Any Idiot Can Give Their House Away...If Price is All that Matters - What do they need us for?

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Education & Training with Sell with Soul

This is yet another follow-up to the topic of "Is Price Always the Best Answer to a Non-Selling Listing?" that I started last week. You can read more HERE and HERE.

Real estate agents are quite fond of the philosophy that "Price conquers all," meaning that if you price a listing low enough, it will sell regardless of the challenges the property presents.

Fair enough.

But I must ask. So what? Is that our job as professional real estate agents to simply recommend a price low enough that any piece of junk will sell?

Or, rather, is it to help our sellers get the highest possible price in the shortest possible time, whatever a realistic price and time may be? If our job is to simply sell it fast, at any price, well, shoot, just about any idiot can give their property away! Isn't that why homesellers hire us in the first place, to do a better job for them than they can do for themselves?

Real estate agents are always bragging about their listing expertise and defending their commissions by claiming they MORE THAN EARN THEIR FEE. Uh, well, I have to disagree if the only solution we offer our sellers is to price aggressively. There ARE other things a seller can do to maximize his sales price, and it's our job to 1) know what those things are, and 2) be willing to share those secrets with a seller and 3) help the seller accomplish those things. (and those were the topics of the previous blogs linked to above)

What if you went to your doctor with a pain in your leg and the only solution he offered was to cut the offending appendage off? Yes, that would cure the pain in your leg, but maybe there's a better way that involves a little more effort on his part (and yours). Or if your plumber simply removed the toilet that wasn't flushing instead of figuring out how to repair it?

Of course, if I request that the doctor amputate my leg, or that the plumber tear out my toilet, or that my Realtor simply give my house away, well, then, they have my blessing. But in most cases, c'mon, our clients deserve a little more effort and expertise than that, don't they?

I'm not sayin' that price isn't important - of course it is. But if we keep preaching that "Price is the ANSWER!" to the exclusion of any other effort on our part, we may end up preaching ourselves out of a job...deservedly so, I might add.

 

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Chuck Capan 06/30/2009 06:01 AM
  2. Daniel H. Fisher 10/09/2011 02:16 PM
Topic:
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Anonymous
michael

and when the house doesnt get an offer after 90 days???  how many agents suggest a drop in price??

Be honest!

Jul 02, 2009 04:05 PM #141
Rainmaker
484,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul
Jul 03, 2009 12:25 AM #142
Ambassador
884,710
Janna Scharf
Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert

It is SO REFRESHING to see someone talking about something BEYOND price reductions to get a home sold.  I had been feeling like a lone voice in the wilderness!

Jul 03, 2009 12:59 AM #144
Rainmaker
484,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Janna - I used those exact words in a similar comment on a private forum...! There are some of us out there, but not as many as I'd like... ah well...

Jul 03, 2009 01:22 AM #145
Anonymous
Anonymous

I would ask how these thoughts would extend to a buyer?  When inventory is rampant with as much as a 10-year supply, a buyer will have many, many, many comparable choices in front of him.  It's a Realtor's dream to have a client who doesn't care what the price is and there are some buyers out there like that.  But they are few and far between and it is a huge limitation to wait and hope that one of those will appear to snap up a home priced hundreds of thousands of dollars above one next door.  In most markets today, the home must be priced right to be in the game.  We need to do a better job of educating our sellers that what they paid for their home has no relevance to what they can sell it for.

Jul 03, 2009 04:37 AM #146
Rainmaker
492,177
Richard T. Dolbeare
Keller Williams Realty Maui - Kahului, HI
R(B), ABR, CRS...Hawaii Multi-Island Specialist

Ooops, I wasn't logged in so returned to identify myself...

I would ask how these thoughts would extend to a buyer?  When inventory is rampant with as much as a 10-year supply, a buyer will have many, many, many comparable choices in front of him.  It's a Realtor's dream to have a client who doesn't care what the price is and there are some buyers out there like that.  But they are few and far between and it is a huge limitation to wait and hope that one of those will appear to snap up a home priced hundreds of thousands of dollars above one next door.  In most markets today, the home must be priced right to be in the game.  We need to do a better job of educating our sellers that what they paid for their home has no relevance to what they can sell it for.

Jul 03, 2009 04:50 AM #147
Rainmaker
484,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Anonymous commenter ;-] - Even with buckets and buckets of inventory, buyers still want to fall in love. Maybe not all, but most. And the house they fall in love with, they'll offer on. Oh, sure, they'll offer low, but at least they're at the table...

Jul 03, 2009 04:55 AM #148
Rainmaker
518,492
Harrison K. Long
HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney

Jennifer .. Thanks for this post and reminder that our job as Realtor agents is much more than to list and sell the house fast.  It's so much more about customer service, advising our clients, being informed about property information and technical aspects of trasactions, helping clients with decisions, and going above and beyond expectations along the way.

Jul 03, 2009 10:33 AM #149
Rainmaker
285,778
Trela Bird
Urban Utah Homes & Estates - Salt Lake City, UT
Realtor, Salt Lake City Utah

It winds me up when someone says 'It Will Sell if the price is right', well of cause it will. Price it at $1 and it will sell the same day.

Jul 03, 2009 12:08 PM #150
Rainmaker
797,159
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Jennifer - Great article for discussion.  The one thing that I can say is there are lots of sellers out there that have homes that are in not very good condition because they are not motivated to have a clean, updated home that they can sell for top dollar.  If they were that type of person, their home would not be in such bad condition when we arrive at their home as their potential listing agent.  They would have kept it up over the years, and we wouldn't have to recommend all these things to them.

