Melissa was wrapping up her latest South Portland property renovation in November when I started getting calls from a woman who lived in the neighborhood and wanted to see it. The project wasn’t done yet and we’ve learned that most buyers can’t look past any mess or incomplete items to see what the finished product will be and Melissa doesn’t like to show the homes until they are 100% complete, clean and staged. I told this woman that we hoped to see her at the Public Open House scheduled for the following Sunday.
The next day, I received an email from her thanking me for taking her call the day before and insisted on getting in to see the house ASAP. And then the next day, she called again, this time explaining why she was so eager to see the house. Her daughter had been looking for a home for a while. She had been beat out on several other offers, her time was running short and they thought this house’s location and size was perfect for her family. Melissa and I talked it over and decided to her in before the before the Open House.
We set up a showing for the next day and despite the dust, incomplete painting and other final touch ups needed, within 2 minutes of arriving, she said, “We love it and want to buy it!” They signed an offer before leaving that showing and we closed on the house just before Christmas! Melissa and I have worked in this market for more than 22 years and we knew if we waited until the Open House, we may have been able to generate multiple offers and could possibly have sold for more money. But we also felt a connection to this very polite but aggressive woman that wanted to buy the home for her family. She was right! The house IS a perfect fit for her family. It just felt right to sell it to her so… we did!
So far this year, our buyers have made offers on eight homes and all eight had multiple offers on them. This market is very competitive and most buyers think it’s all about the money but I’ve found this isn’t always the case. Our client, Sam had made offers on several properties. The first home received 5 offers and the second one received 4. The bids on the properties went above the asking price and Sam lost out on both of them. But the third home he made an offer on was different. There were multiple offers again but this time I was able to learn a bit about the sellers through talking with the listing agent— they seemed really nice. Sam wrote a personal letter to them, introducing himself and letting them know why he loved their house so much. We sent along a photo with the letter of Sam and his girlfriend with a huge stripped bass he had just caught. It was just the thing needed to make a connection with the seller and after a few hours of negotiating, Sam went under contract on the home!
Selling the home you’ve lived in for years can be a very emotional thing. All sellers want to get as much money possible when they sell, but WHO they are selling to is sometimes just as important them. In a multiple offer situation, they are given the chance to pick the new owners of their family’s home and being able to add a human touch to all the numbers can make all the difference.
It’s important as a buyer, to have your finance in order and be ready to act quickly but there are other ways to make your offer stand out above the rest. Sometimes it comes down to just the numbers in the end but we have to remember that sellers do “Have a Heart” too.