Motivation: Selling Is The Ultimate Goal

One of the most common questions you’ll hear while a real estate discussion is going on is; how motivated is the seller? Given the climate of the current real estate market it would seem that most sellers would be motivated. In reality, the ad running for their property may say they are but most of them aren’t.

There is a huge difference between motivation to sell and desire to sell. The word “motivated” has now been used in real estate circles to the point where the meaning has been watered down. It’s right up there with “won’t last long” and “must see”.

Recently, I helped buyers work their way down the street of a production build neighborhood trying purchase one particular floor plan. It occurred to me that, in spite of what the listing notes read, most of the sellers weren’t motivated they just had a strong desire to sell. Most of the homes weren’t priced appropriately. They were priced at what the seller wanted to net, not what the recent sales supported.

I’m not faulting sellers for trying to make as much money possible or trying to contain as much of the loss as they can on their real estate transaction. I’m just questioning their degree of motivation to sell when the property isn’t priced correctly and they then get offended by an offer at market price.

Motivated sellers have been prompted to sell. They’ve come to the realization through balancing the inventory supply, holding costs, recent comparable closed sales and their own personal financial situation that their real estate must be sold. They’re willing to negotiate with a buyer and move on from the transaction. They’re unhappy about selling at a loss or for far less than they wanted to have sold but they realize that their profit margin isn’t the responsibility of the buyer.

Real estate is still only worth what a buyer is willing to pay and what a seller is willing to take. Real estate is a commodity that trades by way of supply and demand. Right now, there is just a larger supply in some areas than others and certainly less demand.

In some areas real estate isn’t much different than selling or trading stock. A “motivated” share holder wouldn’t call his stock broker and try to negotiate a sale of his portfolio back to summer of 2007 prices. Imagine the scenario: But my stock certificates are printed on better paper than everyone else’s, the corners aren’t tattered and there are absolutely no coffee cup rings on any of them, they’ve barely been used … that’s why they’re worth more than the other’s that they’re selling now.

Having the desire to sell and simply hoping or wanting to sell really badly isn’t going to make a buyer want to pay more than what anything is worth whether it’s shareholder’s stock certificates, an SUV or real estate.

Willing buyer on board, a motivated seller is someone that sells at the current value and has come to terms with the fact that they won’t be able to sell for the price they really wanted to, no matter how much that they wish they could.


Real Life in Bonita Springs is a project by Chris Griffith dedicated to writing useful blog posts for consumers about the Bonita Springs, Florida area.  Find out what it is really like to live in Bonita Springs, Florida by reading about our fair city. You’ll get the latest in local real estate information, Bonita Springs real estate market reports and a little bit of humor.  If you have topic ideas, feel free to request a story about the idea, after all, this site is just for you.

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