The GrassIsGreener Sellers

One day Karla Lopez is sitting in her office, and in walks the executive vice president of her firm. "Karla," she says, "Aaron Stein in the Denver branch just quit. If you want his district manager's job, you can have it. We will pay you $25,000 more a year plus a bonus. But you have to be relocated and on the job within thirty days."

"Do I want it?" Karla says. "Of course I want it. A promotion like this is why I've been working seventy-hour weeks for these past four years."

Think about it. In this situation, does Karla think, "Well, the first thing I must do is put my house up for sale and go for top dollar?" Hardly.

WHY PROPERTIES SELL FOR LESS (OR MORE) THAN MARKET VALUE 97

More than likely, Karla wants to strike a deal with the first buyer who gives her any type of offer she can live with. Karla has her sights set on the greener grass of Denver. Optimistic about her career and facing a time deadline, Karla wants to get her home sold as quickly as possible.

Grass-is-greener sellers stand opposite to the financially distressed. Whereas distressed owners sell on bargain terms or price to relieve themselves of pain, grass-is-greener sellers are willing to accept an offer of less than market value so that they can quickly grab better opportunities that lie elsewhere.

On one occasion where I was a grass-is-greener seller, I not only gave my buyers a slight break on price but, more importantly from their perspective, I let them assume my below-market interest rate first mortgage and carried back an unsecured note for virtually all of their down payment. On numerous occasions, I've bought from sellers who were eager to pursue better opportunities elsewhere. Each time, I negotiated a good (if not great) price and favorable financing.

If looking for distressed owners doesn't appeal to you, turn your search in the opposite direction. Sellers who want to move to greener pastures (especially under a deadline of time) are frequently the easiest people to work with and the most accommodating in price and terms.

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