In December of last year, I submitted an offer for a buyer on a 3 BR 2500 sqft home in Goose Creek, SC. The seller was transferred out of the area due to the military. The listing price was $208,000. We offered $200,000 and they countered at $206,000. The buyer wanted to hold their ground at $200,000. Due to the time of year (slower sales) and for the state of the market given the builder was building the same house for $17,000 less, I felt it was a great offer. The agent said the seller couldn't do it because they would be bringing $6000 to the table. I asked the agent to ask the seller to reconsider and view it as 6 more mortgage payments if the house didn't sell. They refused. She felt confident in her pricing. So my buyer walked away and said we'll just keep looking. While she and her husband were qualified for significantly more, they had already predetermined a price that they did not want to go over. We found another great house for my client just one neighborhood over that was 5 BR 2700 sqft and she got it for $200,000. It had a better lot that was wooded and it couldn't have been more perfect! It's now been almost 9 months and the other house is STILL on the market and the price hasn't changed.
No one likes to bring money to the table. I understand, but it's a buyer's market and the reality is that house prices have dropped, there are lots of choices, and a bigger better deal is probably just around the corner if seller doesn't want to play ball. When I consult with sellers that receive an offer that results in a negative net, especially my military clients that have to move or PCS, it's important to look at the big picture of the market. Sales are down by 40% from last year. While there has been a 2 percent increase last month, let's not forget that we are still negative 38%! It makes me cringe for my military clients to bring money to the table because I know their transition is a must and the money is often tight. The last 3 clients that had to bring money to the table were military transferees. One had to pull money out of an IRA, one borrowed money from parents and the other had to go to the bank to borrow money. The pain of being separated from a spouse or family member, the extra mortgage payments and other carrying costs is just worth being done with the house even if it hurts the pocketbook. Unfortunately as a Realtor, I do not create the market. I wish I could! My job is to help sellers respond to it by making good choices on pricing, staging recommendations and any other items that might need to be done to get the house sold to so that the sellers can get where they want to go on time. It's unfortunate to see houses still on the market when I know an offer has been submitted several months ago. I have been in that boat with a seller. There's an old saying in this business that the first offer is usually the best.