This story doesn’t start off happy: Jennifer, a home seller in Los Angeles, wrote to tell me about the difficulties she was having with the hefty demands home buyers are making on sellers these days — and wondering if this “bad buyer behavior” was a common phenomena.
Jennifer had received her first offer within three weeks of putting her home on the market — but the buyer, who was paying in cash, wanted $50,000 off the home, which was already priced below market value.
The buyer also refused to respond within the contractual time limit of three days for the counter offer, but when he finally replied five days later — he put a strict deadline on the seller’s response time — demanding a response within five hours.
I wrote her back saying congratulations on being willing to price your home so well from the start, and she must be doing a number of things right to get an offer in a relatively short time on the market. I also told her I believe there’s still many nice, well-behaved home buyers out there, willing to play by the rules.
Two days later Jennifer wrote me a gleeful response: She’d just received a better offer plus a back-up offer from an out-of-town buyer… and another family was coming by that night to see the house. Later that night she wrote again — now she had three offers, all from enthusiastic buyers.
At this point I wrote her saying, “You are clearly doing a great job of marketing your home. Could you share what you’re doing so I can tell the other frustrated home sellers who read my blog?”
Jennifer told me, beside for starting with a below market value sales price, she was offering a 4% buyer’s agent commission, with the stipulation that the agents had to have their offers in within a week of making her announcement. She also made sure her house was clean, uncluttered, and attractively landscaped and staged.
The formula works. I heard from Jennifer a couple of days ago, saying her home closed yesterday. She ended up with four offers. The house sold to a wonderful family who actually wrote her a letter saying how much they loved the house — and that they made it through the inspections without a single request for repairs or credits.
As I suspected, and Jennifer confirmed — there are still a lot of well-behaved home buyers out there.
And from what I’m hearing — they’re hungry to find a good home and a polite, flexible seller!