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What brings an owner to become a seller?

I was at an event last night when a guy I know to own several nicely located apartment buildings says to me that it is a great time to be a seller these days.  He is not a seller, of course, just an observer of the current marketplace.

I have been representing buyers and sellers of apartment buildings since 1987.  In that time I have been through a few market cycles.  This friend’s comment last night caused me to think about what turns an owner into a seller. 

It is rarely market timing from greed or fear.  It is usually some life style change that has or is about to occur.  Those lucky enough to have the lifestyle alter during a bull market for real estate are simply that: lucky.  It is interesting to me to drive around Seattle after selling apartment buildings for so many years and still see buildings that I have never seen sell in my entire career.  Will they ever?  Probably not due to fear or greed but maybe due to some external event that causes the owner to convert to a seller. 

If they are lucky they convert during a great sellers’ market like we have today.