Of course this is about price! I don't set the price. My job as a real estate agent in Bethesda is to market your property, and boy can I do that! Dozens of Internet sites, print ads, agent contact, open houses, fliers, signage. I'm on it. But even with all of that if it's not priced right I can't sell it! Someone recently wrote a tongue in cheek article about how they couldn't sell Crest for $35 a tube no matter how much they marketed it. Same thing holds true for housing. If it's not priced right it won't sell.
Back to shutting down... I had a recent conversation with a seller in Bethesda who wants to sell for about $100,000 more than I think the comps will support and won't discuss past what they want to get for the home. I understand it's a gem. I understand it's special. I understand they don't want a developer to tear it down. That leaves only a buyer who will come along and live in the home and they won't spend that much more for the lot when the house still has only one bathroom on the top floor (retro) and no place for a dining room. The appraiser has a more objective view of the process and the bank thinks highly of his/her opinion when they are loaning out money.
Our market place is filled with people who have to sell property in Bethesda. Not want to, have to. Circumstances dictate that they change their living situations so they need to get it right. When someone wants to just "try to see if they can get their price" they do harm, true harm to the market around them. And certainly to their prospects of a real sale. The shame of this is these sellers in Bethesda who have tremendous equity in their homes are in the unique position to capture their gains, more so than those who bought in a high market and have no choice but to sell now. But they shut down to the truth: they "want theirs." And as a result they either get nothing or less than they would have if they'd been able to hear the truth when it was first presented to them.
It's very hard for me when sellers in Bethesda want to focus only on price in our initial discussion. Unless I'm writing the check for their home, it's more about how I'm going to get their sale accomplished - what I'm capable of and how far outside the box I'm willing to think to market it. Before we ever focus on price, we need to figure out if we can work and accomplish our goals together. Then and only then do we have enough faith in each other to work out how to price the home. If they don't know how I'm going to excel at my job then what does it matter what price I tell them for their home? Anyone can and many will tell a seller exactly what they want to hear on price. But what good will it do you unless they've also whipped out their checkbook.
So I ask that when sellers call me they be willing to really hear me. And make it their priority to understand whether or not I know my job responsibilities and my market. If I do, I'll bet you I can give them good counsel on pricing for their home or find other resources who can help us get the best market price for the time, circumstances and condition of the home in Bethesda. But if they only want to focus on price, I'm not the real estate agent for them in Bethesda.
In a market filled with a glut of homes, bears win, bulls win, and pigs get slaughtered!