Mr. and Mrs. Seller, I wish you could price your home for what you need to get out of it but...

Real Estate Agent with Midwest Properties of MI - Grand Rapids

This past weekend I was at a soccer tournament and was having a nice time chatting with a number of other parent's there.  One of them suddenly mentioned she had given my name and phone number to a friend of hers who needed to sell her home.  She had the home listed previously for $170,000.00 and couldn't understand why she had received no offers or even one showing during the time it had been listed.

Her friend had spoken to another Realtor just this past week and he had told her that she would not be able to sell her home in her requested price range...that even last year this would have been very difficult and the market has continued to dip in pricing over time, so she is now looking for another REALTOR opinion as to the value of her home.

As we continued to talk I learned this lady owed more money on the home that what this agent had suggested she list it for and that
she also had some other debt she was trying to pay off with the sale.  This lady is hoping to sell her home for enough to get out from under not only her mortgage but also some added debt she has accumulated.

The above scenario is unfortunately becoming more and more common during these difficult times and I can certainly understand why Seller's are looking and hoping to be able to accomplish this.

The cold hard reality however is...If you really need to sell your home you cannot price it by what you need to get out of it.  Whether it is only what you currently owe on the Mortgage or if you are looking to also get rid of added debt you have accumulated on top of this. 

Home Seller's need to understand that home values are determined by the current housing market and what comparable homes to yours in your area are now selling for.  If there are other homes in your area considered comparable to yours and they are listed at prices below where you want to be, you need to take this information into careful consideration for this is the price range your home should fall in. 

If your home is priced much above this comparable range your home will very likely sit on the market without showings or offers because you are now helping to sell all those other comparable homes.  Your home is now making all these other homes look like really great deals when compared to yours.

I know this is a hard pill to swallow and you can of course contact REALTOR after REALTOR if you like and you will eventually find one who will list your home for what you want to sell it for but please understand will continue to put yourself through added stress and waste additional, valuable time that could have been spent aggressively marke-
ting your home to get the best possible price you can for it. 

The best REALTOR in the world can't help you if you won't let them and there are other options out there available to you!  Please do not ignore the advice your REALTOR is giving you if this is someone you feel you can trust, for as time goes by things will continue to get more and more difficult and much more stressful. 

 *Please be sure to contact a reputable REALTOR in your area and learn what options are available that can help you.

Posted by



All content is original, courtesy of Therese VanderMeer - Realtor - FlexIt Realty

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Therese is selling and marketing properties in the Greater Grand Rapids, MI Area and surrounding communities while specializing in Jenison, Hudsonville and Grandville.

Contact Therese directly at 616-780-0786 or by email at 

Happy to be Providing Buyers and Sellers a Higher Standard of Personalized Service





Comments (72)

Wendy Offshack
Fresh Start By Design - Santa Clarita, CA

Hi Teresa,

One of the things I use to try to get a seller out of this way of thinking is to persuade them to realize their home is a "product" and help them understand that if they were going to a store to buy "their product" and there were 8 other products on the shelf very similar, but just different colors and were priced 10 - 20% lower than their product, which one would they pick?  Usually I see an "ah ha moment" come into their brain.  While it doesn't work every time... some sellers are just set in their ways... as am I and I walk... wait... I run for the door.

Jun 10, 2010 03:51 AM
Kent Dills
Broker, Dills Real Estate - Bellingham, WA
Real Estate 817-495-8028, Bellingham, Washington

Therese, great post that puts into words what is happening every day all over America and will be for about 5 years in the future.  That's just the way it is and will be for a while.


Jun 11, 2010 02:29 PM
Lani Stallings
Covenant Partners Realty - San Antonio, TX

LOL! WELL SAID!!!!!! Great way to put it out on the tavle!

Jun 11, 2010 04:57 PM
Jeanne Dufort
Coldwell Banker Lake Country - Madison, GA
Madison and Lake Oconee GA

Having this conversation regularly.  The market is a fairly neutral observor.  All things being equal, well priced homes will generally standout.

What a seller "needs" in price is rarely of interest to a buyer.  At least not in a positive way.  I do have buyers who try to stay away from even viewing homes where seller "needs" are clearly in the driver's seat.

Jun 14, 2010 10:35 AM
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Therese - I have encountered this situation previously, and your post sums things up nicely.  The market value of the home isn't determined by what the seller wants, or by how much debt they have accrued. 

Jun 14, 2010 06:01 PM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Same old song. People just do not want to accept who and what sets the property value!

Jun 17, 2010 12:18 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Sounds like a perfect candidate for a short sale.  Might want to try that avenue.

Jun 17, 2010 12:38 AM
Shannon Thomas
Selling Indy Metro, LLC - Avon, IN
Managing Broker, E-Pro, ABR,SRS, SFR

Sellers do focus on what they want instead of what they need.  Good points.  I have a Seller right now that I have advised to lower but he is resisting.  All you can do is chip away at their resistance by pointing out the benefits of lowering. 

