My Toughest Homeseller Was Someone I Thought I Knew Better

Posted by Ed DePrato on Friday, July 4th, 2014 at 10:37am.

As an agent and team leader having sold nearly 300 homes last year alone I was sure that when the time came to sell my own home I’d have a stress-free experience. After all, if anyone knows the process, it’s me; if anyone understands the emotional roller coaster and what a seller should focus on during the process, I’m the guy! Right? Wrong!
Having decided to finally sell my own home earlier this summer, I went through the normal second guessing and emotional reservation that any homeowner who loves their home experiences when making this decision. Regardless, I’d found another home in a new location and a fresh new start was on the horizon. So I completed the listing agreement and handed it into our listing coordinator just like any other home we put up for sale. But Nichole’s reaction when she saw the name of the seller on our check-list caused an uncomfortable distance between us like the distance between two strangers in an elevator who won’t make eye contact. 
Once the photographer was booked I made room in my calendar to be sure I was there. I wanted to make sure Chrysta Rae took photos of the kitchen from the right location, to make sure my bedroom showed its best – as if I had a better eye than she does. Once the home was on the market I rearranged the order of the photos to ensure they flowed properly from the foyer to the living room, kitchen, family room, upstairs, the basement, etc...then I was ready to sell.
I had my first showing the next day, and then another the day after that and as a seller I wanted to know immediately what the buyers thought. I harassed the showing agents until I got the feedback I wanted – and it wasn’t good. Both suggested that my asking price was too high. So often my seller customers call after each showing to ask if I heard anything and so often I don’t – but now I understand the importance of getting that feedback.
Within 2 weeks having had several showings and no offers I knew that something needed to be done. A home that gets showing after showing and nobody makes an offer spells a price problem. Think about it. There are really only two reasons why a home doesn’t sell. It’s either price or the house needs lots of work – and even those sell if the price is right. I had to reduce my asking price so I dropped it by $39,000.
Within a day, I had 2 competing offers! Ahhh, finally it’s over and I can relax. Not quite. The offer I accepted was for full price but subject to a home inspection and financing. For the next few days leading up to the inspection I was on pins and needles thinking back and rethinking about any maintenance issues I’ve ever had with the home and wondering what the inspectors opinion would be of my home and my ability to have maintained it over the years. Then there’s financing – what if the buyer needs an appraisal and what if the appraiser doesn’t agree with the sale price? 
On the day of the inspection I woke up, left home and felt completely at the mercy of the process. I prepared myself for whatever might come from the inspection which was booked for 9am that Friday. I sat by my phone and waited for news – anything from the buyers’ agent to indicate if we had a deal, if I had to start all over with a new buyer (maybe I can get that other buyer back if this one decided to pull the plug). By 3pm that day I was a basket case and could no longer resist the temptation; I broke down and called the buyers’ agent. Prepared for the worst, I was pleasantly surprised to hear him tell me that the inspection went well and that the buyer was going to remove his conditions and firm up the sale. 
So I was sold! In 2 long, emotional weeks my home sold for a reasonable price. Having gone through the process for the first time in several years, I now have a better appreciation for the process and need for constant communication with homesellers. I’ve since modified our process to provide daily feedback to each of our sellers because that’s the level of service I wanted as a seller.

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