Real Estate Opinions - Is it the Pricing or the Marketing?

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Real Estate Opinions - What's more important, Pricing the home properly or the marketing?  Yes, I understand the majority of people will say it's a combination of both, but that's not my question. 

real estate opinion marketingIf you could only do one thing for a listing, would you price it properly and aggressively from day one or would you market the heck out of it and hope for the best?

I've recently run into two different situations with sellers who have their homes on the market.  They're both using two different strategies, or at least their agents are.

The first one has had the house on the market for 11 months.  He is using an agent who works exclusively in his gated community.  He says they have had 67 showings on the house and never hear anything about feedback.  He says the agent doesn't think it's a good idea to reduce the price because they're not getting feedback that it's overpriced, and he just wants an offer, any offer, so he can have a starting place with negotiations.

Since the agent is exclusive to this community and is a member of the country club there, he's assuming she has a lot of marketing in place that is supposed to just make people write an offer... but 67 showings and 11 months later, nothing, nada, zilch.

The second one has had the house on the market just over 2 months.  How many price adjustments has she had??  FOUR!

The first thing I saw is that the original asking price was $4.  This is so when a consumer is looking at properties, they can't tell what the true original asking price is or was so when the agent makes adjustments, the consumer doesn't know where the number actually started... until their buyer's agent looks at the history.

This house was listed for $475,000 on 8/12.  Reduced substantially to $430,000 on 8/22.  A buyer should think, "WOW!  This seller is serious, I wanna buy it!"  However, further history shows the seller bought it less than a year ago for only $410k.

On 9/4, the price was reduced to $420k, and further reduced to $415k on 10/7 and then $400,000 on 10/16.

As far as I can see, I can't see any marketing on this house.  It seems the agent is feeding off the builders' traffic as she has done a couple of open houses and put a balloon on her sign that blows in the wind.  The house is now priced lower than what the seller bought it for, but still no nibbles...

So, is it the marketing that gets people to write offers or is it the pricing strategy of lowering the price aggressively every few days that will make people write the offer?  If seller number two had an agent that aggressively marketed the house as "barely lived in and better than new" and did some target marketing, would they have more bites?  If she started out with the $430k price instead of the pie in the sky at $475k, would they have more bites?

If seller number one priced the home better to show buyers he was a serious seller, instead of letting it sit on the market for 11 months waiting, would he have already received the offer he was looking for in the price range he's willing to accept?

Two very different ideas of selling a house, yet both houses are yielding the same results, no offers!!

I'll ask again... if you were only allowed to use one strategy to sell a house, which would you choose, pricing or marketing?

It's a hard decision, I know.  But think back to one of your hardest listings to sell and if you had to do it all over again on that particular house, which would you choose?

**Are You Packed Yet?** 

donna harris Realtor Austin TX blog

Donna Harris, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Austin Skyline

Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every step of the way. 

For real time Austin TX listings, click here.

** #1 Agent in my Office for all of 2008 **

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Marian Goetzinger
Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000 - Pine Knoll Shores, NC
Crystal Coast Real Estate NC

Donna,  WOW!  you've gotten a vast array of answers.  Here's my two cents worth.  If it's way overpriced no amount of marketing will make it sell.  If it's in MLS anywhere, it's all over the internet if buyer's look and in today's world, most of them are more computer savvy than we are, so they're all marketed to a certain extent.  (Well, unless they're FISBOS or listed with a non-REALTOR licensee)  Anyway, price it RIGHT!

Oct 22, 2009 02:40 AM #56
Raymond Gravelle
Moses Lake, WA

Great description of each scenario Donna. Thank goodness as top professionals we don't have to choose one OR the other. We get to offer BOTH to our clients. We know what it takes to sell in this market, both. If the client doesn't want to be realistic in pricing then we can let another agent spend their time and money attempting to sell.

Oct 22, 2009 02:58 AM #57
Deborah Amazon
Deborah Amazon ~ Amazon Realty ~ Mount Snow, VT 05356 - Mount Snow, VT

Let's price it right and then hopefully we won't have to market it!

Oct 22, 2009 03:00 AM #58
Tori Stamps
Stamps Realty - Franklin, TN
MA JD - Broker/Owner Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I'm one that prefers both, but with 90% of buyers starting their home search on the internet and most of those using a Realtor, marketing is the thing that can be tossed out the window if need be.  There is so much national syndication off of local MLS systems that internet marketing is automatic. 

I'm a firm believer that no matter how well a home is marketed, if it's overpriced, it's not going to sell.  This is why I've always said not to take an overpriced listing.  Let the other agent over-price it and spend their money marketing it.  When it expires, I'll come in - price it right and sell it.

Oct 22, 2009 03:35 AM #59
SarahGray Lamm
Allen Tate Realtors Chapel Hill, NC 919-819-8199 - Chapel Hill, NC
Realtor - 100K Hours of NC Real Estate Experience

Bar none, pricing. If an agent is too slack to properly market they can always fall back on their fellow agents to pick it up in MLS and sell it to one of the 95% of buyers who are represented. I'd rather do ALL the work representing a buyer on a properly priced property than be compelled to have my client be the one to teach an unrealistic seller what his agent should have taught him in the beginning! 

Oct 22, 2009 03:36 AM #60
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

WOW!  I turn my back for a few hours, and have tons of people to respond to.  Please be patient and I'll get to everyone!!

Lorraine & Loretta, Thank you, and yes, the agent definitely needs better follow up, but the sellers don't want to ruffle feathers and ask.

Phil, I see where you're coming from, but what if the overpricing is out of the buyer's price range and the agents aren't even pulling it up in their search in order to get a lower offer?

Kathleen, Makes sense.

Susan, Exactly!

Greg, That's awesome!

