Despite the media’s best efforts to convince us otherwise- property is moving! If your property is priced right, shows well and is correctly marketed, it should sell! I have been fortunate to move quite a few of my listings in the last couple of months, including some that had been on the market a while. Customers continue to be well-qualified and motivated. The biggest difference is that they really are “Internet savvy” and educated in what houses are selling for and what they are willing to pay. What this means is that buyers don’t really care about sellers’ motivation, what they paid, have invested in it or what they would like to get out of it. They are looking less emotionally and more as a property acquisition or investment- much as an appraiser does. Comps matter. It is still a buyers’ market.
I recently turned down a million dollar listing because the owner had unrealistic expectations. The house was gorgeous and showed well. Then add into the mix that she wanted to continue to rent it (vacation rentals) and have showings that worked around the rentals (!) and have a portion of my commission go back to the buyers’ agent as incentive for the buyers’ agent (!)- I decided it wasn’t worth my time or marketing dollars. I am assuming it is now some other agent’s problem. It may sell quickly- I mean everyone knows there are a ton of million dollar cash buyers out there who are just waiting to see this home via a virtual tour because they can’t schedule a showing around the renters’ and the buyers’ schedules. Right? And don’t forget, the buyers’ agent will really push it for the extra commission because they have “so much influence” on their buyers. Sarcasm intended. And this was on the advice of a “financial advisor” who, I’m sure, discounts his or her services on the behalf of his client. More sarcasm.
There are agents out there who go for quantity not quality. In other words, if you throw enough properties on the market, some are bound to sell. Right? Do you really want to use one of those agents? Those type of agents typically are not good about returning calls or sharing information with their clients because they are just too busy with all their listings. Can they get all their brochure boxes filled or do they even have a marketing brochure for the “curb” or inside of the house? Is their web-page up-to-date? I am amazed at the number of homes I have shown in nearly every price-range that don’t even have a simple marketing piece outlining some of the property’s key assets that include something as elementary as a plat of the property.
And then there’s the ” I want the listing at any price” mentality. Why? The agent feels that they may eventually talk the owner into reducing the price (called “chasing” the market vs. “setting” the market). Besides- there’s always that uneducated, mythical buyer who is willing to slap down the money because they love the house, without doing their research, right? And of course, the agent can influence the appraisal- right? NOT.
I treat real estate as a business. Does a doctor or a lawyer or other professional who offers a valuable service reduce his or her fees to get a client? I don’t think so. If I curtail my income by cutting the commission, which portion of my marketing efforts do you want to do without? What does that commission cover? Well, besides your marketing expenses for brochures, print media and Internet marketing- there are ongoing expenses for gas, continuing education, office space, equipment, phone, Internet, web development, MLS and association membership, Errors and Omission insurance and let’s not forget our broker’s portion. The really unique thing about real estate is that this compensation is not earned until your property closes. This means that you don’t pay a dime “up front.” How many successful businesses run like that?
Bottom line is that if you want to hire a consultant who will give you a fact-based evaluation of your property, market it where buyers are “shopping,” provide you with feedback and suggestions and tweek those efforts ongoing where needed, I would love to talk to you. If you want to set your own price, marketing strategy and outcome I recommend a FSBO (for sale by owner) or another agent.
Thanks for listening and call me for a free, no-obligation market value analysis.