As a real estate auctioneer, it's not uncommon that many of the calls I get are from sellers whose properties have been on the market for some time - and the property has not yet sold. The initial line of questions and answers is often similar.
How long as it been on the market?
Why hasn't it sold in your opinion?
What do you need to net from the sale?
What interests you about auction marketing?
Usually the bottom line is that the seller listed the property too high, missed the market at that time, and then over time the property became stale and the seller earned a reputation in the community of sales agents as being unreasonable and unrealistic in the price. Whether that is true or not is unconsequential - because it's all a perception at that point.
Many times, more than less, sellers explain how the agent didn't market the property enough, agent listed it too high from the start, etc.....you get the picture. I ask, "Did you interview your listing agent"? 'Yes, we interviewed several.' And did you end up listing the property with the agent who suggested the highest list price? 'Well, yes."
So, sellers (it's human nature) will sometimes choose the agent who suggested the highest list price. There is seller skeptism in lower numbers and the possibility that the agent is just trying to encourage a low list price in order to get a fast pay day. As time goes on, and still no sale, and subsequent price reductions - sometimes the sellers start to question the agent's effort to market the property. But folks, this to me is plain and simple - why would an agent put $$$$ out of his/her own pocket to market a property when the seller has gone with a high list price and perhaps hasn't agreed to any reductions over time? Agents will not keep sinking money into a project when they feel the return is unlikely. It would be great if folks could have honest and open discussions at that time - to get onto the same page - and my hat's off to those real estate professionals that do. It's a tough discussion, but one that's needed as the down spiral starts occurring.
BTW - the auction process takes the list price completely out of the equation. don't list high, don't list low - because there's NO list price. Ok - that was a plug for auctions.
Back to the subject - So, what if you as a seller offered to fund your own marketing plan. Ask your agent to provide you with a marketing proposal along with costs. You might even request a good/better/best marketing plans that have $, $$, and $$$ associated. This request could be part of how you interview prospective agents.
Your agent's efforts for their time and expertise is compensated from the commission that you agree to pay - not from their ability or inability to fund a marketing campaign. The commission then represents the true value that is placed on their time.
For agents, make sure that you have a value proposition to your sellers as to why you should earn the big bucks. Just saying that you have a great past record and will market the heck out the property probably doesn't articulate a competitive edge. If your sellers agree to put in a thousand or several thousand dollars for marketing, then you'll need to make sure they understand the value of your time. In this way your expertise is truly valued as it should be. There are less disagreements as to your effort and marketing initiatives. You become a tight team together for the same objective - to sell the property. You will need to make your own ethical decisions as to how to deal with prospects that come in from the marketing money your seller provided and whether you shop those prospects to other properties or give an all out try to get them interested in the seller's property.
Something new to think about....
Linda Mardi, President
Real Estate Auction Specialists