by Dan Krell
Recent positive housing news has raised expectations for many home sellers, but not for some home buyers who are looking for a great deal. This combination of seller and buyer expectations can make for an interesting spring market.
Expectations, much like beliefs, are influenced by your experiences as well as information to which you’re exposed. A combination of media reports and stories by relatives, friends, and co-workers could create an expectation about the home buying process that could be practical or unrealistic.
Regardless of your expectations, the home selling/buying process is full of pitfalls and surprises. If you’re not prepared, your expectations could set you up for disappointment. Of the many components of the sale/purchase process, the highest expectations are typically placed on pricing and the home inspection.
Home sellers obviously want to sell their home for the highest price. News of low inventory and increasing average home sale prices nationally and regionally would lead you to believe that your home could fetch a higher price. Of course, expectations of a higher price should be reality checked with factual neighborhood data.
Home buyers, on the other hand, want to buy a perfect home and feel as if they bought for a good price. For many buyers, stories of homes purchased at serious discounts are fresh in their memories and may set an unrealistic expectation. Once again, factual data can be a reality check; and depending on the neighborhood, savvy negotiation could be warranted. For example, buyers are encountering fierce competition (not unlike the market just before the financial crisis) in some neighborhoods. And although home buyers are rushing to see homes recently added to the inventory, many are not interested in paying the list price. And although some homes are getting multiple offers, many are not. And of those receiving multiple offers, many of those offers are below list price.
Additionally, appraisals can be an issue too; buyers and sellers alike typically expect that the home appraises for the contract price. If not properly prepared, some home sellers can react to low appraisals by initially finding fault with the appraiser’s comparables and methodology, as well as wanting the buyer to pay the balance; while home buyers may experience increased uncertainty and doubt about their purchase.
High expectations are typically had for the home inspection by all. Home sellers who put forth the effort to prepare their home for a sale, often spending money for updates and upgrades, expect the home inspection to reveal a perfect home. If not prepared, the seller can become headstrong when confronted with an inspection that is other than exemplary. Buyers wanting a perfect home may also be demanding of even inconsequential repairs to be made by the seller.
Buyers and sellers sometimes choose to work with agents who offer promise to meet their sometimes unrealistic expectations, only to be let down by the reality of the sale/purchase process.
Veteran real estate agents often appreciate the novelty of each real estate transaction, due to the ever changing market, circumstances of the transaction, as well as the personalities of the parties involved. Your real estate agent can help you set the tone of your expectations; an experienced and skillful real estate agent can prepare you for the ups and downs of the selling/buying process by reframing your expectations to fit the reality of your neighborhood housing market.
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This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. This article was originally published the week of March 25, 2013. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws. Copyright © 2013 Dan Krell.