Messy Homes Are The Last Ones That Should Be Over-Priced!

By
Real Estate Agent with CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc.

Yesterday I had a couple who wanted me to show them mobile homes in one of the nicest subdivisions in Zephyrhills, Florida. In this park you own the land. The HOA fees are just $30 per month, yet the park has a huge clubhouse, heated pool, whirlpool spa, covered terrace, shuffleboard and tennis courts. In other words, a very nice subdivision.

In general, nice homes here range in price from the mid $70,000's to the mid $80,000's, depending on size. A couple of weeks ago a few agents started pricing their listings at $99,000! Too high, in my very humble opinion. What often happens is when one seller lists his home that high, the neighbors get the same idea since they think their homes are as good or better. Most have since lowered their prices somewhat.

Now back to the couple that I was showing around. We looked at a homes in price from $74,900 to $97,000. Seven in total. All but one were very nice and only a couple of them were truly overpriced. Guess which one was a mess? You got it. The one at $97,000! The most expensive one in the park. There was clutter everywhere. The kitchen was not as clean as it should be, windows were dirty, and we could not even walk into the spare bedroom due to all the "stuff". Even the utility shed was filled from top-to-bottom. The sellers were there when we were visiting and they, of course, thought their home was great. It was not. The state of the home decreased its value in my mind by at least $10,000, and possibly more. As you may have seen me say before, "If you want top price, your home had better look perfect in today's buyers market.

I cannot imagine why the other agent would price this home so outrageously high. I know the agent, and this one is very experienced and honest. Sometimes we do get pressure from sellers to put a price on a home that we know is too high. But it has always been my policy to very politely excuse myself from such situations. I feel it is wrong to encourage the sellers' misperceptions. Not only will their home sit for months unsold, it will become "stale" to the other agents and buyers. In the end the sellers will get mad at the listing agent because they are receiving no offers. Well, SURPRISE, the buyers can get a nicer home just down the street for a lower price! Why would they pay $8,000 more for a home that is a disaster when they can get a better one for less in the same subdivision? They won't! This applies to conventional homes as much as it does to the mobile homes I have been speaking of in this particular post.

As a REALTOR® I believe that we do our sellers and our colleagues no favor when we accept listings that we know are way over-priced. Even if the sellers insist. This is just MY opinion. However, ethically and morally, I believe that it is our responsibility to price homes as close to their true market value as possible. It is the sellers' option whether or not to accept our professional advice.

For more information or questions about this topic please call me at: 813-783-4444 or e-mail me at: jelwell1@tampabay.rr.com

I also invite you to visit my my website where I think you will find a lot of useful information. To get there just click on the following link: www.jelwell.century21bnr.com

Posted by

John Elwell - REALTOR

CENTURY 21

Bill Nye Realty, Inc.

813-783-4444

Licensed in Florida

 

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Rainmaker
121,959
Wendy Smith
Wendy Smith Real Estate - Clearwater, FL
Real Estate Advisor

you are absolutely right about taking over priced listings and I think most of us professionals give our best effort at trying to dissuade a seller from pricing too high, but.......someone is going to list it.  One approach that I have found effective is to have the seller "sign off" the CMA that includes a notation to the effect that the seller acknowledges the asking price is over market price.  I also try to have them agree to a reduction of $X in Xdays if there is little or no activity. 

All that being said, if the sellers won't even admit they are over-pricing their house or lack the motivation necessary to sell the house; I respectfully decline the listing suggesting they call one of those flat fee services.

Dec 19, 2007 11:18 AM #1
Rainmaker
441,983
Debbie Cook
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Silver Spring, MD
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate
It seem that overpricing and messiness (bad condition) go hand in hand all the time with UNMOTIVATED Sellers.
Dec 19, 2007 11:26 AM #2
Rainmaker
517,763
John Elwell
CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc. - Zephyrhills, FL
You Deserve a Full-Time Agent, Not Reduced Results
Wendy - I too have had sellers sign off that they are ignoring my advice. However, in the end, they often still blame us when no one calls to tour the home. If a homeowner got turned down time after time, perhaps the next agent (or maybe the first one) would get a chance to properly price the home. Unfortunately there are always people who will take an over priced listing. Debbie- Very true. I realize that sometimes if a seller is older or ill, perhaps they cannot clean up like they should. Then they should consider hiring a cleaning crew for a day or dropping their prices to take the clutter into account. But even when lower priced, a messy home is a hard one to sell. A messy home brings out the scavengers who are looking for a rock-bottom price. I would rather pay some cleaning people a few hundred dollars and make $5,000+ more on the sale. But that is just stupid me.
Dec 19, 2007 11:32 AM #3
Rainer
57,441
Monika McGillicuddy
Prudential Verani Realty - Atkinson, NH
NH Real Estate Broker
I'm with Debbie...Unmotivated Sellers = overpriced and messy homes....I say "next"
Dec 19, 2007 11:47 AM #4
Rainmaker
517,763
John Elwell
CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc. - Zephyrhills, FL
You Deserve a Full-Time Agent, Not Reduced Results
Monika - I think more and more agents are doing that. I also see that as a positive move. Eventually sellers will get the message. What a surprise, 10 agents do not want work with me???????? And they are all saying my home is worth less than I think it is!!!!!! In the end I think more of us will begin to get more realistic expectations from our sellers. I want to get as much as I can for my sellers, but I had one that thought his $400,000 home was worth $800,000. As you said Monika "Next". I need to spend my ad budget on those sellers who are realistic and not greedy.
Dec 19, 2007 12:44 PM #5
Rainer
85,841
Rick Tourgee
Robert Paul Properties, Inc. - Provincetown, MA
Provincetown and Cape Cod

No, I will not take any over-priced listings anytime, anywhere.  If a Seller wants to sell at the top range of a realistic price range, then I tell the Seller that the house must show like a brand new model home!

Thankfully, my Sellers are always looking for ways to make the property look better so they can get top dollar........never mind have the home be a total mess when a potential Buyer shows up!

Dec 19, 2007 09:24 PM #6
Rainmaker
316,251
James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move

I always give sellers a price "range" when setting the price.  When they say that want to list for the "top" of the range - I remind them that that price is reserved for homes in A+ shape; condition and cleanliness.

If they don't get it - I move on.  I don't need any crappy, over-priced, listings with My name on them!

Dec 21, 2007 04:55 AM #7
Rainmaker
517,763
John Elwell
CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc. - Zephyrhills, FL
You Deserve a Full-Time Agent, Not Reduced Results
James - You are so right. I do not mind pressing the limit a bit, but I am speaking of perhaps 5% over the comps. Though I still tell my buyers they are much wiser to be even a few thousand under the comps so that theirs gets noticed first. But when you see sellers trying to get 50% and more above the comps, that is where I wish them well and refer them to my enemies (just kidding). Right now the buyers are calling most of the shots and they do not have to settle for crap. Nor can I afford to carry dead weight listings that I know are not going to sell. In the end I will get blamed, the seller will give the listing to another agent and to add insult to injury, drop the price at the same time!
Dec 21, 2007 07:47 AM #8
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Rainmaker
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