50 Ways to Leave Your Listing

I was browsing the Redfin forums over the weekend and noticed this plea for advice on the Best strategy for new (and too high) listing” from first-time buyers.  They’ve been seriously home-shopping for months and finally found what they call their “dream home.”  But it’s a new listing and the asking price is too high.  How, they wonder, should they proceed?

Their predicament had already drawn some thoughtful advice on the forum, but I couldn’t help offering my own version of “tough love.”  To me, the signs were unmistakeable.  This couple had violated the most basic rule of homebuying:  never fall in love with a house.  I acknowledged that this advice was easier said than done but, in the end, they would have to reclaim their independence: 

Your most powerful tool here is your ability to walk away from this house, like a bad love affair, and move forward, if your relationship with it doesn’t make you happy.

brokenheart.jpgThe pingbacks I started receiving from the couple and from other readers indicated they’d gotten a laugh from my remarks, but had also gotten the point.

The frustrated couple also outlined several scenarios speculating on various ways they might proceed, and the resulting good and bad possible outcomes.   They were way overthinking the situation, the same way a smitten admirer does when his affection goes unrequited.  They were torturing themselves.

To which I invoked the famous Alcoholics Anonymous creed urging sufferers to learn to recognize the difference between the things they can control and those they can’t, and to concentrate on the former.  The behavior of sellers and their listing agents is most certainly among the things you can’t control.   If they won’t lower the price, all you can do is lower the boom – and walk away.

Call me hard-hearted, but falling in love with a house is one thing you won’t catch me doing. It’s just too dangerous.  Until you own it, value it, appreciate it, admire it.  Leave it to later to love, when it’s yours and yours alone.