Bryant, I agree!

Liz, Yikes!

Knowles, Makes sense.

Chris, I hadn't thought about the foreclosures getting no marketing and selling quickly.

Jackie, Except in this case, lots of showings, but not even a lowball to play the game.

Linda L, Thanks!

Renee, Makes sense.

Gary W, Definitely.

Corinne, The seller with the 67 showings is solely listening to his agent and she's making all the decisions.  That scares me, but he doesn't seem to mind.

Jean, You make a point about the MLS.

Oct 22, 2009 03:41 AM #62
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Aaron, Yep, and Good seeing you here on AR!

Trent, I know, right?

Russ, Thanks.

John E,  I like the mobile home at $1M example.

Lana, Makes sense.

Denise, Thank you!

Cheryl, Thanks!

Bruce, I'm not including the MLS as marketing as that's not a marketing "effort".

Loreena, Thanks!

Debra L, Exactly!

Sara, Good for you!

Linda M, Simple!

Susanne, Thank you.

Michael, I'm sorry, but I didn't understand your answer... ;)

Joel, Makes perfect sense!

Oct 22, 2009 03:47 AM #63
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Beverly, I'm not even in their market, and I heard "overpriced" as soon as they told me how many showings they have had, which was a few hours before I learned it had been on the market for almost a year!

Lane, You make a very good point about unique homes needing more than just price.

Sybil, Drastic example, and it happens all the time.

Will, You make a good arguement. There were no real right or wrong answers. JUst wanted to see what others thought. I have an extensive marketing package, but I also won't overprice a listing...

David, I love those commercials for the $1 coins for $20.  Why pay $20 for only $1?  ANd they're never minted in the US so it's not real money anyway...

J Philip, With a megaphone.

Michelle, Exactly!

Denise, I'll let that slide...

Virginia, Glad you learned something new to help.

Carol, A lot of my business last year was from expired listings! They're usually more willing to price right this round.

Steve, Make sense.

John, I know!

William, Thank you!

Carin, Goes around in circles doesn't it...

Oct 22, 2009 03:58 AM #64
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Dave, Me neither!

Marc, Makes sense.

Kevin & Monica, Except the HEB down the street consistantly sells milk for $3.99 when it's $2.99 down the street at Randall's... Why?  I don't know, but it's only $1.99 in Dallas so even the $2.99 really makes me mad!!  HEB has brainwashed Austin, and it's annoying because their prices are so much higher than what I'm used to!

Tim & Susan, I'll let you have two different answers...

Mike M, Personally, I think the agent is getting people in the door and showing them higher priced homes since this one is at the bottom of the neighborhood, but the sellers don't see it yet. I think I opened their eyes to ask more questions.

Brian, Interesting strategy...

Dave E, Straight to the point.

Options, Builders should be giving the incentives to the buyers not the agents, but that's a different story.

Kathleen West, THanks, but you didn't choose just one...

Stephanie, I know, right?

Joe, Somehow purple cows sell mattresses!

Marian, Gotcha!

Debra & Raymond, But you didn't choose just one...

Deborah A, Great plan!

Oct 22, 2009 04:07 AM #65
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Tori, Great plan,  makes sense!

Sarah G, Exactly!!

Marisa, Thanks!

Oct 22, 2009 04:09 AM #66
Mercedes E. Santana
Santana Property Group - New York, NY
NYC Multifamily Properties

PRICE by all means!  I too would prefer both, but as Tori noted, many potential buyers are searching the internet with easy access to MLS databases, so pricing a property correctly is what will draw their attention.  In addition, follow up, follow up, follow up when a property is shown. Client feedback is one of the best sources of determining if a property is priced correctly.  

Oct 22, 2009 05:50 AM #67
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

I would say if it is not priced properly you could spend thousands on marketing and it still would not sell.

Oct 22, 2009 06:19 AM #68
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Mercedes, Yes, feedback is very important.

Richard, Exactly!

Oct 22, 2009 09:02 AM #69
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

Donna - In my opinion if a home is priced right it will sell, so I my choice would be pricing over marketing.

Oct 22, 2009 09:47 AM #70
Kim Gero
West USA Realty - Surprise, AZ
Associate Broker, REALTOR®

Absolutely PRICE over marketing, especially in this market!

Oct 22, 2009 11:52 AM #71
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

My feeling is that if a house is priced correctly, it will sell.

Oct 22, 2009 03:08 PM #72
Darrell Backen
Darrell Backen 1.855.216.6010 - Vancouver, BC
Digital Marketing

Great view

Oct 22, 2009 04:28 PM #73
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Michelle, Great!

Kim, Right!

Sharon, Makes sense.

Darrell, THanks!

Oct 23, 2009 01:52 AM #74
Bob McTague
RealtyUSA - Syracuse, NY
Syracuse New York Real Estate

As a huge proponent of Internet marketing, I would tell you that price combined with aggressive marketing always prevails for you and your seller. I know you wanted to hear which one works best, but I think every situation is different. When it comes to price, I firmly believe the way you market the price is crucial. Example: If a homes market value is around $102,000, I would price it a $100,000, instead of the common $99,900... I get so much more activity out of the MLS and internet when I price this way... You have to understand how buyers search for homes... and the market activity in different price ranges. Once you get into a new price bracket, it can make the world of difference. Moreover, when you market the home aggressively you will see more buyers calling you direct and you will see more conversions to other properties you may have... Lastly, price it right from the beginning and you will beat the average days on market. Remember, Price beats all objections!

Oct 24, 2009 03:53 PM #75
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Bob, Thank you for spelling out how you work it.

Oct 26, 2009 02:30 AM #76
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Donna Harris

Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
Are you Packed for Austin? I can help!!
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