For the last two weeks I have been talking with a home owner who is looking to sell their home this upcoming Spring. I sent him information about myself and what I offer to clients, then researched his home to figure out a price that it would sell for.
We met last week, and after touring his home, we sat down to talk price. I showed him the comparable sales for his area, square footage, and amenities. Sounds just like your typical listing appointment, right?
Well, I about fell out of my seat with what he told me he felt his house was worth. While I sat there and told him his house would sell in the $700K range, he gave the price of $1.3 Million. In contrast to the cartoon, he was seeing his home as the Tax Assessor sees it, and I was seeing it as it truly was.
Granted, the home does have a lot of nice features and expensive upgrades/remodeling, but the square footage and style of home make it less valuable in the eyes of a buyer and appraiser.
To try and prove his price was correct and mine was way off base, (of course I looked at it vice versa) we went out this week and looked at homes currently on the market in a wide range of prices. Every home we looked at, he valued $200-500K less than list price, while I looked at many of them and only discounted a little. When all was said and done, he told me he had reevaluted his price, and decided that $1.3 Million was too high, and that he would bring it down to $1.2 Million. At this point, I knew it was a lost cause and told him that I would not take a listing that was so overpriced.
I believe in complete honesty, with very little sugar on top. There was no way in hell his home would sell or appraise for that price, but he still felt that I was the crazy one. He asked me me how much marketing it would take to get him that price, and I told him the only thing I could. I could throw all the money in the world at marketing his home for $1.2 Million, but it would just be a waste...no one will buy his home at that price.
Thankfully, the home owner was not mad at me for my honesty and we shook hands, walking away amicably. A few people I have told the story to have said "What a waste of your time". But I tell them it was the exact opposite. Taking the extra time I did helped me avoid a lost cause. It saved me thousands of dollars in marketing costs, including the time, energy, and work I would have put into selling the home.
I hope the next agent he speaks to is as honest to him as I was, and doesn't agree with him just to get the listing, but we all know what will most likely happen. At least I can rest well knowing that I wasn't the sucker.