Diminished Expectations

It never fails. When someone sells their home they always feel like their place is the absolute best home in town. There really isn’t any competition in their minds. Certainly everyone looking at this place will be overwhelmed by it’s unquestioned greatness and line up to give them offers that will undoubtedly dazzle them. Right?

It happens all the time. These same sellers would be very objective about your house or my house…but not their own. Human nature I guess. Many sellers listen to their agent’s opinions about the state of the current market, read stories in the media, and on blogs like this,  about the state of the current market and even listen to the experiences of friends and family regarding the state of the current market…and conclude that it really doesn’t apply to them.

I know a listing in Foster City that’s, in my opinion, priced $100,000 too high. It’s been on for a couple of months now and has even received a couple of offers. Both offers came in…$100,000 under asking! The sellers said no. The comical thing here is the perception by the seller that they have the leverage to motivate the buyers up to their price. They don’t. In this market with ever renewing inventory, that actually seems to be increasing, a buyer would just as soon wait as pay too much for a house.  The seller’s bravado is actually pretty hallow in the face of that fact.

The truth is that this is a market of diminished seller expectations. What a seller thinks is big and powerful really isn’t so much upon close inspection. It’s humbling actually. For 10 years around here the seller got exactly what they wanted and then some. Their expectations were routinely exceeded and stories about wild overbids were taken as the norm. It’s actually quite fascinating that sellers still cling to that expectation in 2010. It’s also interesting that most sellers, after a couple of months of nothing from a marketing standpoint, finally understand. Seller’s that absolutely, positively won’t take anything less than $1,100,000 for their house when the listing is being signed are the one’s suggesting a price reduction down to $999,000.

I guess experience really is the best teacher.


  1. Dana Ferri says:

    That’s a very funny picture, Jim! Don’t let your girls see it though! 😉

  2. Wasn’t exactly sure what the picture had to do with the post until I read the line “What a seller thinks is big and powerful really isn’t so much upon close inspection”.

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