The Opportunity Costs Of Selling Your Home

In one of my recent posts, I wrote about the difference between what you want vs what you’ll get when you sell your home. Lots of people sell their home with an eye toward netting out a certain amount of cash so they can use it for any number of good (and not so good) reasons.

What ends up happening is that they’ll hold out for that last $5,000 or even $1,000. Or they might not want to make needed repairs. The home seller wants every last dime they can squeeze out of the sale. There’s an old saying about this kind of thing: “Walking over a dollar to pick up a dime.”

It’s seller myopia. Not seeing the big picture about where they want to go and what they want to do after the house is sold. Is an extra $1,000 really going to make the difference?

Opportunity Costs

One definition of opportunity costs is:

The loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternativeĀ Opportunity Costs is chosen.

In other words, the money that a home seller might be tying up trying to squeeze more money out of a sale might be better used for something else.

You see, every day your house is unsold is another day you, as a home seller, are paying for things like:

  • property taxes
  • property insurance
  • utilities
  • HOA or Condo fees
  • ongoing maintenance and upkeep
  • mortgage payments

These are all costs that could be used for something else.

Something else like, oh, helping offset the costs of moving. Or, maybe, a trip to the Bahamas. Maybe you want to paint or do other home improvements to the place you’re going.

The point being is that you could easily chew up any money that you might possibly get from the sale of your house by holding out for the absolute tippy top price you might get.

The other part of opportunity costs is that the buyer might walk away leaving you back at Square One looking for a new buyer. This time the price might be lower still.

I’ve had many a client turn down or hardball an offer because they wanted to hold out for more money. Later, they wished they had taken it.

Don’t miss an opportunity when it comes knocking on your door. The opportunity costs may be very high indeed.

(note: this post was first published on my LinkedIn profile. Feel free to connect!)

About Ken Montville

Ken Montville is a RealtorĀ® and Associate Broker with RE/MAX United Real Estate in the beautiful Maryland Suburbs of Washington, DC. He has been selling nice homes since 1999. Way back in the 20th Century.

When Ken Is not doing the real estate thing he can be found all over social media in places too numerous to mention and he listens to jazz, reads a little (mostly non-fiction), hangs out with the Rotary Club of College Park, MD and can be found blogging at