Conflict Resolution


On my business card it says Jim Minkey, Realtor-Associate. It really ought to say Jim Minkey, Conflict Resolution. The 2009 market is in constant conflict. Where’s all the dissonance you ask? It’s in the immovable object that’s often reflected in the sellers right now vs the irresistible force that is embodied currently by buyers. Sellers read the same media that buyers do…and there’s been an awful lot of stories lately about how the economy is improving, how the bottom has been hit and how buyer’s are back looking at, and making offers on homes. Sellers are actually feeling something they haven’t felt in awhile…some confidence!

Meanwhile, buyers who have entered this marketplace have no desire at all to repeat the mistakes of the last group that went through this process. The idea of overbidding leaves them cold. Actually, offering the asking price itself seems distasteful to most buyers right now. They all want a deal and not only do they want one…they expect one! Thus it’s sort of inevitable that somebody is going to have some unmet expectations.

The other day I wrote and presented an offer, along with 2 other agents on a house in San Carlos listed for $799,000. We had the best offer at $790,000…and the sellers not only wouldn’t take the offer, they refused to counter as well. The listing agent took the house off the market yesterday afternoon. In some cases, sellers have taken several price reductions already, and then get an offer well under their asking price. In their minds they’ve already lost enough money and want to fight for every penny left.

My own listing at 900 Flying Fish got 7 offers on Friday afternoon…and only one of them came in at or close to the asking price. A couple of years ago any property that got 7 offers automatically got $100,000 over asking. One of the offers came in $150,000 under the asking price! (Talk about a waste of time!)

Who knows how long this funny dance will go on…probably the rest of this year for sure. Maybe this is the way it’s supposed to be. Maybe this is what negotiation was all about way back when! Everybody had to give something to make a deal happen. That’s not such a bad thing, is it?


  1. Michelle says:

    Unfortunately, sometimes, I suspect, buyers are just stubborn, and sellers, are equally stubborn. I am now praying for God to change the minds of various sellers. =)

  2. It is at times as Jim said. If a seller had overpaid and has already taken a considerable loss, they would be less willing to bend any further. You do have to appreciate their perspective and their attempt in many ways to not walk away by foreclosing. All this foreclosing is harmful to the economy, community etc. Treat the house as a stock and if you sell it high, good for you. If you have to take a hit, treat it as a loss and remember not to make that mistake again.

    I think the person who quoted 150K less than asking has gotten used to ‘shorting’ the market 🙂

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