I live and do business in the rather affluent communities of Hendersonville and Gallatin, TN a suburb of Nashville. As you might expect I do business with a lot of smart and well educated people: Medical Doctors, P.H.D.'s and financially savvy business people. So at times I can not believe the illogical thought process that I hear on many of my listing appointments.
Here are just a few examples:
We have just reached the point in the listing presentation where it is time to talk price. I've done my home work; I have active homes that compete with the seller's home, all comparable sold homes from the last 12 months, tax records on all sold homes to compare with the subject property, and a break down of all adjustments that show why the seller's property is worth more or less than the other sold homes. Then the tense moment " I think the price should be XXX dollars ." The next statement that comes from the client is often, "that's interesting but I need to price it for XXX dollars because I need XXX dollars out of it." Please explain to me logically how what someone needs out of the property has to do with the value. I haven't tried out this logic for myself but I think I will go march down to the Mercedes dealer and ask to buy a new 320 model for $8,000 because that's the price I need it to be.
Value is best predicted by past comparable sales, and the selling public must think at times that a customer looks at only one home before making a purchase. Believe me you can take a couple off the boat from Bangladesh and show them 10 homes, and they can tell you which ones are over priced.
This is example number two of illogical thinking at the listing presentation:
As a Realtor you have just walked through the home. It's located in a good school district in a well cared for neighborhood. There's just a few problems ; the wall colors are mauve and sea foam green, the sculptured carpets are peach, the dining room area has a duck wall paper border that perfectly matches the floral kitchen wallpaper. Sad looking deer heads stare down at the worlds largest collection of pig salt and pepper shakers. And the cat box in the corner, well it smells like ... let's put this politely... SHIT. I am informed with great pride that the home has a new roof and water heater.
I delicately bring up the need for changes and with sad faces am told of the paint and carpet " I'm sure the new owners would rather pick out what they want, the husband is proud of the deer heads, and they can't even smell Fluffy's litter box." I understand that they don't want to make changes, and anyway maybe buyers will line up and and take numbers since it has a new water heater. RIGHT!
The last illogical approach to selling and buying a home is the emphasis on "dollar per square ft."
When I started my career many years ago dollar per square ft. had meaning. Of course 90% of the homes were ranch style boxes that had 4/12 pitch roofs, and the other 10% were two story boxes.
In today's world talking about dollar per square foot is as logical as asking how much is the cost of a bag of groceries. So many homes today have so many factors that affect cost. How complicated is the plan, what amenities are in the home, is there 2 story volume areas and what's outside; like covered porches, fireplaces, and pools. Also one level homes are more expensive to construct per square foot than two stories, and the smaller the house, usually the higher dollar per square foot. And half the time one of the two homes being compared has incorrect square footage. While size matters, dollar per square foot is of little use in pricing homes in today's market.
Well I could make this blog into a book about the illogical thoughts that people express about their homes. But the truth is that we all bring so much emotion to the table when it comes to the thoughts and feelings about our home, "our castle."
When I first got into Real Estate I listed farms, log homes, acreage properties, and contemporary homes. I was more successful at listing than selling my inventory, so I went to my broker and asked what I was doing wrong. He said have you ever thought about listing the type of homes that are easy to sell. Well that got my attention! I became much more objective and logical about my business and less illogical and subjective.
What I liked wasn't necessarily and in most cases the opposite of what the public liked. So just remember illogical thinking most often leads to inappropriate actions. That's the power of illogical thinking...