Jun 18, 2010 11:49 PM
Sandra Paulow
Aspen Properties, Inc. - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ
REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR

Sellers do have a hard time of it in today's market.  I had a similar experience recently.  Sellers wante way more for the home than it is worth in the current market.  The hubby got very angry when I showed them the numbers and stormed out of the room. 

I do feel for people who are proud of their homes and have taken good care of them.  They SHOULD be worth more, but the numbers don't lie. 

They decided to wait another year and see what the market is like then.  Not sure it will be much improved and could actually be worse but things are what they are and sad as it is to tell someone they aren't going to make much, if anything on the sale of their home, we do what we have to do.

There is always some agent out there who will stick whatever price the sellers want on a house just to get their sign in the yard.  I can't do that, I'd rather walk away than take an overpriced listing.


Jun 20, 2010 05:05 AM
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Sad.  Another American who is imprisoned in their own home.

Jun 21, 2010 10:54 AM
Kristyn Grewell
CENTURY 21 Goodyear Green Edmond, OK - Edmond, OK
Edmond, OK Homes, Oklahoma Relocation Services

Great post!  I will definitely be reblogging!  I have seen this several times when sellers have taken out a second mortgage to pay off debt.  But they dont understand that the second has to paid off when the house sells.

Jun 21, 2010 11:00 AM
Christa Ross
RE/MAX Select Realty - REALTOR and Green Homes Specialist - Pittsburgh, PA
Helping you buy and sell Pittsburgh's Best Homes

Some one will list it for her and they won't be able to sell it either. Maybe reality will set in eventually. Or not.

Jun 22, 2010 06:49 AM
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate

Regardless of where we live, if your home is not priced right, it's not going to sell.  Today's market has more informed buyers.

Jun 24, 2010 03:18 PM
Tessa Skeens
Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign - Grand Junction, CO
Staging For Realtors, Builders & Investors

I get what you're saying Therese! I blogged a couple of weeks ago about buyers having a sense of entitlement when it comes to making lowball offers and expecting perfection, but it goes both ways.

Sellers on these HGTV shows for first timers invariably move into a new home and expect to sell their existing one complete with first and second loan in a slow market and walk away with cash in their pocket! A home is a great investment IF you plan on staying in it long enough. The days of instant equity appear to be a distant memory.

Jul 01, 2010 09:48 AM
LaNita Cates
REMAX of Joliet - Joliet, IL

Therese, great post. I'm going to copy it and send to one of my sellers who is frustrated with their listing. It is a GREAT house but overpriced compared to other homes in the area. They are wonderful and have lowered it but they will be bringing money to the table because it simply isn't worth what they paid for it 3 years ago.

Jul 05, 2010 03:14 AM
Scotti Jowers
CENTURY 21 Shackelford French, Search West Monroe Homes - West Monroe, LA
Realtor - West Monroe, Louisiana Homes for Sale

Unfortunately, in the current state of the economy, more and more people are trying the FSBO route to try net as much as possible.  Even when presented with the research, it's more difficult than ever to convert these to listings that are sellable.  Great post.

Jul 07, 2010 08:08 AM
Sussie Sutton
David Tracy Real Estate - Houston, TX
David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers

Gosh! What a great post! Can I use some of your wording to pass out to my clients? If clients could see this post I think it would be easier on a lot of us. Sometimes I feel like clients think I am lying when I tell them this exact message!

I had a client tell me that he wanted to sell his home for what it cost him, plus commission costs so that he could go and buy a new and much larger home; and not have a mortgage!

Coming to you from Texas...


Jul 08, 2010 07:51 AM
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Realtors who have overleveraged listings and do not want to manage a short a short sale should refer the listing to an experienced short sale Realtor in their area. This way they help their client and still get some compensation.

Jul 08, 2010 06:16 PM
John Sweeney
Crye-Leike Elite Realtors - Jackson, TN

I spoke with a FSBO today about his property.  I had a buyer interested in seeing the property.  So I called to ask about the property which had been on the market for some time and he gave me the price.  The price might not have been so far out of line if property values had continued to rise.  I asked him why he had not listed with a Realtor and his response was that he was averaging 3 calls a week but once he shared the price with them they did not call him back. I wondered why it hadn't occurred to him that his price was too high. He asked my opinion of his price and I told how much out of line it was but he just could not bring himself to lower the price. As soon as I shared the price with my buyer, the buyer was ready to move on to the next house. So another lost opportunity for this guy without the buyer seeing the house or even considering the property.



Jul 09, 2010 03:50 PM
Ross Therrien
Prudential Verani Realty, Londonderry,New Hampshire - Londonderry, NH
Realtor, Broker Associate

And the buyer will only pay 20K below list, they want to buy a new car cause the house has a garage.


Jul 12, 2010 04:04 PM