Dear Listing Agent: DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Realty

Listing Reynoldsburg OH homes

As a relocation specialist, I work with relocation buyers all over our metro area, and even into the surrounding counties.  I am currently working with a buyer that is looking in Reynoldsburg, the city (an easterly suburb of Columbus) in which I have lived for nearly 20 years.  I keep up on general market activity in my town, but not to the extent of reviewing a large volume of active listings and recently sold properties. 

In doing research for this buyer, I am coming across a disturbing trend: listing agents are taking overpriced listings.  Now I realize that OBEYING our seller clients, when it comes to pricing the property, is nothing new.  The seller really thinks their house is so much better than every other house that has ever been on the market, insisting on listing their home for a price that is too high.

Here is the question that runs through my mind:  How does this agent and their client think that this home can ever sell for 10-40% more than ANY HOUSE HAS SOLD IN THE AREA IN THE PAST TWO YEARS???!!! 

Case in point:  in my town (Reynoldsburg), the highest sale in the past 24 months has been $247,900; in the past 6 months, the highest sale was $228,00, with the average sale price over $200k coming in at $213,700 (and there were only 8 sales in the past 6 months over $200k). 

Taking that data into consideration, there are currently 23 homes listed in the Reynoldsburg School District priced over $220,000.  This includes 2 bank owned listings priced at $299.9k and $364.9k.  BANK OWNED!  Really?  Who did that BPO?  And the highest priced listing comes in at $419,000.   Wow.  Just, wow.

As a resident of my town, my greatest wish is that all of these homes will sell for list price.  I really do, since it will help all homeowners in our town.  But it is not helping anyone (agents/buyers/sellers/appraisers) by having all of these homes listed that almost anyone would predict will not sell for anywhere close to the list price.   Below is a snapshot of recent sales statistics in Reynoldsburg for all homes sold.  Its an uphill battle trying to get any home sold for a price that is more than twice the average sales price for the area, not to mention 3 or 4 times that price.

Reynoldsburg Sales Stats April 2011

In the introductory session that our local Columbus MLS held for new agents back in 2003, the speaker, who was a real estate attorney, asked the new agents, "What is your job as an agent?".  Many of the usual answers came back: "To represent our clients' interests", "To list properties", etc.  Yes, but not quite.  His correct answer to this question was, "To move real estate".  In other words, to bring together buyers and sellers, and move them to the closing table. 

Its our job to MOVE properties, not just to LIST properties.  Let's keep this in mind.

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