Granted, there are a few out there that are interested in our advice, but many other sellers that just want us to sell their home as-is.  In our area, homes that are in bad condition are selling.  Investors are buying them up and fixing them with new flooring, paint, landscaping, etc.  They are selling for less than top dollar, but yes, most of these are bank owned or short sales.  That's just the market we are in right now.

Jul 03, 2009 07:34 PM #151
Rainmaker
484,057
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Troy - agreed that many sellers will not, can not do anything to prepare for market. And in that case, you must price for the condition of the home. But I believe that real estate agents make this decision for their sellers far too often, when the seller might very well be willing and able to make improvements. Either way, it's our job to give them their options and yes, push them a little toward the one that benefits THEM the most, and make it easier for them to make the "right" decision.

But again, you work in a market quite different from mine, so I will defer to your experience there. My buyers and sellers are almost all retail - which is a very different animal. Thanks so much for your comments!

 

Jul 03, 2009 11:05 PM #152
Rainmaker
199,540
Mark Velasco
Sharpstone Realty, Inc - Whittier, CA
Listing Agent-Whittier & Surrounding ciities

Jennifer. Many Agents forget or omit the marketing of the property. I am talking about the promotion of the property in places OTHER than the MLS.

Jul 12, 2009 07:48 AM #153
Rainer
11,105
Donna LaConte
KELLER WILLIAMS, Waynesville, NC - Sylva, NC

" help our sellers get the highest possible price in the shortest possible time, whatever a realistic price and time may be? "

This made me feel good when I read it and want to yell "RIGHT ON!!" Makes me feel all that I do... is not for naught... It is about price...but there is SO much more to it.  Thanks! 

Donna LaConte, REALTOR, Adams, Cameron & Co., REALTORS, DeLand, Fl.

www.donnalaconte.adamscameron.com

Jul 12, 2009 09:20 AM #154
Rainmaker
1,431,110
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Price is a big part of it, and I understand about pricing low to get buyers in and get an auction environment going, but it needs to be marketed and shown right too.

Jul 30, 2009 03:26 AM #155
Anonymous
Charo Bhatt

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This is the burning issue of the current market of San Francisco Greater Bay Area too... Appraisals!

We use to have a willing buyer –willing seller concept. Last couple of escrows that

I closed when I was representing sellers; the buyers came with the difference in extra cash and bought the homes. Buyers and buyer’s agents know that there are no other homes similar to the one they are buying in market place. Buyers having an experience of loosing several deals in multiple offer situations and their current needs of getting in to their own home, pride of ownership neighborhood etc. were the factors played big roll in buyer’s decisions to pay that extra difference out of their pocket.  

Jul 30, 2009 03:41 AM #156
Rainmaker
182,557
Debra Kukulski, Broker Associate
RE/MAX Unlimited Northwest - Cary, IL
SRES;SFR,CDPE;GRI;ABR;e-PRO Realtor, Northern IL

I think pricing correctly is a big part of marketing and a good Realtor's expertise...prcing a listing correctly is the first step so the home is offered to the right buyers, but then great marketing gets it in front of as many of them as possible!

Sep 22, 2009 12:33 AM #157
Rainmaker
121,535
Bob Krus
Keller Williams Foothills Realty - Evergreen, CO
What About Bob? For All Your Real Estate Needs!

There are only 2 things sellers can affect when it comes to selling their home: Price & Presentation.

First comes evaluation of the home and staging. The more sellers do to make their home attractive to buyers, the better the price they'll get and the sooner it will sell. Not all sellers are willing to take the steps necessary to maximize their standing in the market, but those who make the effort will reap the rewards.

If the home isn't priced correctly it isn't going to sell, so a realtor must have some input into the price equation. A good understanding of local market and a reasonable CMA to show sellers how their home fits into it can go a long way towards helping them to understand where the home should be priced. If possible, getting the sellers out to look at active comparables can bring them down to reality - if the realtor can point out the plus & minus factors of the competition vs. their home. I always tell my sellers 'There is no 2nd Place in selling a home. You either do or you don't.' Have sellers look at the comparables and ask themselves, 'If you were buying a home, which would you choose?' If they can't honestly say they'd choose theirs, they're priced too high.

Some realtors will take an overpriced listing just to have a listing. Maybe your signs will draw in buyers you can steer to more reasonably priced homes. I'm not sure this works because you're just not going to get that many calls on an overpriced home. Perhaps if it's in a very visible location someone will call you just because they've seen your sign. Maybe you can eventually get the seller to reduce the price & sell but by then the seller may be thinking of hiring another agent - after all, you've had your chance and haven't performed... How many of us have had an expired listing sell by another agent and said, 'Heck, if you'd let me list it at that price I'd have sold it!!!'.

Realtors earn their keep by providing expert advice on pricing, staging and due diligence issues after a contract is executed but the most expert advice is worthless if it isn't heeded.

 

 

 

Nov 20, 2009 05:34 AM #158
Ambassador
853,568
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Well Jennifer, I came back to comment on this post and God only knows how I missed it in the first place.  I do subscribe to you, you know :)!  Maybe I was in some kind of coma...anyway... AMEN is all I can say back to you.  There are several things that go into selling a home and price is important, but IMO (and A LOT of other's opinion to include yours), not the only thing that matters. 

This was obviously a very well deserved feature :)! 

Aug 10, 2011 08:25 AM #159
Anonymous
Essy
God, I feel like I sholud be takin notes! Great work
Aug 11, 2011 05:53 AM #160
Anonymous
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Jul 23, 2012 06:54 PM #161
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