2011 Sep 23rd

The What-Not-to-Do-When-Selling-Your-Hoboken-Condo Tale

I’d like to share a few examples of things I’ve seen  sellers  do lately that are real deal killers.  Most of them will be related to “For Sale By Owner” listings but today’s involve sellers who had actually hired agents.  I’ll post a series of these stories over the course of the next few weeks.  Have fun reading them.

Giving All the Wrong Answers

I was at a listing where the seller insisted on being present the other day.  Here is how the conversation went:

Buyers:  “Why are you moving?”

Seller:  “We want our kids to go to better schools.”

Buyers:  “Does the condo association have any money in reserves?”

Seller:  “We’ve always run everything very casually.  If we need work done, like replacing the roof, we all just get together and decide what to do and chip in.”

Buyers:  “Is the condo managed by a management company?”

Seller:  “No, I’ve been the board president for the past 20 years so I’ve just done everything myself.”

So what is the problem here?  Well, the seller is giving the buyers the message that you can’t send your kids to school in Hoboken so maybe buying a place here when you have small children is not a great idea.  Mortgage companies are wont to lend if an association does not have adequate reserves and does not keep accurate books and records.  If the seller did all the work for the past 20 years and is leaving, who is going to do the work after he is gone?

I’m sure the guy thought he was being helpful and forthcoming.  Instead he scared the buyers away.  Oh, and this seller actually did have an agent so I have no clue why he needed to be at the property at all.

Watching Over Your Shoulder

I took some buyers to see a 2 bedroom condo.  The owner again insisted on being home.  She followed us as weslimer walked through the living room.  She followed us as we walked through the kitchen.  She followed us as we opened the hall closet.  My buyers were too intimidated to dare open the kitchen cabinets (although most buyers do so).  Have you ever heard of a ‘chilling effect’.  This lady was the ice queen.  My buyers couln’t get out of there fast enough.  It was a shame because it was a nice unit.  Buyers simply don’t feel comfortable looking at a property or talking about it when the owner is haunting them.

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