Many times these days when going to listing appointments all over Colorado Springs and Monument, it seems that I have become more of a financial counselor than a listing agent. Out of the last 12 listing appointments that I have been to recently, I have only listed one home. So many Seller's are upside down, having a second mortgage or no equity in the home, yet they are being relocated and must sell ... or so they think they must sell.
The resounding question is: "Can we at least break even?" Sometimes the answer is yes, but many times right now I will tell the Seller "I'm so sorry but I have to tell you the truth and not what you would like to hear, and that answer is, 'no'." Then I will give them advice on how much money they will have to prepare to bring to closing. This news is so hard on the Seller, and I spend a lot of time prepping for our meetings and doing elaborate market research to help them. Most of the time a short sale is not an easy or quick process for them either. I will tell my Seller that it is better to become a forced investor than a forced victim of the market. Several of my clients have taken this advice to heart, hired a property manager, and will ride out the market for the next two to three years.
However, there is always the one who will go ahead and list the home with someone else, with a price based on what will get them out of the house - not what the market will bare. My heart grieves when I see their attempt and watch the days on the market drag on. I can only hope for the best for these Sellers but know that after twelve years in this industry, I have found that telling a client the truth from the very start normally earns you a client for life and avoids false hopes that lead to greater disappointments.