When it comes to buying and selling property it is important to remember that negotiations involve compromise. When a seller draws a hard line in the sand it shows an unwillingness to want to sell and when a buyer holds firm we question how much he wants to buy a particular property. For success, it is essential to separate emotions from the negotiations in order for both parties to have the opportunity to win.
Recent economic reports indicate that real estate sales are on the increase, especially since mortgage interest rates are still very low. While the areas where most of our buyers come from are booming, it still is a “buyer’s market” in our area, as there is still too much inventory and not enough buyers. Although our market prices are at an all-time low, at least it is stabilizing. Given time we should see improvement, but we don’t yet know how long this will take.
Although there were more buyers in the past year, they came with high expectations of low prices. With over 499 residential/condo and 240 vacant land listings in Highlands, there have been 170 residential/condo sales and 20 land sales over the past 12 months. (statistics from the Highlands-Cashiers Multiple Listing Service). As a property owner, the market dictates that unless you are willing to sell at these current all-time low prices, then you are in a holding pattern of waiting to sell. During the first four years of the recession, I suggested to sellers to wait until the market improved. After a few years, I have realized that many sellers are tired of waiting, mostly for personal reasons. The ones who have considerably lowered their prices or have initially listed based on current comparable sales have a much better chance to sell. If you decide for whatever your reasons that it is time to sell, it is important to realize the value of a buyer. If you were buying right now, wouldn’t you want the best deal you could find? You can consider it an honor when your property has attracted one of the few buyers who have such a large variety of properties to choose from. In all my years of experience, I have found that the best time to sell is when you have a buyer.
For today’s buyer, a little sensitivity goes a long way. If the timing is important for them to sell, it can also be an emotionally draining experience. Instead of adding insult to injury, try allowing a seller to maintain some dignity. For instance, if a home is being sold furnished, allow the owner some leeway with items they’d like to keep. Give them some flexibility with moving dates. Don’t pick apart the home inspection asking for insignificant repairs. Put yourself in their place. Kindness goes a long way.
If you are a buyer or seller and find yourself dealing with a difficult personality in a sales transaction, keep your eye on the prize. The truth is, each needs the other in order to accomplish their goals. When a person acts mean spirited or inflexible, it is usually a result of fear that someone is taking advantage of them. In this day and time when most of us have been rattled by the effects of the economy, some understanding and compassion goes a long way. Everyone will benefit in the end.
Lynn Kimball has 40 years of real estate experience, with 29 years serving the Highlands area. Whether you are interested in searching properties or comprehensive information about our area, you are invited to visit her user friendly website at www.signatureproperties-nc.com. Meadows Mountain Realty has two locations, at 41 Church Street in the Old Edwards Inn complex or visit Lynn at 2334 Cashiers Road across from Highlands Falls Country Club. Lynn Kimball can be reached at 828-421-8193 or by email at Lynn@MeadowsMtnRealty.com.
Contributed by Lynn Kimball
Meadows Mountain Realty
Highlands Newspaper Column
Investing at 4118 Feet
April 17, 2014