I timed it. Exactly 6 minutes and thirteen seconds after I put that new listing on this week for $649,000, the first phone call came in. It would prove to be the tip of the iceberg. The beginning of a flood of calls that would soon turn into a full-fledged tsunami.
The day started out quite normally. First I checked the boxes on the MLS data entry form, loaded the pictures, clicked the enter button on the screen. Then I sat back figuring I’d just be patient. Wait to see if the universe was in the mood to respond over the next week. How would the fickle fates feel about what was being offered for the price it was being offered at?
Contrary to what most people think, listing agents rarely know for sure what something is going to sell for in advance. We may have our suspicions, expectations, desires and fears about what a home may be worth in the open marketplace but in the end – we don’t really know. Regardless of what any Agent says or how emphatically they say it.
True, some of us are better than others at predicting the end results of their educated guesses – depending on their experience, time in the business and their overall success rate. But when it comes down to it – we are just as much at the mercy of market as everyone else is. Puppets controlled by the string of the invisible hand moved by thousands of big and small fingers of decision manifested in tens of thousands of lives.
There’s no listing agent on the planet who hasn’t felt totally blindsided when something they put on thinking it would sell in a heartbeat as a no brainer, slam-dunk, sure thing kinda deal – ended up languishing on the market as the days dragged by like the slow drip, drip, drip of a Guantanamo torture test.
There’s also no listing agent on the planet who hasn’t felt like they were the beneficiary of some miraculous intervention by the divine. An immaculate reception at over list price – on a house they figured would probably be sitting forever and a day.
Folks I’ve been doing this a long time. Trust me on this.
So there I was, I entered the listing. It disappeared quickly into the ether. Hunting for those wormholes in hyperspace (a.k.a the world wide web) that would catapult its virtual realty into the laps of all those laptops out there in the global village. Or get scooped up into the palm of its hands via I Phone. (Not to mention the ubiquitous You Phone, He, She and It Phone, We Phone, You Phone, They Phone as well.)
The listing was launched. That first phone call was soon followed by a half dozen more in short order. Listing Agent held hostage Day 1. Besieged by Buyers and their Agents trying to get a leg up and jockey for position.
“When’s the lockbox going to go on? How do I show it? Can my client just go by and walk around the house? What’s wrong with it? Are the sellers motivated? What’s their story? Is it a short sale? Do you have inspections? Anything terrible in the inspections? Do you think it will go for over list price? How many offers will you get? Do you have anything in yet? Will you accept an offer today? When will you be taking offers? Is there any Seller financing? Do you think it will appraise? Is it an as-is sale? Where did you get that price? “
And so on. Non-stop. From 7:30am to 10pm at night. To date, I’ve had more than 60 phone calls. Eighty e mails. Thirty requests for inspections/disclosure packages. And many more actual showings. Yesterday when I went over to check on things at the house at 8:30am, there were 6 different parties there already.
Text book. A perfect primer course for any new Agent or Buyer that wants to better understand how it works in a market walking the tightrope of the tightest inventory I’ve ever seen.
Let’s use the good, the bad and the ugly of the experience to observe and learn a little something shall we? Next week: What Buyers Should Know in a Multiple Offer Marketplace.