It saddens me as a successful full time real estate professional to go on listing appointment's these days. I sit across from a seller that called for obvious reasons, to list their home and the conversation often goes the same way.
FIRST AGENT APPOINTMENT
Realtor: Mr Seller, based on the comparable sold properties, the active listings, what is currently under contract as it relates to your home including all the wonderful features, lot location and condition here is the range your home will sell in________.
Seller: Well I was hoping to get ________ because we we need _______ to buy our other house. Or we need it to pay off some debt so we can do _______________.
Realtor: I understand your position, however with the amount of inventory that consumers have to choose from along with the amount of information that is available to them buyers are very savvy. It's important to you as a seller to come out strong in every area to get the highest price. That means condition as well as your list price. Consumers will recognize a good opportunity when they see it. You could even have multiple buyers interested. What you don't want to do is chase the market down. What I mean is, if you start too high you will lose your best market time, your first months. By the time you lower the price to where you should have been in the first place, the market may have moved below that based on newer information. That being said a month after listing the home with no offers, having made another mortgage payment we may need to adjust the price to lower than suggested in the beginning and now you listing is a month old.
Seller: I hear you, but we really aren't talking that much and buyers will want to negotiate. They can always make an offer. Besides I need that room to come down. I can't sell below________.
Realtor: It's your home and your money we can list were you want to, you just need to understand the consequences of this strategy. If we do not get an offer on your home, which is the equivalent of someone being emotionally engaged in purchasing your home, we cannot even begin negotiations. An experienced agent will be a trusted counselor as well as a skilled negotiator. These are must have qualities in the Realtor you decide to hire. Meaning putting your best foot forward in the beginning, then have a skilled experienced agent that can handle the negotiations once an offer comes in equals selling your home. It's about more than, "Do you do open houses?" The only reason I am passionate about this is I have watched several home owners lose money over a strategy that will not work in this market. Unfortunately you will find an agent that will do whatever you tell them.
Seller: Thank you so much we are going to talk about it tonight and let you know tomorrow.
Realtor: (in mind) They have an agent already that gave them a warm fuzzy about a higher price!
DIDN'T SELL, SECOND LISTING AGENT APPOINTMENT
Realtor: Well, tell me what happened? What went wrong?
Seller: Well, when we listed our house we started out just a little higher than maybe we should have. But we needed the money to buy our next house. Now it doesn't matter anymore. Prices have dropped so much on our house that it's not even an option. At this point we just need to get out. The payments too high and we are just going to rent.
Realtor: (in my mind) I'm thinking I just walked in and get the listing, The other agent did all the work and did not even get the chance for the right price. At the same time this was so unnecessary. OUT LOUD: Let me show you how we market a home, go over the comparable's and our service then we can get started.
What's the point? Is it better to be agent number 2? Well for the agent but never for the consumer or the market. The agent will have a motivated seller which equals a sellable home. At the same time if they would have listened to reason in the beginning they would have made more money and the comps would look better. Everyone has to remember that in most markets we are still declining. If you haven't noticed where are the 5 million foreclosures? They sure aren't "For Sale". It appears that the banks are trickling them into the market. Until all that inventory is liquidated and working Americans own them, the housing market will not be stabilized. That among other factors. It's not all doom and gloom but unrealistic sellers participate in driving down the market. Not sure what the answer is. I will be listing agent number 2, but I much prefer to be agent number 1. It's better for everyone. market time, sold price and seller net. It's a win win!
follow me http://twitter.com/jaxsecretagent