Having preached, preached, preached about NOT taking over priced listings.....guess what I am going to do on Monday. You got it. I am going to take an over-priced listing. I got a phone call this afternoon from the owner of a condo around the corner from me. She is a lovely woman in her late 80s. She told me that she has decided that it may be time for her to move into a "retirement community" and that she wants to explore selling her condo. I told her what I though I could get for her home. She told me that she wanted a number that is 20% more than that. She told me that she can't afford to sell it for less than 14% more than what I think I can sell it for, a number that is $8,000 more than the highest sale in the complex in the last 2 years (I sold that one too). And, she doesn't want to have the home on the market for more than 90 days.
I know, I know, I shouldn't do it. But I am going to do it anyway. Here's why.
Lets start with the fact that I really, really like her on a personal level. I want to be like her when I get to be her age. For that matter, I'd like to be her now, at MY age!
I sold her the condo perhaps 5 years ago. When she bought it, it had been totally updated. She paid top dollar for it. Her condo is beautiful. Her furnishings are beautiful. All her furniture is hand-made, made in the style of 19th century Norweigan folk-furniture. Sitting in her home is an opportunity to be surrounded by serenity and beauty. The place exudes a sense of calmness. The natural light in the home is wonderful. The space is wonderful. What more can anyone ask?
So few people understand that real estate agents are 100% commission. The company doesn't pay for any of the listing costs. I pay for fliers. I pay for postage. I pay for photographs. It costs me money to put a property on the market. That money is a necessary cost of doing business and I am happy to spend it as long as there is a reasonable probablity of my getting a commission check at the end of the process. I get resentful and grumpy when I have spent that money and the home doesn't sell and the reason the home doesn't sell is because the property owner wouldn't or didn't take my advice. The usual problem is that the home isn't worth as much money as the home owner hoped it was worth. I have learned to pretty much not take a listing when I believe it isn't going to sell.
And here we are. I don't think the condo will sell, not at that price. But, I want to do what I can for this woman. So, how can we bridge this difference and move forward? I believe that I can speak plainly to this homeowner. She is one of those people whose age has made her not want to waste time. Speaking directly and frankly is almost always the most efficient use of everyone's time. If she will pay my out-of-pocket expenses up front, then I won't develop resentments as we move forward and the home doesn't sell. If a miracle happens and someone buys her place, I will happily reinburse her those expenses. Happily. Gleefully. I don't mind investing my time in a semi-hopeless project. Unhappily, I am not in a position to invest the out-of-pocket costs associated with taking a listing with quite the same sense of wild abandon.
If she will agree to those terms, then I will go on and do it. I bet she will. Miracles happen. Writing her a reinbursement check would delight me. Stay tuned.