If only it were that simple. I’ve had this pearl lobbed across the kitchen table by a would-be Scottsdale home seller in denial more times than I can count, and I can count all the way to eleven, thank you very much. After all, it’s self-evident that the single most effective way to combat the potential deal-killing reality of a third party evaluation is not to have one. Thus, it never comes as a surprise when a homeowner objects to the recent sales data by flipping the script on my argument that there is no way on God’s green earth that the home would appraise for the lofty number in his/her head, even if some foolhardy buyer would prove willing to plunk down greenbacks well in excess of true market value.

“You need to find us a cash buyer so there won’t be an appraisal, then.”

While rummaging through my briefcase for the ready supply of cash buyers I keep on hand in case of emergency, I’m dismayed to find that there appears to be a hole in the bottom. All those investor whales who bleed money from their blowholes must have fallen out as their portfolios shrank to guppy size over the past few years.

There are cash buyers out there, but times have changed, people. This is not 2005-2006 where many “cash” buyers were actually relying on draining a HELOC to close. Or those others who have been bounced from the pool by decimated 401k’s and suddenly nonexistent pensions. The cash buyers who are still around in 2010 are genuine Daddy Warbucks types and professional investment syndicates.

Genuine. Cash. Buyers.

And you know what? Those with the coin to be players in the current market are not interested in overpaying for your, or any other, property. The only people buying homes at present, regardless of whether the property is a need or a want, are those intent on a modern day train robbery. When even the value-priced properties linger on the market as the slap-your-momma-value-priced properties are the ones being snapped up, the game plan is to grossly overprice your home in hopes of landing one of these cash buying makos? Seriously? Because they are so darned cute and cuddly, I gather?

As strategies go, I’d sooner advise trick or treating at Dick Cheney’s house as a pheasant hunter.

Happening upon a cash buyer is one of those fun eventualities that is largely determined by price point and fate. Those fortunate enough to have such a creature fall in their laps quickly learn that the cash comes with a steep price: negotiating disadvantage. If you are overpriced, your home won’t even be a blip on Mr. Moneybags’s radar. If you are priced in line with values, he will lowball you. If you are priced significantly under market, he still might attempt to haggle a little. After all, he has cash, and cash is king, right? You aren’t the only one who knows it.

While a cash offer may represent the panacea to the appraisal conundrum, the actual cash buyer is not a willing participant in the “I’m willing to spend whatever it takes, because I simply must have THIS HOUSE” game. He goes across the street and buys the ugly one for 100k less.

Don’t believe me? Let’s try a quick role-playing exercise.

You are a homebuyer in 2010. Through shrewd investment strategy, you have managed to not only hang on to your capital, but to actually amass a larger fortune during these lean economic times. Sensing that opportunities abound in Scottsdale Real Estate at present, you are in the market for a house or two. You might even live in one when you are not at the penthouse in Manhattan, the chalet in Brussels or the flat in London. You’ve studied the market, read all of the stories and spoken with your most trusted advisors. Putting to work the analytical mind that has served you so well in critical financial decision-making to this point … what are you going to buy?

Are you going to spend all day making doe eyes at some overpriced turkey playing hard to get, or are you going to fill your tag by blasting the one with a limp?

Thought so.


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