We’re in a seller’s market - no question. There’s little inventory and significant demand, which has caused buyers to compete for properties and as a result, prices have steadily risen. But there is an element here that some sellers don’t totally appreciate, which is that while buyers are very strong, they’re also very sensitive - this is a stressful endeavor for them. Many buyers are like thoroughbred race horses - super powerful, but also twitchy and easily spooked. I was meeting with a potential seller the other day, who said he wanted to keep 4 beautiful light fixtures in his condo, as well as the perfectly proportioned bookshelves built into the library. He figured that with the strength of the market, it didn’t matter what he did. We see this a lot these days, and I want to implore sellers to respect the buyer journey - they’re working hard to secure a property and they’re paying a lot to do it. What they don’t need is to feel taken advantage of. When sellers nickel and dime buyers on exclusions, even though the dollar amount in question can seem negligible relative to the price of the property, it can make potential buyers feel resentful and can dampen their enthusiasm for the property. And even if sellers can get away with it, it still might not be the right thing to do - it is the principle of the thing. So I encourage sellers - if you have a light fixture or bookshelves that work perfectly with your property, please consider just leaving them for the next buyer. Chances are you’re going to get a great deal - it is good karma to not try to optimize on every angle. If the light fixture or bookshelf has real emotional importance, then remove it in advance of marketing the property, and have it replaced with something very nice but less meaningful. Let’s honor what buyers are going through - it is awesome when we see sellers who understand that the market will be good to them, and in turn they do what they can to make the buying experience a good one for the future owners of their home.
500 Notes from the Field