Are You Lying to your Sellers?
You have to wonder if some agents are lying to their sellers. We suspect they may be in certain cases from the stories we hear about proposed listing prices.
Who hasn't lost out on a listing because another agent told the sellers they could get $X for their home, when none of the market data and conditions support that contention? We all know what happens then - the home sits there, month after month, with multiple price reductions. And no offers. And then it gets relisted with another agent. Or it finally sells for well below where it likely would have, had the sellers not been lied to.
Granted, some homeowners may believe their homes are worth more than the market will bear. They don't have to worry about being lied to. They are lying to themselves already. But that's a different issue.
So, are YOU lying to your sellers?
There are some good reasons to be honest with your sellers about listing price.
Agents can get a reputation for over-pricing their listings. We know who they are because they don't sell as many, or a larger percentage of their listings don't sell. Wouldn't you rather be able to tell your clients that 100% of your listings sell, as opposed to only 50%? And if the price is right the differential between asking and selling price will likely be smaller, so on average your SP/LP ratio may be more than 95% (and perhaps better than the average in the MLS)
This will likely be well spent if you are honest about the pricing, and the sellers listen. Who wants to hold open houses, call for feedback, and spend time marketing a home that is not going to sell because of pricing.
Lying to the homeowners about the list price will cost you in wasted advertising and marketing dollars. Oh, perhaps you don't do any of that stuff. Is that another lie? And you, and the sellers, don't get a pay day if the home doesn't sell. A high list price does NOT equal $$$$$!
MISREPRESENTING the value of a home violates the CODE OF ETHICS (check out Article 1 and Standard of Practice 1-3 "REALTORS, in attempting to secure a listing, shall not deliberately mislead the owner as to market value."). So you are not a REALTOR - it's still wrong to lie. Sure you could say that you REALLY believe the home IS worth that much, but you know yourself, deep down, when you are misrepresenting based on the market.
All this said, I think many agents are as honest and forthright with potential sellers as they can be.
And we hear stories of those who walk away from listings rather than take them because the sellers are lying to themselves about what the home is really worth despite evidence to the contrary. And certainly pricing a home in this market can be a challenge.
Why lie to your sellers and waste time and money?
All content copyright © 2009 Jeff Dowler "The California Relocation Dude" Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits