One of life's greatest rewards is the ability to convert what you have learned into action. Like many real estate agents and brokers, I too was lured into the thought process of, "You never know, you may just get that one person who wants to buy that house, no matter what the price." Not being a gambler, I must admit that the odds game had eluded me until a little over a year ago.
The Bahamas real estate industry is continuing to evolve and we are now in the 3rd year of having a MLS. Yes, you heard right, we've only just recently gotten a MLS. Imagine how difficult it was to price property before! I digress. Over the last dozen or so months I have begun using the CMA function of our MLS to create a credible and sellable report that helps sellers understand what price range their property should be marketed in. Too often, sellers will look at their competition to see where they should price their homes, and we all know how that goes. However, in fairness, they don't have access to other important data, such as expired (market rejected) listings and listings that have sold. In addition, they don't have a means to really compare each home side by side.
I recently completed a CMA for an absolutely beautiful ocean front home in eastern New Providence (Nassau). I had asked the owner to give me an idea of their asking price and then I went to work. When I completed my report I realized that, although their pricing wasn't that far off, I felt it was my duty and responsibility to give them my recommendations for pricing and the rationale behind those recommendations. After a somewhat lengthy conversation with owner, one in which I wasn't able to convince them of my pricing strategy, I recommended that they not list the home at this time. There was a long pause on the other end of the phone and then, "Can you repeat that last part?" "Which part?", I said. He continued, "The last part about listing the home."
As I continued with my explanation, I could feel the astonishment over the phone. That's right, I told him that if his price was what he needed to make it worth his while to sell, and that if his motivation wasn't such that he needed a sale in the next 3-6 months then he would be better off not placing the home on the market at all. I could tell he was blown away, and in a good way! He was being told, by a professional who makes his money from selling, not postponing, that he should postpone listing the home until the market improves to the point where his asking price and the market demand are more aligned. Further, by not listing his home for another 4-5 months, he will give his home the benefit of being "NEW" to the market later in the year rather than "STALE" to the market at that same time. I truly believe that I did, and will continue to do, the right thing; that is to guide sellers according to market conditions, set proper expectations and promise results that I can deliver.