If you are from North Carolina like my wife and I are, you have likely heard the old description of North Carolina as "the valley of humility between two mountains of conceit." The two mountains of conceit are Virginia and South Carolina. North Carolina developed a little later because its well-protected coast line was harder for ships to penetrate. Until the last century North Carolina was considered a backwoods area by its neighbors.
Sometimes dealing with buyers and sellers, I often see people who think they really know the real estate market. Their only reason for using a real estate agent is to get some marketing support or some help getting into the houses that they have already picked.
Conceit according to dictionary.com means- "an excessively favorable opinion of one's own ability." It is rare to find a seller who can separate their emotion from the decision of what to price their property. Most will listen to your pricing suggestions, and then go with their own number anyway. I have even taken people to see homes that have sold quickly so that they can get an idea of what features and prices are important to buyers. While that helps, I have seen people pretend to not like just the features that are selling homes today. It seems that the only cure for sellers who want to overprice their homes and lots is for the property to sit on the market forever.
When it comes to buyers, one of the great challenges is getting over their assumption that the dollars they want to spend will get them exactly what they want. Our biggest problem is that buyers assume that the three or four hundred thousand dollars they have budgeted for their waterfront home will actually get them a waterfront home.
Even after seeing the challenges of waterfront properties in those price ranges, they continue with the thought that the next foreclosure or short sale might be just the ticket.
Actually of the two groups, buyers usually end up figuring it out first. Eventually when time after time they see homes that do not meet their standards, they figure out they are either going to have to pay more money or settle for less.
Back in the spring I took a listing that was overpriced. It was against my better judgment, but the family seemed to eager to work with me, and made a commitment to lower their price should the house not move. The husband was one of the strangest sellers that I have met. Eventually he convinced himself the property was not in MLS in spite of there being MLS flyers in a box in his front yard.
I suspect they were very puzzled as to why I was so happy when getting them to sign a cacellation of their listing agreeement, nine months early. When another seller dropped his lawn service and turned off his air conditioning. I started working towards cancelling the listing.
Buyers are hard enough to find without getting them into a house with grass that is 12-18 inches high.
Perhaps it is just the market that causes the weird behavior. While buyers can certainly be excused for thinking they might find a deal in this market, sellers should know better.
Sellers have to be hiding under a rock to not know that real estate is down in price a lot. As we have seen homes go for 25 to 30 percent less than asking price, some sellers have figured ii out and are putting their homes on the market at recommended prices. Those homes are now moving quickly.
As the market stabilizes I am hoping our two mountains of conceit become molehills that are a little easier to help.
I am fortunate to have worked with great buyers and sellers over the last few months. Having a great experience with someone makes it a lot easier to take the tough ones.
Great clients are always a safe harbor when times are tough. I was happy to see the safe harbor of Bluewater Cove pictured at the top of the post. My morning kayaking trip which had started out with calm waters had ended with gusty winds and large swells which are not very reassuring in a kayak.
Just as it was a good thing to get back to Bluewater Cove, I think it will be very positive to get back to a market which reinforces reasonable expections.