The Seasonality of Buyer Panic
The graph below shows how seasonally we moved toward a frenzied market during the first half of the year as the number of homes under contract (yellow line) nearly reached the number of homes for sale (blue line). During the same time, the homes that actually sold (green line) were about 60% of those under contract (yellow line). Later in the year as the market cooled the closing success rate improved to about 85%.
Here are seven recommendations to improve your success rate and get the most money for your sale:
- Require a “painful” amount of earnest money for the buyer to lose
- Thoroughly vet your buyer’s finances and their lender’s pre-approval process
- Counter offers with terms that remove appraisal, loan conditions, and inspection
- Shorten contingency deadlines to the first two weeks
- Beyond these “austere” measures, stay friendly and make it easy for your buyer to close
- Communicate with the appraiser and provide a pricing analysis and any competing offers
- Fix all known home defects prior to listing, or clearly address them in the Seller’s Property Disclosure
Once you accept a contract there is rarely an opportunity to gain more money or better terms, so lock them in up front.