One of the most difficult things I do regularly is speaking to sellers who need (sometimes most desperately despite our current very difficult market conditions) to sell property here in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. Although residential sales volumes continue to gradually increase over the pitiful numbers recorded during the drought of the last two years, it is still almost impossible to sell any Sevier County property for a premium price. In our current buyer’s market, sellers generally have to price their property very aggressively if they wish to sell. There are however exceptions to this rule that I have witnessed over my nearly 15 years of experience in marketing Gatlinburg area real estate.
Last year, I accepted a listing from a very pleasant young couple who desired strongly to relocate to Branson, MO to accept an employment offer there. Their home, while attractive, was absolutely identical to dozens (if not hundreds) of others built by the same builder. They needed to sell at a price of no less than $100,000 to be able to pay a commission and then pay off their mortgage. Originally priced at $115,000 despite my objections, the house didn’t get many showings and was certainly overpriced. After several months and much persuasion on my part, the sellers reduced the price to $110,000 and then finally to $105,000. After a lot of earnest prayer by the sellers and me, the house did go under contract and closed on October 9th, 2009 at a price of – You guessed it, exactly $100,000. Here’s a picture of the home at 213 Gray Slate Circle and the description on our website.
Now for the evidence of what sort of miracle this was! Shortly afterwards, just across the street not even a little leaguer’s stone throw away, an identical house by the same builder with exactly the same floor plan, yard size, and age was listed by me for a national bank as a foreclosure. The only differences between the two homes were a very few square feet, landscaping, interior paint, and appliances all of which were superior on the non-foreclosure listing. The bank priced the home (on October 9th!!) at $78,900 and it promptly was a pending sale on November 23rd. The foreclosure home sale at 210 Gray Slate Circle closed on December 29th, 2009 for a truly sad price of $67,500. $32,000 will buy a TREMENDOUS AMOUNT of paint, landscaping, and appliances!!!
The lessons from this true story are that with prayer, ALL things are possible and also that Buyers and Sellers can both win (though rarely on the same transaction) by being patient. I have recently agreed to list another property that while fantastic will require a lot of prayer. I can’t sell it at the price the sellers are asking, but through prayer, ALL things are possible!