it probably wouldn't sell until then. He did leave me with some instructions though, and I was to call him immediately if anyone else made an inquiry on the property or if we received an offer.
On the one hand, I appreciated his interest in the property, but on the other hand, I was a little miffed at him. He did, after all, have the option of putting an offer in at a lower price to test the waters. I believe my clients would have worked with a lower offer. I don't know what his exact thought process was, but I think he was going to wait for a price reduction. I agreed to keep him informed, and other than the odd call from him seeking reassurance that there wasn't much interest in the property, didn't have much further contact.
A couple of months passed, and one fine Friday afternoon I received a phone call at the office from someone; "I'm standing right in front of your for sale sign............". Well this fellow was interested enough to come straight to the office and submit a cash offer on behalf of the company he worked for. The location was exactly what they had been looking for.
We did up the offer and I phoned my clients and scanned and emailed it to them. They were quite happy. I made sure to tell them not to send it back right away (I made sure that the irrevocable stretched past the weekend), and I explained the situation with the fellow across the street and that maybe he might have an offer forthcoming.
Well, I phoned Mr. Ditherer, and much like a kid who has no interest in a toy until he sees another kid pick it up, he wanted me to hold the press until he could submit an offer himself. Full asking price and all cash as well. Wouldn't you know it though, by the time he came to the office, there was already a fax waiting in my fax machine. My clients had signed the Confirmation of Acceptance and had sent it back immediately. They didn't want to risk losing the first deal, they liked the quick closing, they liked the offer, and they liked the absolute lack of any conditions whatsoever. They just wanted it sold, and frankly, they resented the "wait and see" approach of Mr. Ditherer, which to them had undertones of Schadenfreude. I guess the asking price wasn't so unreasonable after all.
Real estate agents encounter this time and time again, people who lose out on properties that they really do want because they are looking for the absolute best bargain possible. After all is said and done, that imaginary price line in the sand, if it's a matter of a few thousand dollars, shouldn't prevent someone from owning a sensibly priced property that they really desire. Chances are someone else will scoop it up.