When the Unthinkable Happens

Tom Brezsny
- Tom Brezsny

When the Unthinkable Happens

Today’s question? In a market where everything sells quickly and for more money….how does the unthinkable happen? As in: Why are there still places that don’t sell quickly? Ones that languish on the market for a long time before reducing their price?

I’m thinking about an Eastside  listing that came on recently. The kind of place that checked all the boxes: four bedrooms, single level, large yard. Plenty of buyers were lined-up for the first open house. Pre-approval letters clutched in their hands. Warm and fuzzy “seller letters” already written in their heads. This one was supposed to fly off the market!

But then? Nothing happened. Lots of showings. Tons of calls. Hundreds of hits online. But no offers. By the second week, the dynamic shifted. By the third it was completely different. Traffic dwindled to a motley collection of curiosity-seekers, looky-loos and low-ballers starting to smell blood in the water. Finally, a month later, the price came down $100,000 and it sold.

So what happened? Why didn’t it sell in a market where everything sells? What dark and mysterious forces conspired to create a less-than-hoped for outcome for the unfortunate Seller? More importantly? How can someone else avoid the same situation?

A wise Realtor once said the story of every listing could be written as a Greek play. Each, a real life drama embodying elements of irony, pathos, tragedy and humor. The fickle gods of fate testing the frailties of the human condition. Wait a minute… I said that. And it is still true!

Hubris is the tragic flaw responsible for the downfall of most listings that don’t sell. Too much ego and too much pride makes some Sellers think it’s possible to succeed without really trying. Doesn’t matter what the price is, they figure. Or how a house is prepared for sale. Why fix it up or stage it? All those Buyers are lining up out there.

But everything sells until it doesn’t. And that’s when it really costs you. Despite how it looks, those Buyers aren’t really tripping over themselves to pay more for your house. They always want to pay less. And if you give them the chance, that’s what they’re going to do.

Think of it this way: Everything sells. But not everything sells for the most money possible. That’s why you should hire a good agent and resolve to take their advice. If your house doesn’t sell in this market, you can always blame it on the Gods or bad timing or a bad agent. But in the end… it’s your own fault.

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