All the Marketing in the World Won't Sell Your Home

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Kirby Fine Homes

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 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.

Comments (3)

Doug Rogers
RE/MAX Real Estate Professionals - Alexandria, LA
Your Real Estate Resource!

You did the right thing, but odds are he will find an agent to list at his target price. Then said agent will feed off sign calls while his home languishes on the market. Might be a nice expired listing next winter though.

Dec 08, 2011 07:54 AM
Michael Wright
Axia Home Loans - North Metro Branch | NMLS# 1455428 - Vadnais Heights, MN
Equal Housing Opportunity

As the old saying goes Jennifer - "Good Realtors can tell their clients what they want to hear, however, great clients tell them the truth."  Good job and don't be surprised to when you hear from him later this year

Jan 07, 2012 10:43 AM
Compass - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Partner - The Private Client Network

I think I end up saying in every listing presentation I am hear to sell your house not list your house!

Dec 12, 2015 01:36 PM