Someone can always make me an offer.”

If there were six words I could erase from the murky bog of a seller’s mind, it would be these.  Within this seemingly innocuous sentence lies a terrible sickness.  A Bubonic Real Estate Plague, if you will.  The black death of a home sale.

There is something to the thought that a target buyer exists for every property.  That the pre-qualified needle in the haystack will know a property is “the one” upon first sight.  It is another matter altogether to make the flying leap that said buyer will, in turn, disavow all semblance of self-preservation and dive onto the hand grenade that is an overpriced house.

The underlying root of the weed of denial that infests a stubborn seller’s mental garden is the unflinching notion that “the right person” will come along and “fall in love with the house” just as he or she once did.  Of course, when this simplistic rube comes along and falls head over heels in love with the one of kind abode, he won’t be able to reach into his wallet fast enough to pay whatever outlandish premium is required.  Never mind that you are competing directly with homes that are 1000 square feet larger.  Never mind that your home has a deficiency in location or condition.  You have a pantry.

“Priced grossly above recent comparable sales?  1368 days on the market?  Where do I sign?  I MUST HAVE this house!”

Here is the thing, gang.  Yes, someone can always make you an offer.  If they see your house.  If you are priced so far above and beyond the current market value of your home, however, the “right” buyer will never even see you on that outrageously lofty perch.  Oh sure, you may get some traffic, but those suitors will end up buying one of the larger, nicer competing properties.  The buyers looking in your size and amenity range are looking at properties thousands below your asking price.  Kind of hard to make an offer when they don’t even know you exist.

And you know what?  Even if they stumble across your place, why would Mr & Mrs Right make an offer on a home priced at 500k when they can make a more realistic offer on a similar home priced at 400k?  It’s more than just counter-intuitive.  A buyer would have to have been huffing spray paint in a non-ventilated storage room for the past 72 hours to pursue yours.  If the “right” buyer is defined by constant drooling and a complete lack of interest in the alphabet past the letter “j,” you might want to rethink your strategy.  The idea is to cast as wide a net as possible to find a keeper, not to dangle the bait 50 yards above the surface of the water and wait for a fish on a pogo stick to jump right into the boat.

The wise seller rolls out the welcome mat for an army of potential suitors.  The foolish seller gives the assembled masses the finger as eagle eyes scout for that one, perfect, dumb-as-a-ham sandwich buyer.

Yes, someone can always make you an offer.  Here’s mine:  Fish or cut bait.

If you are ready to do some serious bill fishing, I’ve got the boat fueled up and ready to go.  Plenty of Dramamine, too.  We’ll chum the waters with a competitive price and superior product to land the biggest damn shark the ocean will yield.

If that doesn’t sound like your kind of tea party … better to wait at the marina for the seas to change.  In another decade or two, the tides will surely rise high enough to deposit the price you covet.


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