The Gap Has Not Narrowed

A year ago, I wrote that “there has never been a bigger gap between a buyer and seller than what we seeing in the current market place.” I wish I could report that a year later, the gap has closed significantly, but it hasn’t. In some respects, it even got worse because in the lower price ranges, it has become a sellers’ market and they are looking to turn the tables on buyers.

I am not sure what it is; maybe the strain of the economy keeps everyone in a foul mood but it seems that one transaction after another pits the buyer against the seller in an adversarial war. The simple fact is that the seller distrusts and doesn’t like the buyer, and the buyer distrusts and doesn’t like the seller. As the agent, we are stuck in the middle, attempting to be the peace maker or referee between the two sides. Let’s just assume for a moment that we can get a buyer and seller together on price and it’s under contract. One would think that the acrimony would end there, but really, it’s just the beginning.

Next comes the inspection where they argue, haggle over inspection items or even the wordings of the inspection objection. My all-time favorite is a fight between the buyer and seller about matching sink stoppers in the master bath. Discussions, emails, and endless phone calls on why there are not two garage door openers or fights over $200 dollars. Why? So the buyer or seller can say or feel like they won the battle and other guy lost.

This is not about winning and losing and or how much you can stick it to the other guy. I am not naïve. I understand that we are living in an opportunistic time period, but is it possible to do it with civility, respect, and without all the acrimony?

I was talking to some of fellow colleague in preparation for this topic to find out if they were experience the same enormous discord between their buyers and sellers. Everyone to a man and woman said yes, but some told me not write this column because it would go through one ear and out the other. Maybe they are right and no one will pay attention to this column and it will be business as usual. I hope not.

Dan Polimino is a Realtor with Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty. He can be reached at and

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