I am continuously amazed at just how much the emotional part of real estate can win out over the “numbers”, or what you would logically assume would happen in a real estate transaction. When I first started selling homes in Missoula, MT, I remember thinking that my job was, in reality, so different than what I had thought it would be, mostly due to people’s reactions and emotions. I think many are un-prepared for how much feeling will be involved in a purchase or sale of a home.
With regard to people who are selling their home, it is understandable that there would be emotions involved with letting go of a place they called “home” because there are so many memories made within those walls. Some people are very concerned with who might purchase their home and want to make sure that the buyers are people that will live in their home similarly to how they did. The very thought of having somebody purchase it as an investment that they would rent out or having an irresponsible homeowner purchase the home is more than they want to consider. Other times, a seller is concerned with who may live in the home because they want the best for their neighbors. Sellers, in general, want to know something about the person making an offer to purchase their home – usually beyond just their capability of actually paying for the home. I have always felt that this was a way for them to wrap their head around the process.
I recently had a situation where my father and I had a home listed and two offers came in within the same 24-hour period. The first offer was one that involved a person who had looked at the home 4 or 5 times, and had been considering it for about 3 weeks. The second offer came from a person who had looked at the home once and then made an offer within a couple of days. Both offers were pretty close in price, and the Seller opted to do a multiple counter offer. (This is a process wherein the Seller makes counter offers to both potential buyers, and then they can either sign the counter or change their offer and re-submit. The seller then reviews and makes the final decision as to which one they will go with. This is different from a normal situation, which would usually involve a seller sending a counter offer to a buyer and if the buyer signed the counter, the property would be considered under contract.) In this particular situation, the first buyer become overwhelmed with “competing” for the property, and elected not to proceed. The second buyer actually increased the initial offering price and re-submitted their offer. Of course, at this point, the Seller accepted the second buyer’s increased offer and moved forward in the transaction. The interesting part, however, was that the Seller told me afterwards that she was going to accept the first buyer’s offer regardless of whether it ended up being lower than the second buyer’s offer. When I asked her why, she said she felt like the first buyer had showed how much she liked the house by all the time she had spent looking at it, and she thought she would be a good fit in the house.
The emotions involved with purchasing a home are also varied, mostly along the lines of how many real estate transactions a person has been through. Some purchasers have a lot of anxiety involved with purchasing, such as making sure they are paying the right price, or that they have chosen the right home. Others seem to just go off a general feeling they get when they walk through the front door. And still others seem to almost involve an invisible third party. By that, I mean that there seem to be many that feel like whether or not they purchase the home involves fate, or whether it was “meant to be.”
Regardless of how a buyer or seller fits into this, or how they tend to react to buying or selling a home, these are all items that are good to be aware of when getting involved in a transaction. If not for yourself, it may help you understand the seller’s emotions if you are the buyer, or the buyer’s emotions if you are the seller.