My client is still "motivated."

I was sifting through our archives this morning looking for an older post I had written on staging. The search bar failed me, but I ran across this little ditty dating back to August, 2008.

At great risk of being smited by the Google Gods for double posting, I am bringing this back to the top of the heap as a reminder that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

And, to the agent I spoke with yesterday, yes — my client is “motivated.”

I had this amazingly thought-provoking post of the epic variety in the hopper this morning when I took a call from an agent on one of our listings. OK, fine. The other post wasn’t all that great, but I couldn’t let this one go.

The agent was phoning to arrange a showing. I dutifully told her, just in case she had missed it, that we reduced the price just last night. “Are they motivated?” she asked. “Well, yes,” I said. “They want to sell their home, which is why it is offered for sale.”

Motivated? I am just so fed up with the “Are they motivated” question. So, I will attempt to answer it once here, and the answer applies to all of our listings — past, present and future.

  1. The seller has listed his home for sale because he wants to sell it. He has not done so because he is a showing and staging hobbyist who thrills at the opportunity to have a cavalcade of perfect strangers rummaging through his closets at the most inconvenient times.
  2. Using logic, we can conclude that the corollary to #1 above is this: If the seller was not motivated to sell, his home wouldn’t be offered for sale.
  3. See #1 above.

As a matter of disclosure, we do not represent home owners who have no true interest in selling, nor do we represent home owners who expect a price closer to the National Debt than to true market value. We can’t, because those homes will not sell, and we only make a living when homes sell.

Now, I recognize that my truisms do not always apply to every agent and to every agent’s  listings. We see homes every day where the prices suggest someone has been sniffing the Elmer’s. But, if you think the price is high, do not call and argue with me. The list price is not going to get any lower just because you wish it to be so or because it is more than your client’s can afford. It is going to get lower when market conditions demand it and the seller agrees to it. In the meantime, if your clients like the home, write an offer which reflects the buyer’s perception of value, and we can let our clients “talk about it.”

And, please, don’t ask me if the seller is “motivated.” What could you possibly hope that I would say? Giving an answer such as, “Why, yes, they are willing to sell for pennies on the dollar!” would justify stripping me of my license and thumping me upside my big fiduciary head with it for good measure.  Ask me where they are going, why they are going, and how soon they need to be there. If I am authorized to tell you, I will, and then you can deduce my client’s “motivation” all on your own.

Selling a home is time-consuming, it can be stressful, and it is always an intrusion. It is rarely a barrel of monkeys. Suggesting that the seller, my client, is just messing around is insulting to both of us. We would all have better things to do if that was the case.

“But,” she pushed on, “are they willing to take less because of all the short sales?”

Less than what? Good grief. I feel another post coming on.

Get your Instant Home Value…