Ex Dividend date stock drop

I’m just curious - I realize that stocks drop on an ex-dividend date since a dividend has been declared so the NAV is more than likely impacted in a negative way, plus buyers will not receive the declared dividend.

My question - I understand buyers’ interest on the ex-dividend date but not sellers. Why would sellers be willing to sell shares at a price that often is lower than the declared dividend? It’s not like it’s unusual for this scenario to happen - it happens almost every time an ex-dividend date comes around. I understand capturing the dividend and trying to get out on the ex-dividend date but that’s not realistic - days or a week or so later may work out.

So, who are the sellers on the ex-dividend date and what is the motivation?

The dividend is taxable (usually at capital gains rates). Selling before the x-sale avoids the dividend but still pays capital gains. Looks like a wash. But if you sell at a loss you avoid the dividend.

I’m curious about those sellers that sell on the ex-dividend date which invariably tanks the stock about the same as the dividend (more or less). Although we don’t know the price the sellers paid, what’s the motivation to sell on the ex-dividend date - often selling much lower than the prior business day and no dividend?. There must be a simple answer to this phenomenon but I can’t come up with one.

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At the moment the x is executed the market marks down the bid ask by deducting the value of the dividend. It is not the sellers decision.

If you trade a thinly traded stock on the x date broker has asked if i want the dividend or not.

WOW! Interesting, but what do you mean by “the market” - who is that entity?

All of the markets are maintained by specialists who trade against you if no other buyer or seller emerges. They maintain books of pending orders and can easily adjust those prices.

Now that sounds unfair.

The Specialists (or Designated Market Makers) are responsible for ensuring a functional exchange - even at the cost of their own money (they have skin in the game). Fairness to one party or another is not really relevant.

Specialist: What it Means, How it Works, Roles.

This is known as “making the market.” This is how markets function. Someone has to be there to trade all the time. That is the specialist.