When the market strongly favored sellers in 2005 and 2006, they usually didn’t entertain offers the first day their listing showed up on the multiple listing service. If they had, they might have left money on the table. There were so many buyers chasing so few listings that waiting a week or so to hear offers often resulted in over-asking-price offers.

Today, that strategy is still used in some hot niche markets that defy the national trend. Listings in some locations and some price ranges are in high demand. If the inventory of listings in these areas is low, it creates an imbalance that favors sellers in what is otherwise a buyer’s market.

For example, one listing in Piedmont, Calif., a city with a great public school system, recently sold for $200,000 over the list price. The seller waited to hear offers until after two public open houses and a broker open house. Had he accepted offers earlier, he might not have done as well.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: Waiting to hear offers can cost you money if your home isn’t priced right for the market. If you price too high and also insist on waiting to hear offers, you’re letting agents and their buyers know that you expect to sell for an unwarranted price.

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