Many sellers like to test the market. When doing this, they overprice their properties in the hopes that an unsuspecting buyer won't look at the neighborhood history and just offer the full asking price. Here is an example:
There is a property in Rowlett, TX. I interviewed for the listing back in March 2006. At the appointment, we discussed many updates to the house that would need to be done in order to warrant top dollar. I told them that if they updated the kitchen, removed the wall paper, a few other things, along with allowing me to stage the property, a reasonable asking price would be $140k. I told them that if they did not do these updates and just listed the house in its present condition, it would sell for $125k tops, and that might be pushing it.
I followed up many times over the next several weeks to see how progress was coming along. Each time I spoke with them, they were very excited about the updates and couldn't wait to get it on the market. In July 2006, I got the call to come list it as they were ready... I walked in the door:
Me: I can't wait to see the kitchen!
Mrs. Seller: Oh, we didn't change the appliances.
Me: Ok, but at least it'll have a cleaner look with the wallpaper gone.
Mrs. Seller: No, we didn't take down the wall paper.
Me: Ohhh... What about the bathroms?
Mrs. Seller: No, we didn't change the flooring or anything there either.
Me: Ok, how about you tell me what you did do before I run through my list that we discussed.
Mr. Seller: (very proudly says) We recaulked the bathtubs!
Mrs Seller: That's it. We figured we could just sell it like this and the new buyer could do what they wanted...
Me: Well, you know that's going to effect the price we ask and how fast it's going to sell, remember?
Mrs. Seller: That's ok. We were thinking about $140-145k.
Me: We discussed $140k if you did the upgrades. We can't list it at $140k in this condition.
Mrs. Seller: But it was a former model home!
Me: But it's not a model home anymore. It has the original everything from early 1980!! $140k is not realistic.
I could go on... what happened here, is that I did finally agree to $140k with a $1500 allowance for the buyer, so that was basicaly $138,500. They also agreed to discuss a price adjustment after a couple of weeks depending on activity.
The sellers declined showings right and left, and refused to lower their price. I did finally get them to list at $137k but with the $1500 allowance removed, so they basically came down to $137k.
Where is that listing now?? Well, a couple of months after I listed it, my brokerage terminated the listing because they kept declining showings, and they also wouldn't allow me to stage it in order to show it to its best potentially, especially since it was overpriced, we needed to show the buyer why it was worth it.
It's now over a year later from my original listing, and it is STILL on the market!! It's with a different brokerage of course. Wanna know their initial starting price? $138k! Yes, they went UP from my last price adjustment. Wanna know what they're listed at now?? $133k with a $1500 allowance, which is basically $131,500.
At this point, even though it's only about $10k over priced, the listing is so stale, not many people are going to look at it. They ruined their chance of selling it because they sabataged their own efforts, and lack there of.
The lesson here, is do NOT overprice your listings just to test the market. Otherwise, you could be sitting there like these folks are, over a year later and no showing activity!!
Remember, I work all of North Dallas County and Collin County including Richardson, Plano, Allen, Frisco, Carrollton, Garland, Rowlett, McKinney, etc... my car will take us anywhere you need to go!!
ARE YOU PACKED YET?!
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