Richmond, VA Home Selling - Why overpricing a home is not a good idea.

Real Estate Agent with Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage, LLC BK3365987

I recently had the "pleasure" of showing some of my buying clients an overpriced home.  It had been on the market for almost 2 months and we had avoided looking at it because we knew it was overpriced.  My buyers made the comment "What are they thinking?" when the listing first hit the market.  I was almost relieved that they did not want to see it then, as I knew what the outcome would probably be....FAILURE! Lake Photo

However, I knew when I saw some of the photos that this home could be a good fit for my clients as they were looking for a home with a larger lot and this was also located on a small, private lake which is not common in the Richmond area.  The husband and his boys love to fish, so I knew this would be a "draw".  The home did not have a garage, so that was a huge negative as it was something that my clients really wanted.  But, with the pretty photos of the recent renovations and the "draw" of the large, park-like lakefront lot, my clients finally asked me to show them this home after it has been on the market for more than 50 days.

Of course, the backyard was the best part of the property as the lake view was spectacular and the seller had done some really nice extensive landscaping with several sitting areas and a fire pit area in the backyard.  The boys even found a tree swing during the second preview that they all had to try out.

The house was a Split level, or as they call it in this area a Tri-level, which for some reason is not as desirable and normally do not sell for as much as other style homes.  That was the first obvious negative.  It was still a nice home with some very eclectic renovations including a new kitchen that mixed contemporary with antique, as well as some other areas of the home that reflected the same.  It was definitely unique and the mixture of the styles was tasteful and appealing. 

The sellers did leave out some very important parts to their renovations in that most of the windows in the home were old and needed replacement.  The heating system was an old, oil furnace and the air conditioner was obviously on it's last leg and leaking in the basement drain.  The listing agent said that the seller was having it repaired soon - REPAIRED...really?  How about replacing that antique!  Another obvious downside to this house was the master bedroom was mostly original (and small compared to newer homes) except for a new vanity which just looked out of place in the 1960's cracked tiled walls and floor.  There was also the fact that there was no garage and they would have to build an addition onto the house.  There were other smaller things that bothered my clients as well.

The worst part for me, was feeling my client's stress over the offer price.  For two days, we went over comparable sales data and talked over the necessary repairs needed.  It was very stressful for me as well, as no good agent wants a client to overpay, EVER!  They were still charmed with the lot, so they made an offer.  And I must say, it was a GREAT offer for that property and I was even concerned about the appraisal not coming in at the sales price, but being the positive person that I am, pressed forward in my client's best interest of obtaining this dream lot.

Of course, the seller's first counter was only $10K less than asking (which in my opinion was about $40K to $50K high).  My client's offer was $50K under asking price, so we knew this would happen, but had hoped that they would come closer to their offer.  We presented a final counter of $10K higher hoping that after reading my email about all of the things that this home lacked and sending their agent comparable sales data, that they would take the offer.  But no, for some reason, this agent and the seller did not understand what "FINAL" meant and they countered back again at $10K higher than my clients final offer.  SO FRUSTRATING!

That counter only made my clients more aggravated and then ultimately made them think about all of the negative things that were not as important at first, as they loved the lot and that made the purchase unique.  Now, the uniqueness of the lot had worn off, 5 days later and they had enough.  "NO DEAL...we are withdrawing our offer.  We are so frustrated that we are going to stop looking for a while as this property has really drained our emotions and plucked our nerves."  Great....

Thanks sellers!  For overpricing your home and putting this hardworking REALTOR® out of a paycheck yet again as I was told that you had another buyer before us do the same thing...back out!  Don't you think that one time is enough to fail?  What about your agent?  Are they advising you properly or are you just not listening and tell them that this is your home and you are "Not giving it away".  How many times have I heard that lately?

Long story short, if you are selling your home in this market, you must have it ready to sale, be competitive with comparable homes that are on the market now and be armed with recent sales data to substantiate your selling price, PRICE IT RIGHTDe-clutter, clean, stage, work on the curb appeal and fix anything that is broken or will be construed as a negative.  Spending a few weeks getting your home ready to sell BEFORE you place it on the market will bring you a better sales price.  In the end, it will sale faster and keep you from the aggravation of showing your home over and over again.  Homes that sit on the market for weeks and months never sell for TOP DOLLAR as they become stale listings.  (I know that I don't want to show that home again.)  I prefer Winning over Failure and I prefer a pleasurable sales experience over a painful one.  Don't you?

Call me if you need help or tips on selling your home and preparing to sell.  I am an accredited staging professional, so you get that service for free when you list your home with me.  Happy Selling!


Comments (3)


I think people get too emotional when they're selling a home.  They price it by what it means to them, not what the market will say.  You may love the charm of your 1970s lime green bathroom, but forget that others are seeing renovation dollar signs dancing in their heads. 

The only thing I can say in defense of these folks is it is their house and if they have the time and money to wait forever until they get their dream offer, that is their right.  But, that being the case, it should be made clear.  "We're not going to bargain, so don't even try."   At least then you wouldn't have to waste your time or your client's time showing them a place that is way over priced.


Jul 20, 2012 03:26 AM
Tina Beasley
Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage, LLC - Saint Augustine, FL
It's not about me...It's all about you!

I agree about the emotional connection, but reality has to set in.  I was clear to the Selling Agent that my clients were making a Final Counter, but for some reason, they just kept trying to get them to go higher.  In the end, that mentality really burned them.  I have found that when sellers do this, they end up selling months, even years later for so much less than they were originally offered.  Then you hear the "If only we had taken that offer" speech.  I just hate that and I hate to see people actually lose money because they are unrealistic.  Sometimes this is just a frustrating business.....

Jul 20, 2012 03:50 AM
Tina Beasley
Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage, LLC - Saint Augustine, FL
It's not about me...It's all about you!

Just an update to my blog.  That home sold for the same price that my clients had offered them 4 months earlier.  The exact same price.  I lost a sale, my clients lost a great home due to frustation and they lost money paying bills for 4 more month.  Just not a smart way to sell your home.

Feb 12, 2014 06:39 AM