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Buying Listings IS NOT a Cool Thing to Do

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Keystone Realty RS294813

About 2 weeks ago I was referred to a person that wants to list their 2008 new home to move south to Miami.  My short sale nerve was struck immediately but I hoped and prayed that maybe just maybe they put a boat load of money down on the house.  It turns out, they didn't.

I'm a 2-stepper, so always preview the house before coming to any conclusion on listing price.  Let's face it, any agent that is in the market frequently could price a house blind without using comps but It's more intelligent to have the proof so that when the appraisal gets cut you can prove your value.  I explained to them my process and also that the tax card was blank so I had no idea what I was even going to see.  I took some notes and some pictures and returned home to evaluate the property. 

I found 6-7 qualify comps that were +/- $5000 as a whole.  Rare is the time that i find this many comps so in my head I'm thinking this price is a no brainer.  The house priced out at ~$180,000 without including any of their upgrades.  At this point I didn't even need to go any further because it was destined for short sale.  They owed 225,000 which is way beyond what I could get even with generous values for the upgrades.  In order to begin negotiations I recommended a price of 169,900.  If it's going to be a short sale we may as well get it moved. 

I called and gave them the above information and a few days later followed up to see which broker they opted to use.  They gracefully declined my services.  Today I was in the area and figured I'd swing by and see who got the listing and at what price. I could have looked it up but hadn't thought to do it until I was driving by. 

It's on the market at 239,900 conveniently what they owe plus commission.  Have agents not learned their lesson by now?  This is certainly a disservice to the client.  There is no way it's going to sell for that price and even if it does go under agreement there is no way it will ever appraise.  It makes me wonder what people are doing out there.  It's not easy to give people the bad news, especially when the house is as beautiful as this house was, but I'll reiterate the point that the agent doesn't dictate the prices the market does. 

Proof of value is the single most important element, more so than marketing, the agent, or anything else.  A great agent always helps but a proper price will overcome a lot of potential obstacles.


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David E. Monsour, Realtor

Keller Williams Keystone Realty, Gettysburg, PA 17325



Colin Call
RE/MAX Integrity - Eugene, OR
Principal Broker

Hi David,  No doubt there will always be someone who is willing to take the overpriced listing.  I will do so in an agressive sellers market like we experienced in '05-'06, but am completely with you in a market like this. Thanks for the blog. Colin

Dec 21, 2011 05:51 AM
Lesley Alward
Prescott, AZ

Unfortunately your experience is not unique David.  There are too many agents who will take a listing at any price simply to have their name on a sign.  It is certainly not to provide a service for the seller.  Your honesty and commitment to serve the seller will continue to bring you success, even if not in the short term.

Dec 21, 2011 05:53 AM
David Monsour
Keller Williams Keystone Realty - Gettysburg, PA
ABR - www.realty-insights.com

Colin - an aggressive sellers market is something I don't have much experience with but I think I could come to terms with that welcomed change. 

Lesley - It's hard to be the good guy but long term it certainly pays dividends.  People don't seem to understand fiduciary duties do they?

Dec 21, 2011 06:03 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

They are waiting for that one in a million buyer that will overpay, give them cash & life will be perfect again. Yeah, good luck with that.

Dec 22, 2011 02:32 AM
David Monsour
Keller Williams Keystone Realty - Gettysburg, PA
ABR - www.realty-insights.com

Lyn - I'll get it in six months and sell it then.  I've been fortunate to avoid short sale listings for the most part but the past few houses I've visited have all been potential short sales.

Dec 27, 2011 02:15 AM
David Artigliere
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia - Collegeville, PA
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspect


You'll win in the end.  Just like you said, give it 6 months and maybe they'll have a shot of reality by then.  good luck!


Jan 03, 2012 05:22 AM
Kim Burton
Iron Valley Real Estate Hanover - New Oxford, PA
Licensed Realtor in Maryland and Pennsylvania

Some agents just want to see thier sign in yards.  dont realize they are asking for a huge headache.

Oct 20, 2012 11:51 PM