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There are three kinds of home sellers: those who are willing to sell, those who are motivated to sell and those who are desperate to sell. Being honest with yourself about your motivations before you list your home for sale will help you choose the right strategy.

Willing Sellers

Willing Sellers list their homes for sale and are willing to sell at the right price. They aren’t really looking to negotiate from their asking price and they aren’t interested in low-ball offers. Some Willing Sellers are just testing the market to see if someone wants to buy their home for a specific (usually higher-than-market-value) price, some are nervous about what’s happening in the market or thinking of retiring and want to cash in – but only at the right price. 

Some of the things we hear Willing Sellers say:

“I’m not in a hurry to sell.” 

“I don’t need to sell. But I will if the right buyer comes along and gives me my price.”

Willing Sellers tend to hire the REALTOR who values their property at the highest price and place priority on the valuation above all else. They are less concerned about responding to current market conditions and aren’t usually interested in committing much time or money to prepare and stage their home for sale- if it sells, it sells. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

Fall 2022 Tip: If you’re a Willing Seller, now is NOT the time to list your home for sale. The market is in flux, buyers are nervous and because prices are declining, the longer your home is on the market, the less valuable it is. Letting your home sit on the market because you aren’t in a hurry to sell will just ensure you’ll net even less money if you even sell at all. 

Are you a Willing Seller

Motivated Sellers

Motivated Sellers are committed to selling their home. They may have already purchased another property or have psychologically committed to moving to a new home or community; they may want to use the equity from their primary home or investment property for another purpose or they’ve simply decided it’s time to sell. Motivated Sellers have price expectations too – but because they are committed to selling, they’ll also respond to changing market conditions and showing feedback. They’ll negotiate in good faith and if they have to, they’ll reduce their price. If they have a ‘bottom price’, they have a Plan B in case the market doesn’t support it.  

Motivated Sellers are usually also motivated to do the things that will maximize their price – home prep, decluttering, cleaning, staging, etc. They hire REALTORS who invest in photography and floor plans and who know how to market a property. They really, really, really want to sell.  

Fall 2022 Tip: It’s never been more important to listen to what’s happening in the market. Home values are changing fast and if you want to sell, you’ll need to adjust with the market. A faster, bigger and bolder price reduction may be what you need to get your home sold. 

Are you a Motivated Seller

Desperate Sellers

Desperate Sellers need to sell. They may have already bought another property and need to sell their current home before they take possession of the new one; maybe they  can’t afford their mortgage payments anymore; they may be going through a divorce or relocation or perhaps it’s an estate sale. 

Because the reasons that drove them to needing to sell vary so much, Desperate Sellers don’t necessarily act predictably. Some may focus on low commission rates, while others will recognize the benefits in hiring a top REALTOR to maximize their chances of selling in a difficult market. 

Fall 2022 Tip: If you’re a Desperate Seller, it’s ok to be honest with your agent about what’s happening – we are on YOUR side! Knowing your motivation and goals doesn’t mean we’ll fight any less for you – in fact, we may fight even harder. Pricing is THE most important factor in getting your home sold right now, so hire an agent who is successful in the current market. Think big picture – a 1% commission won’t matter if your home doesn’t sell or sells for $50K less than it could have if it was listed by someone who took care of all the details. 

Which kind of seller are you? Willing, motivated or desperate?

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