The Psychology of a Spurned Offer

Sometimes, financial considerations prevent home owners from selling.
If they owe more than their home is worth, they must either be able to write a check for the shortfall at closing, or, persuade their lender(s) to reduce the mortgage balance.
However, such “underwater” home owners only account for a slice of the Twin Cities housing market today.
What accounts for all the “above water” homes that seemingly linger on the market month after month (and in some cases, year after year)?
By definition, such Sellers don’t need to sell; otherwise, they would have.

In Realtor-speak, such Sellers are said to “lack motivation.”

Psychological Hurdles
Take away economics, and that leaves . . . psychology.

Sometimes the rub is what a neighbor sold their home for.
That’s especially the case if the home didn’t measure up to theirs.
The catch, of course, is that market conditions can and do trump home features; I can think of dozens of Twin Cities homes that sold for more — a lot more — three years ago than their more impressive neighbors are listed for today.

Even closer to home (sorry, bad pun) is the would-be Seller who turned down an offer above their current asking price earlier in the listing.
In fact, I just heard about an Edina home, now under contract for $900k, that had been on the market for over 2 years, starting at over $1.2 million.

Along the way, the owner apparently rejected two such offers — one for $1.1 million, and another, later one for $1 million.
You’d guess that they have plenty of company (albeit at less lofty prices).
About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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