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Real Estate

Real Estate is ‘Like a Box of Chocolates’

| Ray Collins |

Who can forget that iconic line from the 1994 classic movie ‘Forest Gump?’  Like with those mysterious chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get when you put your home on the real estate market.

Real Estate

Fortunately, it is generally good news for sellers—but the extent of that good news seems very fickle:

Example #1: Last month, a house near University Parkway should have been listed for about $400,000.  The comparable sales in the neighborhood—or comps—indicated that was the going rate. 

But my sellers wanted to be aggressive and list it for $469,000.  With nothing to lose, I said, “Sure.” I knew that if I didn’t consent, they could find another Realtor who would.

Hours after it was listed, it began:  Requests for showings—and a lot of them.  An average of one an hour for the first two days, culminating in nearly a dozen offers within 48 hours.

And guess what? The offers were well over that inflated asking price.  We wound up accepting something $60, 000 over that asking price.  (Other offers came in later for $80,000 more!)

But with that sort of situation comes a twist:  If you accept an offer that requires a loan, will the home appraise for as much as the buyer is willing to pay? And if not, will the buyer sign an “Appraisal gap” clause which states they’ll make up the difference between the appraisal and the bottom-line price?

Example #2: With that incredible momentum fresh in my mind, imagine my confidence when a condo owner near downtown asked how much they could get for their home.  The comps were also around $400,000 coincidentally.  I told my recent anecdote, and we rolled the dice at an identical $469,000.

I told my seller, “Watch this, we’ll get offers in two days!  This market is crazy.”

And then we waited.  And waited.  Crickets.  Very little activity.

We finally got it under contract, closer to the asking price than the comp price—but not above that list price as my other client had enjoyed.  My seller was still disappointed to be $60,000 over the comp price. She wondered if we could have held out longer for more—but after four weeks, I told her it may be time to pull the parachute. (Note to other Realtors: Don’t get your client’s hopes up unnecessarily.)

Like that Tom Hanks character said 27 years ago, “you never know what you’re going to get.”

Ray Collins has helped 25 clients already this year buy or sell their homes—among the most in the Downtown Sarasota Coldwell Banker office.  For more information on his unusual methods to market homes, check out his videos at the website or write

Photos from Ray Collins

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