Buyers are complaining, pricing too low


When buyers are complaining, your reaction should be governed by what it says in the purchase agreement.

Dear David,

We sold our home and it’s closing in a few days. The new buyers are complaining about a few small marks on the walls and some incidental things they may not have noticed when they purchased in multiple offers with no conditions. What should we do about this? – MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

DEAR MUCH: While your reaction when buyers are complaining should be governed by what it says in the purchase agreement, it’s important to approach this situation with a dose of common sense and courtesy. It would be short-sighted to blow off the buyer’s concerns, then have your Amazon package disappear when it unexpectedly arrives at the house a week after you move. We want happy buyers and happy sellers, so with your closing date fast approaching, I suggest you take a step back and assess how big of a battle this should be.

If the items in question do not affect the livability of the home, the buyer’s lawyer will tell them that they need to close. If they refuse to do so over what likely amounts to a couple hundred dollars’ worth of repairs, they’ll be in breach of contract.

Your agent’s role in this situation is to keep a calm head and try to come up with a rational solution that can make everybody happy. While you may not be legally obligated to act when buyers are complaining, there’s a difference between contract law and the right thing to do. If your movers happened to bump a wall or two on their way out, you may want to extend an olive branch to the buyers by providing them a small credit on closing, so they can hire a handyman to fix the damage.

Dear David,

Our agent wants to price our house way too low. It’s worth more, what do we do? — UNDERSOLD

DEAR UNDERSOLD: The strategy of purposely underpricing a listing to attract buyer attention (and hopefully generate multiple offers) has become highly engrained in our local real estate market. Realtors and buyers alike have come to assume that when the listing price is lower than what the market will support, a higher offer will likely be required to actually buy the home. The “price low and sell high” pattern has become so prevalent in our area that if a seller prices their listing at what they hope to receive, they may be perceived as wanting too much. These days educated buyers expect the markup to be “baked in” to the price.

In this environment, your listing price is a marketing tool that can either attract buyers or turn them off. The list price does not necessarily reflect the actual property value, since value is determined by what someone is willing to pay for your home.

Talk to your Realtor about the strategy behind your listing price and the results you hope to achieve, keeping in mind that you are not obligated to accept any offer that you are not happy with. The decision to accept or decline is always up to you — not your Realtor. #AskDavid #Advice

David Schooley is partnering with 570 News host Mike Farwell and the “Farwell4Hire” Campaign in support of Cystic Fibrosis research. Now through May 30, David will donate $1000 to Farwell4Hire for every home his clients buy or sell. To reach David, call or text 519-577-1212.