Sellers: You May Be Losing Qualified Buyers
In this unprecedented sellers' market, where sellers aim to fuel a frenzy of buyer interest, their agents have obliged by scheduling limited showing opportunities and tight offer deadlines, in hopes of generating bidding wars.
They probably shouldn't.
More and more, I've been hearing from very well qualified buyers who are declining to make offers on homes they love because they dread getting caught up in an uncomfortable competition. A competition they believe is stacked against them, no matter what they do.
They are probably right.
In the last few days alone, two of my own buyer clients have notified me that they are putting their home search on hold for now, in hopes that the market will bring more inventory--and less competition--come next spring.
And, at a crowded Open House I hosted on a sunny New England Fall afternoon, one of the visiting couples approached me to say that they were smitten with the home and wanted to make an offer, but only if I could offer assurances that they wouldn't be vying with one of the other attendees. And of course, I couldn't. As much as they liked this home, these well-heeled buyers firmly declared that they wouldn't come forward with a bid if others were being pitted against them.
I don't blame them.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but it might be in the best interests of both sellers and buyers if we rewrite the rules of what has increasingly felt like a game. A game where there is one winner and often, many bitter and discouraged losers.
It doesn't have to be this way.
Instead of listing homes on a Wednesday or Thursday and then closing offers by noon on the following Monday, perhaps we should consider a broader window of opportunity. Give buyers some time--and some breathing room--so they can make a reasoned purchasing decision without undue pressure. This may not eliminate all bidding wars, but it may deflate the pressure on both parties, while encouraging genuinely qualified prospects to step forward within their comfort zone, knowing they have a realistic chance of success on a fair playing ground.