Thoughts after an over-priced home tour

Real Estate Agent with Windermere Real Estate 11741

Yesterday there was a 12 home Realtor lunch tour on the south side of Missoula.  All of the houses were larger/newer homes in newer subdivisions, priced between $350,000 - $600,000.  For those of you unfamiliar with our market, that's probably what you'd consider the "top end" right now, there's higher priced stuff, but these are mostly large homes with 4+ bedrooms, newer, big lots as high as 2 acres, etc. 

After completing the tour it was sobering what is going on in our "top end" market, the general disconnect between agents and sellers, and how people still don't realize the changing national market.  A few observations:

- Not a single house was priced within 10% of it's market value.

- Of the 4 most expensive homes only 1 had a yard, the rest had an acre of weeds or dried out dirt/clay.  I figured some were foreclosures, none were, and in two cases the agents pretended to be shocked that I'd dare ask such a question.

- Only a few agents had the confidence that they were going to get a price reduction or work done on the house to improve it's appearance.

While the lower price range of our market is flying by, the top end crawls at a much slower pace, and agents are failing to help their sellers recognize that.  In one house that was probably $100,000 over-priced the agent said she wasn't going to pass our feedback along b/c she was afraid of what her clients reaction would be!  In another house that might've been $150,000 too high priced, the agent said that her clients would, "probably go that low."  Well then, REDUCE IT!  I don't usually search $150,000 over what my clients are approved for, and I doubt many other buyer's agents do so as well. 

Someone help me, when did we go from being the professionals in our market that helped our seller clients get their house sold, to someone who will just appease their seller clients and not tell them what they need to hear?  Come on people, if your sellers need to sell, and are willing to be priced within their actual fair market range, get it done.  How on earth are you going to sell a house that's $100,000 over priced (at least), ugh.

The best advice I could give any seller's agent; if the seller wants to horribly over price the house, or bases their opinion on an old appraisal compared to your market advice, walk away - don't take the listing.  Badly over-priced listings are probably the 2nd or 3rd biggest time wasters in this business (behind working with extreme low-ball bargain hunters, and selling short-sale houses).


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Brian Kuhns
Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber - Fort Wayne, IN
Fort Wayne Real Estate by Brian Kuhns

I guess it boils down to do you want to sell your house or list your house? I agree with you, why waste our time listing houses for people who aren't going to "get it"

Jun 05, 2009 07:04 AM #1
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

Hi Brint,

As real estate councils and boards constantly remind us of our codes of conduct, one key piece of information is being overlooked.

With a professional obligation to work in the best interest of the seller, how do we account for so many expired listings?  

Taking an over-priced listing is a blatant act of de-valuing the real estate profession.  It is also a telling demonstration of a Realtor lacking basic business acumen and morals; it is the antithesis of ethical behaviour.

The failure rate (of expired listings) is not a measurement commonly used in the real estate industry, and yet it is a primary cause for our professional abilities to be questioned, and is at the root of much public discontent.

Brian nails it with his comment; our goal is to sell, not to list. I hope you don't mind me adding to your post by offering this blog post link from earlier today.

Keep up the crusade.

Jun 05, 2009 07:51 AM #2
Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

Brent our top end is still sluggish as well. With the conforming loan limit so low many buyers find it a challenge to come up with 25-30% down!

Jun 05, 2009 07:54 AM #3
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Brint,  While I don't agree with some of the listing prices I've seen it is also a fact that many brokers make agents take the listing in hopes of getting a reduction down the road.  Still, mucks up the market !

Jun 05, 2009 08:34 AM #4
Debra Cernick
DeShazer Ryan Realty - Libby, MT

It sure is not any fun to list like that.  Maybe if the seller HAVE to move and will come down in the next month- but not for me.

Jun 09, 2009 03:30 PM #5
Wanda Thomas
Montana Homestead Brokers, Broker, CRS, GRI, SFR, RN - Billings, MT
Billings Montana Real Estate

This has become a common phenomenon!  I was just commenting on another blog about this very issue.  There is a prevailing thought that if 2 Realtors pass up a high priced listing based on facts, 12 other Realtors are standing in line to take it anyway.  Just doesn't make sense to me.

Jun 09, 2009 03:33 PM #6
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Brint Wahlberg

The Wahlberg Team
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