The pandemic induced hysteria around the Atlanta housing market is rapidly giving way to balance and with it, the return of a special type of nonsense. Some home sellers take things personal and can be reluctant to acknowledge the changing market; none of that applies to their home. Data clearly shows their home is aspirationally priced, buyers confirm it, and it sits idle. When challenged the agent and/or buyer drop the classic line..."the seller doesn't need to sell". 

Doesn't need to sell is one of the stupidest things anyone in real estate will say or hear. It's illogical and contrary; why is the home is listed? That answer is always along the lines of "that's what they want, that's what they have in it, or that's what they need". Oh OK.

The Seller Doesn't Need to Sell

We don't need to sell but if someone WANTS to pay our price then we will. So let's consider the likely thought process from the stand point of the seller.

  • we know what this home is worth, we put $XXX into it over the years
  • we need to sell for $XXX
  • there's no inventory
  • let's not waste money on a legitimate listing agent since this will go fast, get an agent/company willing to discount
  • we'll dictate terms of any offer
  • we want as is, no contingencies and we want to stay in for 60 days post close
  • buyers can come through the first weekend, after that we'll need a lot of notice or remain on site
  • we're not reducing, this is a great home, better than the others and we put $XXX into it over the years

The thought process from the listing agent...

  • it's slow, what do i have to lose, maybe catch a lead or two
  • I'll discount commission but use my cell phone for pics and not market it
  • I'll let it go a couple of weeks and give them "the market shifted" pitch, maybe they'll reduce
  • I can't defend the list price, I'll just hope buyer agents understand
  • I'll tell agents the buyers "need to see it to appreciate it" and hope that sticks
  • I'll tell the agents that the "seller doesn't need to sell" but that the home is worth it

This scenario is NOT unusual. In fact, this is exactly what happens and will continue to happen especially over the next several months as balance returns. It's a combination of sellers that know agents will line up to take a listing no matter how unrealistic and agents that march to the "list to live" mantra. The shift was on in June, we were already advising sellers how to deal with the balancing market. Agents with under two years of experience have no idea how to adjust to a shift or how to work a balanced market, they will take anything. Disciplined, experienced agents measure the value of their time and spend it on productive things.

The Buyer Doesn't Need to Buy

This cuts both ways. Buyers are always ahead of sellers when markets shift, rates hit them immediately. Buyers have significant data assets at their fingertips and can run comps and AVMs off their phones. Buyer agents also screen homes and run data; few want to drive around wasting time with gas $3-$3.50 a gallon. So, for sellers that don't need to sell, you should expect:

  • initial interest despite poor presentation and price
  • showings and no / few offers
  • consistent feed back about price or other objections
  • reduced showings after the initial interest
  • potentially an offer or two from a buyer realistically considering the home
  • eventual frustration/indifference from the listing agent
  • either adjustment to where the home belongs or an expired/withdrawn listing

As rates rise and the pool of buyers decreases, the market is balancing. Sellers might have a slight edge but most areas are relatively neutral and buyers are no longer under the nonsensical pressure of early 2022. They are ahead of sellers in acknowledging the shift.

The Market Never Forgets

Everything leaves a mark, even when you "don't need to sell". As this market balances, the desirable and accurately priced homes are still highly sought after. The rest of the pack...well the days of list and leave are over. Now histories develop; listed - expired, listed - reduced - expired, listed - withdrawn....what's wrong with it? We'll wait until spring? OK, now you have a history of not selling and are jumping into a time when inventory expands. But who knows where rates will be in spring? We know where they won't be. How does a home with a history of failure look to buyers, agents and appraisers?

You'll rent? Oh OK; that's genius. No doubt the home will be well cared for, easily accessible and spit polished for showings - said no one. How many buyers will wait around for a lease to expire then deal with the mess and updating needed post rental? How many buyers will even consider a home coming off rental? Rental usually equals investor usually equals minimal maintenance equals possible future money pit. But hey, the seller doesn't need to sell so all is good.

The Hank Miller Team puts 30+ years of full time sales & appraisal experience to work for you. Act with complete confidence & make sound, decisive real estate decisions. 678-428-8276 and

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