The Middle and Me: Buying a Home or Selling a Home

I personally dislike the term “middleman,” one because it should be middleperson in my case and two, because neither the buyer of a home or the seller of a home really believe I am in the actual middle. It does lend some accuracy to the role I play with every house that comes to market. The people buying a home believe that I am an agent for the seller of the home, focused on getting the best price, while the seller of the home often thinks that I am attempting to sell the house for less than its true value just to make the sale quick. Both are right and yet both sides could not be further from the truth. So let’s look at the view of buying and selling houses from the middle.

Dear Seller:

While you may love the property you own and while you may be looking for the best possible price, I know that houses in your neighborhood, referred to as “comparables” have a great deal of influence on the right price for your home. Everyone would like to have the most expensive house in the neighborhood but no one wants to pay a higher price. The price that we arrive at is based on the recent sales in your locale. The price I will suggest might be just slightly below that average. Your improvements will enter into the equation but what is selling will trump your upgrades.

Why, you might ask? The reasoning is simple: the price we arrive at is supposed to sell the house and sell it quickly. The longer a home stays on the market, the more time and money you lose in pursuit of your new home. And if you think about it, you will become a buyer when the transaction is complete. Wouldn’t you rather get on with your search sooner rather than later, or not at all?

And most folks selling their home find the process stressful. One of the reasons I have found is an inability to put a good timeline on the process. It could take two to four weeks to get your home ready to sell, another two to six months on the market depending on your area, another week or longer of back and forth with the potential buyer and then the month or longer as the property closes. All of this is a perfect world scenario and it isn’t always that way. So pricing is key. Sure, I would make a higher commission at a higher price point, but if the house doesn’t sell, no one wins. What should be a perfect world scenario is the home you are selling. Not only will you need to prep it for sale, you will also need to maintain it at its best condition during the whole process.

Dear Buyer:

Unlike the shows you have diligently studied on HGTV, I will not show you a house that is beyond your budget just so you can get a perspective. In fact, I will insist that you get preapproved before we actually begin the search. Showing you more house than you can afford is a waste of both energy and time, and will only serve to give you more unrealistic expectations about what you will actually encounter in your price range.

The pre-approval process is critical to how we approach the search. But you need to keep several things in mind. First and foremost, once approved for a certain loan amount, do not open any new forms of credit. The preapproval is the baseline for your ability to eventually get a loan. Any new credit transaction between the time you begin the search and sign on the dotted line can negatively impact the sale.

Secondly: Have a realistic time frame. If the seller followed my advice, the house is probably getting more interested parties than if they had gone with the highest possible price. At that reasonable listing level, there may be more than one offer. I will give you guidance on whether you should bid higher or lower but I will not “tell” you what to do. Because of this, the process will take much longer than the couple of weekends you have set aside.

And lastly: Some houses are priced accurately. They are staged nicely and they disclose any issues. You are not buying perfect, no matter how much you spend. Have a reasonable expectation of making some changes, many of which might be minor or cosmetic. You may try to see yourselves in the home, but it might be better to see the home as a work-in-progress that you will move in and make your own.

My job is to marry the buyer with the seller in the most amicable way possible. And for that process, I gladly stand in the middle.

How can we assist you today?


On behalf of The Jones Group @ Sunriver Realty

Nola Horton-Jones, Principal Broker/Realtor | ABR, C-RIS, e-PRO, GREEN, RSPS, CCIM Candidate

Bryce Jones, Broker/Realtor | ABR, CRS, e-PRO, GREEN, GRI, RSPS, SFR

Karen Marcy, Broker/Realtor

The Jones Group @ Sunriver Realty | 57057 Beaver Drive | Sunriver, OR 97707

Mobile: 541-420- 3725 | Mobile: 541-420- 4018 | Mobile: 503-327- 9611 | Fax: 541-593- 5123



Licensed in Oregon