Just because a house has been on the market for a while . . .

. . . don't assume it'll still be around tomorrow. Or even later today.

Last week, I was sitting at a seller's table signing an offer when another agent literally showed up at the door with a buyer ready to make an offer.

Background: I received an offer for one of my listings that had been on the market for several months. It was a good offer. I went over to present the contract to the sellers. We were sitting at the dining room table, pens in hand, preparing to sign it when the phone rang. Another agent was sitting outside the house with her clients and they wanted to see the house. I walked outside and told the agent that they were welcome to look at the house, but we were literally in the midst of signing another offer.

The wife thumped her husband on the head as if to remind him that he could've had a V-8, and said "See, I told you we should have come back sooner!" They had apparently seen the house the previous week and had been planning to make an offer ever since. We took our unsigned contract over to Starbucks and waited while they took another look at the house.

Three hours later we had an offer in our hands from Buyer #2. Still, sellers chose to go with Buyer #1. If Buyer #2 had submitted that offer a couple of days earlier, the seller probably would have accepted it and they'd be on their way to home ownership.

The market may be slow, but it's probably not as slow as you think it is. Don't take anything for granted!