Sellers Biggest Mistake: Thinking Showings Equal Offers

October 8, 2009


Representing both buyers and sellers I have learned the impact of price changes in this particular market. It is home-buying process is not only about the value of the property, but also the buyer’s perception that the seller really wants to sell.

Sellers Must Acknowledge Price Pressures

The underground walkway between Concourse C & B at O'Hare Airport

The underground walkway between Concourse C & B at O'Hare Airport

Sellers need to remember, particularly right now, they need to do everything to capture that buyer. I recently had potential buyers on a listing of mine. The buyer’s agent let me know it was between my listing and another very similar home in the neighborhood. During the time these purchasers where making their mind up, the other property lowered their price, not much, but still a reduction. My seller’s would not. Their response was bring us an offer. I diligently tried to convince the other agent to get something on paper and we would work with it. The buyers opted to go forward on the other listing. That price change said to them those sellers really wanted to sell.

It Is All About the Price Change

Showings of listings are currently more sporadic then ever. A seller cannot wait to see if a buyer who came through is going to put in an offer or anticipate that the next buyer will put in an offer. Make the necessary adjustments now. We are seeing some buyers come back months later. If there is still no adjustment they will probably move on again. Don’t you want to sell before then?

According to Trulia, more than a quarter of the homes on the market have reduced their prices for the fourth consecutive month in a row. Chicago ranked number 16 with 30% of the homes on the market taking an average of 9% price decrease.

Buyers Looking for Signs of Serious Sellers

Working with several home buyers right now, I see great differences compared with buyers in the past. They are not anxiously waiting for what is new on the market?they are looking for the reduction. They are not just watching for prices to fall but looking for the sign that the seller is serious in this market.

Small changes can generate an offer and get the negotiations started. We are starting to see multiple offer situations with larger changes. If a property has been sitting on the market for a while with no changes, the buyers think the seller is not serious and will be difficult in the negotiations.

Home buyers who have been out there looking are really only interested in a new listing if it is priced at?but usually less than?the comparable properties they have been looking at. Sellers can longer test the market with a “try me” price.

Marketing the Property

It is price that gets the offer but is marketing that gets the buyers in. The first showing is now the photos online accompanied by the virtual tour and its presentation on all the dozens of common real estate websites. Sellers need to make sure their listing is properly marketed and priced by today’s definition or you will not get the second showing.

We would like to thank Andrés Larsen for kindly sharing today’s photo via the Creative Common’s License.

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About Andrea Geller

Andrea Geller, Realtor® with Sudler Sotheby?s International Realty, specializes in residential real estate sales and marketing of resale properties and new construction homes. Acknowledged as an expert in the real estate industry, Andrea has been interviewed for industry related articles for print and online media including the Chicago Tribune, Crain's Chicago Business, Reuters,, and Illinois Realtor Magazine. Andrea's commitment extends to the community as an active member of several professional associations. Her appointments include the Board of Directors of the Chicago, Illinois, and National Association of Realtors® and the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce. She markets herself under HOT PROPERTY®, an innovation in the real estate industry led by Chaz Walters that has been marketed since the 1990s. This unique real estate concept is always a step ahead of the industry providing marketing from cutting edge interactive exposure to targeted innovative advertising opportunities. Visit her at or 773.868.3090.

View all posts by Andrea Geller


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