Recently a neighbor wanted help deciding whether to sell or rent her home. I showed her recently sold comparables and currently listed rentals. The reality of her situation dictated that she should sell, and the list I gave her contained over 20 good comps from four surrounding neighborhoods. Even though her home was in good condition and backed up to a golf course, the comps clearly showed that the market could probably bring $265,000.
Not long after our meeting, I received a polite email from her saying that “my daughter knows another agent, and I don’t think I could live by your rules.” Although ‘rules’ were never mentioned, I did advise her about the importance of maintaining a clean and clutter-free environment during the selling process. Chances are that the real issue was price.
Sure enough the house was listed by another agent at $300,000! That’s $35,000 over what the comps revealed as a generous market spot. So the other agent played the tired old game of “buying” the listing and it will be interesting to watch how that goes.
Anyone who has ever attended my workshops, knows how important is is to price a home correctly from the beginning. In a recent Active Rain blog article “Every Seller Needs To Know, What Sells a House,” Carra Riley, an AZ REALTOR® laid the argument out beautifully. She says there are four variables that sell a home: Price, Terms, Condition, and Location. Ms. Riley further states that: “Price fixes everything! When a buyer perceives there is a value because of the price, they will buy the home. The other three variables can always affect the price.”
Great terms might fetch a little higher price over similar homes. Certainly a home’s good condition puts it on a buyer’s short list. You can’t change the location of a home, so only price and terms will help that situation.
It’s hard to imagine the real estate market turning around when sellers who are not distressed continue to overprice their homes, sometimes at the urging of a real estate agent.
How can an agent honestly look at the same comparables and add $35,000 to the price just to get the listing? These old games have never been good business, and in this market it amounts to malpractice.
I’ll leave you with this great quote from Ms. Riley: “Sellers should take all the emotion out of the business of selling a home and treat the transaction as an investment decision. If the goal is to get the home sold then listen to the professionals and let them do their job. As Donald Trump would say, It’s only business."