You Love My House, Right?

"What a great house! ... for a another buyer. It's just not for me."

Wait. What? 

But, your house is amazing. You've loved and cared for every inch of it for more than 20 years. Besides, isn't it a time-to-list-like-no-other seller's market right now? There have to be dozens out there waiting to love your home as you do, willing to pay for it beyond your wildest dreams. So where the hell does a buyer get off saying: "not for me"?

Actually, the odds are against you, no matter what market, that the potential buyer walking in will want to buy your house. A ratio of 1 in 10 visiting buyers putting in an offer is not far off, at the best of times. That means 9 out of 10 aren't interested in what you have to offer. No matter how much they may like your house, it doesn't suit their purpose, which tends to be rather specific. Besides, as owners, we tend to overvalue our home by as much as 10%, statistics show. It's the love tax we attach to where we've been. So our expectations as sellers are high. Real high. Likely more-than-your-home-is-worth-to-anyone-else, kind of high. 

To add insult to injury, it is probably the parts you treasure the most, that you've personalized to the nth degree, that are your weakest links in the eyes of a buyer. That heated garage you super-sized and obliterated the backyard with, is just another expensive-to-heat space without a tree, to a buyer. Your pride and joy chef's galley kitchen cloaked in mahogany with your customized recipe drawer, is just a dark, too-tight-for-two cooking space begging to be ripped out, to another. But you love your mahogany kitchen, paid through the nose for it, even had it crafted by Honduran monks! Isn't it worth a huge better-than-Ikea premium?

Now, slow down. As you may or may not know, there is no greater kiss of death in this or any market than overvaluing your property. So the real question for you, dear seller, is how can you resist making this blunder when all the love tax odds are stacked against you?

First off, don't try to get your money back from your customized anything. Admit it, you built it for you. I hope you enjoyed it while you could. Time to move on. 

Once you're over step one, and this alone may take a while, remember this: your buyer is primarily after where you are located and the size of your offering combined with the price you're offering it for. They are not buying your mahogany by the pound, even with its impressive dovetail joints. On paper, your location, dimensions and price combination has to add up, comparatively speaking.

As a powerful seller in a powerful seller's market, If you can absorb this information and apply it to both your pricing strategy and mindset going in, you're already off to the heaps-over-ask-price finish line. Let this post remind you, when the time comes to manage your own seller expectations, that a good policy is to recall what your mother told you. She's still right, perhaps now more than ever. Modesty truly is the best policy :-)