Mr and Ms Home Seller have decided to sell their home. They have a fairly good idea of what they think their home is worth. After doing their own homework online with some of the automated pricing web sites, The Sellers, being very sensible sellers, schedule appointments with three local Listing Agents who've been hanging stuff on their front doorknob for years.
Each Agent comes prepared with a "Competitive Market Analysis" (called a CMA). It is on fancy paper, and two of the three even have "professionally done" flip charts as part of their presentations. Each of the three Listing Agents recommends a specific sales price.
Amazingly, a couple of the Listing Agents have come up with prices that are lower than the Sellers expected. Although they back up their recommendations with recent sales data of comparable homes, The Sellers remain convinced their house is worth more.
When the third Listing Agent arrives, The Sellers find his pricing numbers are much more in line with the Listing Price they had hoped for, or maybe even higher. Suddenly, they are two very happy and very excited home sellers, already counting their money.
Which Listing Agent Should The Sellers Choose ?
If they're like many people, they pick Listing Agent Number Three. They feel that this is an agent who seems willing to listen to their input and work with them. This is an agent who cares about putting the most money in the Seller's pockets. This is an agent who is willing to start out at The Seller's price, and if they need to drop their price later, they can do that easily, right ? After all, everyone else does it.
The truth is... that The Sellers may have just met a Listing Agent using an unfair listing practice called "buying a listing." He "bought" the listing by suggesting that The Sellers might be able to get a much higher sales price than the other agents CMA's recommended. Most likely, he is quite doubtful that their home will actually sell at that price. The intention from the beginning is to eventually talk The Sellers into lowering their price.
Why do some Listing Agents "buy" listings ?
There are basically two reasons. A well-meaning and hard working agent can feel pressure from homeowners who have an inflated idea of their home's value. On the other hand, there are some agents who engage in this unfair sales practice routinely.
Which makes more sense ? Which Listing Agent should the Sellers choose ?
It depends on whether The Sellers just want "to list" their home... or if they really want "to sell" their home.