Yesterday we had our local agent open house and I was in a home that was significantly overpriced for the market. As we were driving, a discussion began about why agents overprice homes. We are all going to read things a little differently and everyone has an occasional off day, but I am talking about those agents that time after time grossly overprice a property. I can't understand this.
I like being able to tell people yes. I don't like to be the one that has to tell someone the cold hard truth. Unfortunately, there are times when yes is not the answer and I need to kindly tell someone things they may not like to hear. I have children, so I have some practice at this. Practice doesn't make it any easier, though.
When going on a listing appointment, there are times that the sellers' expectations for what they can sell their home for are not at all in line with what the market is most likely going to support. Other homes may be in need of some repair, sprucing up or simply a good, deep cleaning. These are times an agent has to have an honest conversation with the sellers about price or maintenance issues. The sellers that understand that an agent is just doing what they called him/her to do, be a real estate professional are the ones that will do the staging and maintenance things suggested and choose to list their homes at a competitive price. For the sellers that disagree with an agent's professional opinion and feel that they can still get x for their home, even though there is not a comp to be found to support their price, a real estate professional should stand his/her ground and politely decline to take the listing.
People call us to do a market analysis because we are real estate professionals. It is our duty to give people an honest snapshot of the current market, no matter what they hope to get for their home. Taking a listing that is grossly overpriced, just because that is what the seller wants to list a home at, is not being a professional; it is being a "yes man." As Realtors@, we are in jeopardy of violating our Code of Ethics, Standard 1-3, when we are afraid of being honest and deliberately overprice a home. A seller has a right to hear the truth, even when they may not necessarily want to. That is our job, no matter how difficult it is.