An Expert Realtor’s Opinion: When to Tell a Seller “Go or No”!

An Expert’s Opinion is what your client is looking for when deciding to put that property on the market. When to say Go and when to say NO can make a difference in someone’s pocketbook not to mention the value of TIME.

In the marketing of 2nd homes, vacation homes, retirement getaways, which is my niche here at Fishhawk Lake, “seasonal” used to be an inoperative word, because I sold homes and lots in November, December, January and February, regardless of the weather. When my clients would ask about when to list, it didn’t matter because the interest was always there and there were more buyers than there were decent properties to show them.


 (Partially built home and lot next door, sold in November of 2009)

 Log cabin sold to cash buyer

In 2010, that changed.


1. We saw a “season”, for the first time, much like other resort communities, or coastal properties. Summer was busy and after that, September especially.  There were some happy sellers…


But there were months in between where there was no one but tire kickers.


2. We saw a glut of properties for sale, both homes and lots.  Pricing was down, too. It took 8% longer to sell properties than the year before and I sold four more than the year before for LESS MONEY all told.  

3. There were a few foreclosures which we hadn’t seen up til now that brought those buyers that suddenly thought they could purchase a property at Fishhawk Lake for next to nothing. 

As a result of the drop in value as well as taxes (still) going up in Oregon, some potential sellers came to me and asked, Is this the right time to sell?


 This question has to be followed by an in-depth conversation. One has to look at the competition in your community or niche market.  In our neck of the woods, if your home isn’t lakefront and you haven’t remodeled your home in the last five years, and you bought it in the last three or four and you still owe a couple hundred thousand, and it doesn’t fit the description on the wishlists of my buyers, then I would STRONGLY suggest waiting. No harm no foul.

On the other hand, you get the fence-sitters who just need a nudge one way or the other.

I had a couple who were kicking the idea around of selling and wanted my guidance. Their home is lakefront, very cabiny with great visual appeal and they’d updated just about everything. They had a great view to boot. I knew right away that I could sell this and already had a lineup of clients I could show it to. I didn’t want to push them, but I was honest. They were contemplating retirement, weren’t using it as often as they thought, etc. and were leaning toward listing, even though they wouldn’t make a large bundle of money on it.  I met with them on a Sunday. On Monday, I sent them an e-mail saying that I had a client that I would love to show the home to once they listed, if that was the decision they wanted to make. This was all it took: they e-mailed right back and said that they were going to hold off because they really loved the cabin and just couldn’t emotionally part with it.  

Well, there you are! Only a couple of hours of conversation, two e-mails and BOOM–a decision. And one that we could both live with comfortably.

In having conversations in the homes of these potential sellers, sometimes the decision was to wait.  What I feel most strongly about is that I offered options, I offered good strong advice and would make a suggestion usually GO OR NO and whatever decision they made I feel that we had a better relationship because of it. And they will list with me when that time is right.


 Some photos courtesy of:

Gayle Rich-Boxman
Broker, Vernonia Realty
Specializing in Fishhawk Lake Recreation Club
“Your Gateway to the Lake!”
Direct: (503)755-2905
My website:
My blog:

About fishhawklakerealtor

I've been the local realtor/neighbor for 14 years who lives full time in the Fishhawk Lake area, a private lake community in the middle of the coastal range in a very small town in Oregon . It's heaven out here and my husband and I have lived here full time for about 12 years and over 15 altogether as weekenders before that. This area is my niche, my specialty, my passion. Doing this is truly a dream come true. Let me help you make it yours. Call me, your local expert: 503-755-2905 REALTOR® John L Scott Market Center Also check out my blog on ActiveRain: Or to check out my listings go to my website:
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1 Response to An Expert Realtor’s Opinion: When to Tell a Seller “Go or No”!

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