first offer syndrome.

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Selling in a reasonable time frame is every genuine vendor’s aim, second only to selling for the highest possible price.

“Yet most agents say that the hardest sale to make is the one that comes along in the first days of marketing,” Christian Bartley, Managing Director of Bellarine Property says. “Inexperienced vendors are often unaware of the mechanics of the marketing process. They think that if Purchaser One is prepared to pay $xxx in the first week of marketing, then Purchaser Two will pay $xxx+ next week. They say things like if the first ad brings in this sort of response, what will the second one bring? – as if price increases incrementally with time.”

Christian says vendors should be aware of the processes that are set in motion when a property first comes on the market.

“A property attracts the greatest amount of attention when it is first presented,” Christian says. “All the purchasers that have been looking for their ideal home for weeks and months converge eagerly on a new listing.”

According to Christian these are the qualified purchasers – the ones who have done their homework and know exactly what their money will buy.

“New listings attract numbers and numbers mean competition” Christian says, “and it’s competition that creates the climate that generates the highest offers. This is the time when a purchaser who falls in love with a property will be afraid that someone else will snap it up before they do. The longer a property is on the market at a given price, the more the sense of competition fizzles out and the more likely subsequent purchasers are to feel they have plenty of time to make up their minds.”

Christian says the feeling that time is on their side gives purchasers the psychological edge.

 “Basically they feel they can afford to offer less with more chance of getting a bargain,” Christian says. “It’s not hard for them to work out that a property is getting stale.”

According to Christian, a property starts to go stale once all the “qualified” purchasers have inspected it. Those who come on the scene subsequently are new to the marketplace and have yet to work out what their money will buy. Naturally new purchasers are unready and unwilling to commit themselves until they have done their homework. “In the final analysis, the vendor’s two main aims are not separable,” Christian says. “They are two sides of the same coin. Selling for the highest price usually means getting serious about that early offer. Vendors who fall victim to First Offer Syndrome often regret their early refusal to negotiate when they discover that further down the track they end up settling for less.”

Sellers can usually relate to this situation, because while they are on the market for sale, they are also researching the market they are moving to and getting a good handle of the values by inspecting properties. As soon as they see the right one come up and they can offer, they will likely do it immediately and this will be inside the first couple of weeks of being For Sale.

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