"You say potato and I say patato. You say tomato and I say tamoto - potato, patato, tomato, tamato, let's call the whole thing off . . ."
Listening to my husband sing in the shower, I couldn't help but think of how differently Buyers and Sellers interpret a home's VALUE. How much is the house worth? It's never easy to explain to sellers or to buyers the value of a particualar home - especially in today's economy. It shouldn't surprise you to discover that Sellers and Buyers rarely agree on value - with Sellers expecting more and Buyers offering less. (You say potato and I say patoto . . .) Value is truly a moving target - depending on what side you sit.
Did you overpay? Undercharge? Sell your home too cheaply? Secure a "great" deal . . .? Guess what? The market is the market. Chances are, you paid what the market would bear at the time of purchase. (You say tomato and I say tamato . . .)
Moreover, value is only half the equation. Timing is the other half and for most people, timing is more a matter of luck than design. Divorce, death, marriage, job transfer, job promotion, new baby, school decision, graduation - we rarely ever "time" these events to coincide with a convenient downturn or a fortuitous upswing of the real estate marketplace. Buying or selling a home is often predicated on life events over which we have very little control!
"Let's call the whole thing off? " That's up to you, but I wouldn't.
There is fantastic momentum in the marketplace RIGHT NOW! Buyers are out in droves and they are anxious to purchase. Even better, most Sellers' expectations are in line with the current market trends (True, there are still a few hold outs, but they are increasingly in the minority.)
In fact, there seems to be a true meeting of the minds - great give and take, well-intentioned negotiations and tremendous activity from both sides of the aisle. So make sense of the information you have at hand and find an equitable middle ground (which may require an adjustment on both sides but is usually where the true value lies). Potato, potato, tomato, tomato - Let's call the whole thing ON!
Suddenly, I am craving French fries!
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 15 years and has published more than 600 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.