There Are Ways to Ask…and Ways Not…

I recently listed a property for a gentleman who was being transferred out of the area by his employer.

A few years ago, at the top of the market, he bought a very nice condo and paid a lot more for it then than it would sell for in this market.

No matter – his finances were sound and he was not even close to being underwater on his mortgage since he had paid down the principal.  He and his wife had already purchased a beautiful home in the city where they were relocating and his last bit of business was to put the condo on the market. He knew he was going to take a loss on paper, but he would certainly be able to come to the table without any problem.

The first few days on market the condo was shown quite a bit and several agents called to ask if there were any offers on it, yet, which is always a good sign.

One call I received started with this opening comment, “I think your listing is overpriced.”


 “And I know from the tax records your seller is quite a bit underwater on his mortgage.

Pow! Pow!

Is he negotiable?”


After I counted to 10, lest I use language I did not want to use (okay, yes, I did, but I knew it wasn’t smart), I didn’t bother to respond to the first comment, but did set her straight on the second comment by saying the last time I checked, the tax record did not reflect mortgage balances, so how on earth would she presume to know what my client owed or didn’t owe?

Anyway, had she merely said she was calling to confirm it was not an undisclosed short sale or the like, I would have been fine with that, due diligence and all.  But she decided to come out both barrels blazing.

And that’s not a particularly smart approach when you don’t know what you are talking about.

I don’t know, but that kind of approach doesn’t bode well for a potential negotiation. Don’t like the list price?  Fine, take your best shot and hope your comps are good, you understand the differences in the floorplans and the value of the parking spaces.

Otherwise, your client doesn’t stand a chance against the two other offers already on the table.

Yeah, sometimes honey really IS better than vinegar.





2 Responses to There Are Ways to Ask…and Ways Not…