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Should sellers toss personal appeals?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis May 31, 2013 08:55 AM

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If you are selling a home in this tight market, get ready to be hit up with a personal appeal from a buyer, complete with photos of smiling children and adorable pets.

What to do? Well, actually, it's easy: Head directly to the circular file and don't look back. Guilt is for suckers.

With not a lot of homes to choose from, buyers are pulling out all the stops when they find something half decent. That means trying to personalize their bids and gain an edge.

But when it comes to buyers, the only thing you should care about is what they offer for your house and what's in their bank accounts, not how wonderful their families are or how much they will enjoy your home after you have moved on.

It's all about the money, and that's OK.

A seller who goes with a buyer with a less competitive bid, but a compelling personal story, is more than a little foolish.

After all, for most of us, a home is our largest financial asset. Getting the best price possible is crucial, whether you are looking to move up to a bigger home or downsize as you head towards retirement.

There's a time for charity and no end of causes that need money. In my book, pushy home buyers don't classify.

In fact, you might even go a step further and tell your listing agent to screen out any sappy pleas from overeager buyers.

Here's a pretty interesting argument Sam DeBord, a Seattle real estate broker, posted on Inman News.

He argues it's the listing agent's fiduciary duty to screen out such appeals.

To put it simply, the duty of a listing agent is to the sellers' pocketbooks, and their mental well-being. Listing agents should focus on removing unnecessary emotional hurdles in the process of selling a home. Buyers are welcome to submit personalized letters with their offers (and probably should, as many listing agents won't heed this advice). In the meantime, a good listing agent should read those buyer letters, and relate only the relevant and appropriate portions to the sellers. This streamlines the home-selling process, allows for clear-headed decision making, and focuses on the home sellers' ultimate goal of financial return.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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