Nothing Personal But Your House Isn't Even Priced Close to Market Value

Real Estate Broker/Owner with MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC NC# 218097

Dear Seller, Nothing personal but your house isn't priced even close to market value.

On December 13th we put the finishing touches on an Offer to Purchase for a house in Franklin. Franklin, while only 20 miles away presents a completely different picture of a real estate market than here in Sylva and Dillsboro. There have been more short sales and foreclosures. I posted an article about this offer and being relieved that no matter what the picture presented, at least I had comps to work with. The article concluded that we felt we had given the seller ample data to understand why the offer was much lower than his list price but higher that what the market values were showing by virtue of the CMA.



After presenting our case in writing the seller countered back via his agent by email. He stated he was insulted by the offer, countered with a $4,000 decrease and gave us one hour to respond. Never mind that it was purely by chance that I happened to be on the computer at 8:25pm to learn we had a 9:00pm deadline - that’s another post by itself.


I emailed the agent , thanked him for his time and said we regretted the seller felt insulted. That was never our intention. Our clients don’t lowball for sport, hours were spent researching for the CMA. When asked if the seller reviewed the information accompanying the offer, the listing agent replied his client wasn’t interested in comparable sales. HUH????? You’re kidding, right?

Our clients receive copies of correspondence and comment that our communication with other parties is ALWAYS professionally courteous.

This post came as inspiration from them. Here’s a direct quote:

“There really is a lesson here for your blog - and your fellow realtors: don't let your seller burn his bridge to a potential buyer before the negotiation process is completed. Had he replied courteously that he appreciates the buyers trying to get the house for a lower price than he is seeking, but that he is not yet ready to reduce his asking price, it may have led to the buyers (us) coming up to his asking price. He doesn't know what we were willing to spend until the counter-offers stalemate, and they had not only not stalemated, he cut it off before they even began. He shouldn't have taken it personally that we were trying to get it for less than his asking price, and I think that any good realtor would have cautioned him from that message that his agent "passed on to us."

The listing agent admitted he hadn’t used comps when pricing for property. If he had, the seller would have been prepared for offers in market range amounts.

Help your sellers with their responses and counsel them to leave personal comments out of counter-offers, preserve potential buyers as long as possible. Advise them there’s nothing personal but the market value of your property isn’t even close to what you’ve listed for.







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Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
Rowlett Real Estate School - Panama City, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

Good Morning Mona, I enjoyed your blog. Great advice and information! Merry Chirstmas to you and your family.

Dec 22, 2011 01:24 AM #1
Malinda Montgomery RSPS AHWD TMS-Realtor
Adams Cameron & Company - Ponce Inlet, FL

Great Post Mona, You just never know how much a buyer is willing to negoiatate when it comes to their offers and burning the bridge just shuts the door immediately.Happy Holidays!

Dec 22, 2011 01:41 AM #2
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Huh! The listing agent didn't use comps? That's just crazy. So throw a price out there, right? OR, maybe the seller told the agent what the price would be seeing as the seller isn't interested in comps. I was taught that is sale doesn't begin until you get a NO. This seller will need to learn the hard way

Dec 22, 2011 01:41 AM #3
Jeanean Gendron
The Address Realty - Redding, CA
Specializing in Selling Unique Properties

Mona, some agents do good work and some do not. It's that simple and extemely frustrating. I like your little orange guy there. He's really showing his feelings. No comps....really" Staggering....right? Hope your day is beautiful today!

Dec 22, 2011 01:45 AM #4
Joyce Godwin, Realtor, CRS
RE/MAX Elite Properties; Serving Cypress, Spring, Tomball, NW Houston - Houston, TX
RE/MAX Elite Properties

Hi Mona, I try to prepare sellers at the time of listing and let them know that even rediculously low offers may be good offers - there's always the possibility they can be worked up to something reasonable (for both parties).  You're right, they can't take it personal or they may loose good buyers.

Dec 22, 2011 01:46 AM #5
Anne M. Costello
Weidel Realtors - Yardley, PA

"The listing agent admitted he hadn’t used comps when pricing for property. If he had, the seller would have been prepared for offers in market range amounts."   That about sums it up doesn't it?

Based on that statement and the fact that the agent passed on the seller's comment - apparently verbatim, I guess we know who is in control!  Can you say appraisal issues?

Dec 22, 2011 04:07 AM #6
Ken Brandon
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage (Jacksonville, NC) - Jacksonville, NC
Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, NC

I had to go back and re-read the part where the agent stated he didn't use comps to help in discovering an appropriate market value to make sure I read it correctly. If he didn't do a basic CMA, then I guess an absorption rate analysis was out of the question. (BOTH of which are essential knowledge to the seller if he is serious about selling his home). This is just another example why every agent is not a listing agent.

Dec 22, 2011 05:31 AM #7
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Mona,  It is so difficult when sellers dictate the price you want for their home with no regards for the actual market value.  I think it is best to move on. 

Dec 22, 2011 07:13 AM #8
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Capt Wayne, you are welcome, thanks for reading. I hope you found it helpful.

Malinda, absolutely.  There is no room for rudeness, aggression or hurt feelings in negotiations.  You never know where the process will end up.  Give it a chance.

Doug, interesting philosophy and I never thought of it that way.  I guess there is no greater objection to overcome than NO, but it should be a great first step.

Jeanean, you are right - some do good, some do not and some do ordinary.  But staggering is right, why waste your time, energy and money listing something that is so far off the mark!

Hi Joyce, we even submitted our offer inviting the seller to supply his own comps to justify his list price.  No wonder he wasn't interested in comps.

Hi Ken, it's another reason why agents shouldn't list more than they can handle either.

Anne, I can say appraisal issues loud and clear.  I always pass on my client's comments verbatim, but there's a little coaching involved so something inappropriate isn't relayed.

Belinda, there's nothing that says any of us have to work for a dictator. I think you are right, it's best to move on.


Dec 22, 2011 10:41 AM #9
Raine C. Williams
Raine Properties & Investments - Boston, MA

I had a similar situation happen to me not so long ago.  Although I try not to get uptight over Seller's close-mindedness, it still leaves me infuriated!  Going to share my story on a blog!

Dec 22, 2011 11:20 AM #10
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Hi Cynthia, it's okay to get uptight, just don't sound uptight with the other agent. That's the trick!

Dec 22, 2011 01:43 PM #11
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

There was a terrific article written here once called, "Negotiation is a lot like playing poker, If you fold, you lose."

Dec 22, 2011 02:30 PM #12
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in German and Real Estate * M.A. ABR ASP

Soooo, if the listing agent didn't use any comps then how exactly did they come up with the list price? The neighbor who sold in 2005? Crystal ball? A dream? Hmm. You have some great buyers though Mona! I can only conclude that a sale is unlikely (ever) and it's not the house for your clients! !

Dec 22, 2011 03:21 PM #13
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Jill, the seller folded before even looking at his cards!

Andrea, I suspect the seller took the price he bought the house for just a few years ago and added in a little "profit".  The right house just has not presented itself yet, but it will.

Dec 22, 2011 03:52 PM #14
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Mona Gersky

GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.
Ask me...we'll figure it out!

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