Here's What Happens When You Overprice Your Madeline Island Home

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Madeline Island Realty 50317-90


It's hard enough to sell a correctly-priced home in today's real estate market.  Don't make things worse by hiring an agent who will tell you anything you want to hear, just to get another listing.

Here's what happens when you overprice your Madeline Island home:

1)      An overpriced second home becomes excluded immediately from consideration by a large percentage of eligible prospects.  Once they form the impression that you're trying to "hit a home run" at their expense, they cross your home right off their own list of potential dream homes.

2)      After the first blush of enthusiasm, sometimes a few phone inquiries or maybe even a showing or two, interest in your overpriced home subsides.  Your listing agent of choice, realizing their mistake, approaches you, the Seller, to suggest a price reduction.

3)      The listing agent discovers that the proposed price reduction is unpopular with the Seller (duh!) and a lengthy discussion ensues, sometimes lasting anywhere from several days to several weeks.  Precious time is lost and the sales season (yes, Madeline Island is a seasonal marketplace) drags on.

4)      Typically the dismayed seller reluctantly agrees to a price reduction.  But by this time, the drop in the list price is chasing the market downward, as other sellers have already reduced their prices (or priced their homes appropriately in the first place).  Most often, the price reduction is too little and too late.

5)      The seller becomes impatient and demands that the listing agent hold an "Open House".  The listing agent holds a six-hour open on a sunny, pleasant Saturday in August and maybe one or two people show up.  Open houses have demonstrated no history of success on Madeline Island in the past, but agents agree to them mostly in order to placate their irritated sellers.

6)      By Labor Day, the seller gets more anxious and begins to ask the listing agent why buyers aren't flooding onto the Island with pockets full of money, eager to buy their home.  The listing agent tries desperately to pick up the pace, sometimes phoning other nearby real estate offices to ask "do you have a buyer for my listing?"

7)      Between Labor Day and Apple Festival weekend (the first weekend in October) things start to get disturbingly quiet on Madeline Island.  Tourists have returned to their primary home communities from summer vacation and their children are back in school.  Showing traffic on the Island drops off abruptly.

8)      After the first week in October, you could probably fire a shotgun down Main Street in LaPointe at most any time of day and not risk hitting anyone.  Walk-in traffic at real estate offices is nonexistent and showings become a rarity.  [This is often the time of year when the truly serious buyer emerges, after lurking on the sidelines for the past four months.  They have been watching prices drop and they are a bit like sharks, circling the available inventory of homes for sale.  They smell blood in the water.  During this time period, offers are submitted and sales are made on Madeline Island.]

9)      For the fortunate sellers who do receive an offer and accept it, a closing takes place, generally between mid-October and December 1st.  These are the lucky few home sellers who manage to attract the interest of a qualified buyer (most often a cash buyer) and who succeed in their listing experience.

10)   For those sellers who have not succeeded, the last month of the year is time to evaluate and re-evaluate.  They are forced to ask themselves,

 "Was my price too high?"

 "Did I hire the wrong listing agent to market and sell my home?"

 "Should I change agents?"

 "Is it time to lower my price?"

If you hired a listing agent who told you what you wanted to hear, instead of what you needed to be told, you may need to re-evaluate your decision. 

There are redundant statistics which prove that getting the price right the first time can actually yield more money to the seller at closing.  Those same statistics show that "testing the water" to see if you can get "a little more" can wind up resulting in coming away from closing with a lot less.

Your best chance of achieving a successful sale at a good price is to price your home correctly from the day it hits the market.


Buyers unfortunately don't care how much you "need to get" for your home.

Buyers don't care what you claim to have paid for it.

Buyers don't care how much remodeling or repair work you put into your home in order to bring it to market.

Buyers today tend to believe they are living in the present and Sellers are living in the past.

The listing agent is not always to blame.  Some sellers refuse to listen to the advice they are given.  They are convinced that they know better than their agent does.  But regardless of who is to blame, an overpriced listing is an accident waiting to happen.

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Barbara Chatterton
The Stark Company Realtors, Madison WI - Madison, WI
Greater Madison Wisconsin Area Realtor

You really brought me a belly laugh with this post!  Not that it isn't all too true, either! Your writing is hilarious and you make your points so well with a little  sarcasm   zing to it!    Love the lurkers and sharks metaphor!

Nov 19, 2010 12:54 PM #1
Steve Scheer
Realty Oasis - Metro Brokers - Highlands Ranch, CO
Highlands Ranch Real Estate - Denver Real Estate

Eric, you tell it like it is. Pricing right from the start is the best way to go, not just "let's see what we can get..."

Nov 19, 2010 03:50 PM #2
Ellie Penaranda
239.776.5077 Downing-Frye Realty - Naples, FL
Naples Florida Real Estate - Waterfront & Beach Co

Eric, what a fun read :) We have the same situation in Naples Florida (except for #8) - our season is mid Dec. to April... if you don't plan it right and price it right, you'll have to pay the price of waiting another year.  Flexibility with market demands is a must even if you start with the right price.

Nov 21, 2010 02:09 AM #3
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Eric:  What usually happens when a home in a "seasonal market" is put up for sale, and is very overpriced ?  That's easy.  Nothing.

This is an excellent post... so I have "leaned" on the suggest button.  We shall see.  <smile>

Nov 21, 2010 09:53 AM #4
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Eric Kodner

CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
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