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Musings on 'lower the price' advice

12 years ago

I've been hanging around this forum for a while and see a recurring theme. Someone will post "why is my home not selling," and people will invariably chime in "lower the price." "If it's not selling the market is speaking." "The feedback isn't about price, it's about something else, but what they mean is your price is too high for this defect."

It's all about price, price, and more price.

So here's my thought. While I agree that any house will sell if the price is low enough, sometimes the rejection really isn't about price. It's about the house, and not necessarily some incurable defect. I may only want a house with a downstairs master. Or a 3-car garage. Or a pool. Or not a pool. Or a flat/sloped up/sloped down/sunny/shady back yard. And if these things are on my must-have list, I'm going to reject a house if it doesn't have them all, no matter what the price is. (The exception being if it's so drastically cheap I can fill in the pool or regrade the backyard, which isn't likely.) But someone else wants the opposite of me and will buy it.

Difference in taste or desire does not necessarily equate to defect.

I have a friend with a house on a pond. Someone crossed it off their list because they were worried about their young children wandering off and falling in the water. Another friend had a house with a driveway that wound around and down to their somewhat secluded house. Some people didn't like the driveway, while it was a positive feature for them when they bought it.

But in all these cases, you just need to wait for the buyer who loves the pond out back, or appreciates the seclusion, or prefers the master to be upstairs with the rest of the rooms, or likes the sunny backyard. A lower price won't convince the people who don't like that feature to buy it, and it's not necessary to attract those who do like that feature.

If there's something that's a near-universal negative, like a busy street, or outdated finishes, or ratty carpet, then yes, you need to drop the price to get it sold to someone who wants to remodel or is willing to trade off street noise for more square footage. But if it's just something that's personal preference, then hold tight and wait for the buyer with the same tastes as you. Assuming, of course, that you've got the comps right.

Your thoughts?

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