Lost Sale Leads Me to Think...

By
Real Estate Agent with Coral Shores Realty

Calling all agents... here is a true story that unfolded for me over the past 9 months.  I'm frustrated, happy for the seller, and confused all at once.  Here's the story.

We took a listing last March on a nice 4 bedroom townhouse.  At the time the comps showed a value somewhere between $340 and $350k.  We listed for $349. The seller told us she was "in up to her ears and needed to get all she could."

Three weeks later we got an offer for $310K which was rejected immediately by the seller.  We countered at $335 which the buyer rejected.  I checked in with the buyer's agent a week later to see if there was any more we could do and was told "they bought over the weekend." Dead deal.

The listing sat the rest of the summer.  Numerous open houses and loads of advertising failed to bring another offer.  The market continued to dive. When the listing expired the end of October, the seller told me she was going with a discounter so she could "lower the price the amount she would save on commission." I was sad to see her go, but had spent enough time and money on a deal I figured couldn't happen at the price "she needed."

She listed for $295 with the discounter and it closed last week for $275K.  As I spin the numbers I think she could have taken the $310 last April, paid my commission at the higher rate, saved nine months of hassle, and come out with more in her pocket than she did.  But, hind sight is always 20-20 eh?

The moral to my story is... even a so called low offer -- that the seller "couldn't possibly afford to take" -- may not appear so low six months later and I probably should have done more to get the deal done last spring...

I ask, How do YOU convince your sellers it's not a low ball and you should take this offer?

 

Cary in Margate

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Rainmaker
1,007,643
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Hi Cary:  First of all... I'm sorry you went through all of that work, and then saw your listing end up with another broker... and then it sold and closed.  Very frustrating.

I am guessing that most of the convincing that I would have done would have taken place at the signing of the listing.  In my listing presentation I go through an entire closing sequence that is aimed at exactly why the first thirty days of a listing are critical.  Part of that presentation is concentrating on showing the seller how the best offers usually come during the first thirty days. 

Once they see the sense of that, they are then prepared in case the offer that typically comes in during that period is often the best they will get.  Thanks for sharing, Cary.  Take care...

Jan 21, 2008 01:52 AM #1
Rainer
104,204
Rosario Lewis
DDR Realty - Newburgh, NY
GRI, SRES - DDR Realty - Orange County, NY
There are no magic words that will convince sellers to take a lower than desired offered. You did all you could.
Jan 21, 2008 01:54 AM #2
Rainer
32,680
Michelle Way
AVALAR Pro Realty - Jackson, MS
ABR, GRI, WCR
If I only knew. When someone figures it out Please let me know
Jan 21, 2008 01:58 AM #3
Rainer
13,925
Cary & Kim Johnson
Coral Shores Realty - Margate, FL

Thanks for all the thoughts!!!

I think you're all correct.  We can teach and preach all we want, but until they're "convinced" nothing will happen.

 

Cary in Margate

Jan 21, 2008 02:05 AM #4
Rainer
10,268
Forrest Barbee
BHHS Nevada Properties - Las Vegas, NV
This is the type of situation where we all need to hone some analytical skills.  We need good stats and market data, absorbtion rates info, days on market data, etc. that help educate the seller (without offending them) to the realities of the current market.  The data should include price pressures due to supply and demand in their own subdivision or area and address the time value of their money.  This may be tedious work, but it is essential.
Jan 21, 2008 02:20 AM #5
Rainer
12,357
G-II Varrato II
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Luke AFB, AZ

Hello Kim & Cary,  been there, done that... perhaps our latest BLOG http://activerain.com/blogsview/346078/To-Be-or-Not  might be of some help in the future.   We're also writing another article that may be helpful too.  We'll be in touch.

 bye for now,

Lori & "G-II"
http://www.goairforcehomes.info/
http://www.airforcehomebuyer.info/
http://www.airforcehomeseller.info/

Jan 21, 2008 03:15 PM #6
Rainer
13,925
Cary & Kim Johnson
Coral Shores Realty - Margate, FL

Forrest and G-II

We totally agree with both your opinions! Thanks.  We statistic ed this seller to death and still ended up banging our heads against the wall.  I guess sometimes you just have to say "OH WELL" and move on, but I always try to learn from the experience so as not to repeat in the future.

 

Cary in Margate

Jan 22, 2008 12:15 AM #7
Rainmaker
417,264
Debbie Malone
Londeree's Real Estate & Property Management - Lynchburg, VA
From Lynchburg To The Lake (434) 546-0369
Cary, This is frustrating and I'm sorry for the way it turned out. I advise my sellers, especially in the upper ranges that the market is slower, their are variables beyond my control (credit crunch,talk of recession, jobs reports, etc). I set them up on a prospecting notification so they see their competition, when prices are being lowered, new listings, etc and I send them a report every two weeks on how many homes went under contract or closed. It helps them to understand the market a bit better and makes the talk of price reductions a bit easier.
Jan 22, 2008 12:34 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,027,150
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Sometimes you can do every single thing right and still not come out on top.  It is the nature of the business because we are dealing with human beings, who are not always logical.  Sometimes it is just better to be the second agent, who often benefits from the hard work and dedication of the FIRST agent.  In this case, you laid all the groundwork for the second agent and there was probably absolutely nothing else you could have done, other than possibly really, really, really pushed for that first offer in some way.  And you know what they say about hindsight! 

Jan 22, 2008 12:42 AM #9
Rainer
13,925
Cary & Kim Johnson
Coral Shores Realty - Margate, FL

Debbie and Susan,

 

Thanks for your thoughts, I'm definitely getting more aggressive in price setting and pushing for reductions. What good is a listing if you don't sell it right?

 

Cary in Margate

Jan 28, 2008 02:30 AM #10
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