You Tried To Sell Last Year & Failed - Here We Go Again

Real Estate Agent with Fred Real Estate Group

 It seems like every couple of days I get a call from a potential seller.  With the marketing trends we have seen over the last two years it is more a buyer's or investor's market than we have seen in a while.  Seller's that succeed in selling are motivated, they are willing to listen to their agent and price their home correctly, and make their home standout above the competition.

Many of the sellers calling me at this time had their home on the market with other agents last year.  They are frustrated that their home did not sell, that the listing agent never showed their home and they tend to blame the other agent. 

While researching the past history of the home, the old listings and county records the handwriting is on the wall and very easy to see why their home did not sell.  It all comes down to pricing.

Today this was really driven home when a family called me to list their home.  They had their home listed last year with a "local agent."  Even if we were in seller's market the home had been listed about $75,000 higher than it would have sold for. 

Now that another year has gone by we are looking at a price almost $100,000 lower than the price it was listed for.  These sellers felt they had lost money since "the other agent" had over priced the home the sellers felt their home was worth the higher amount.  This was never the case; the home actually has not lost any value, even with this buyer's market we are currently in.

 Will they list the home for the true value of the home and what it stands a chance for selling?  I hope so, today after meeting with them I did not take the listing, I gave them the cold hard facts of what a 20 year old frame built home without a master and a small bedroom will truly sell.  I explained my marketing plan, told them what buyers are looking for and what their competition has that they do not and what they have that the competition does not.  I agreed to list the property for a price that shocked them but nothing more, asked them to take my listing presentation, marketing plan and paperwork home, to think about it and let me know tomorrow.

After I left them, I just wanted to drive to the other agent's office and tell him exactly what I thought of what he had done to these wonderful people.  The truly thought they had a chance of selling for a much higher price, they believed him, trusted him and were taken back with the truth.

If you plan to sell this year, please take a good look at your competing properties what more do you have to offer, price your home accordingly.  Many agents will price the home where you set the price, knowing full well you do not stand a chance of receiving an offer and even if you did that the home will never appraise which will kill the deal.  Competition is steep, but home are selling, allow your agent to give you the cold hard facts and price the home below your closest competitor. 

Comments (15)

Kris Wales
Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center - Macomb, MI
Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI

One of the things I tell sellers to help get the point across is this:  You CAN overprice it and possibly get a buyer in and possibly get an offer, but it will never get past the appraiser.  Is it worth a year on the market waiting for the "possibility" only to have a purchase fall through?  Not in my book.

Good luck Thesa.  Please let us know if you get the listing and how things turn out. 

Mar 12, 2008 11:03 PM
Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate


I just got a listing last night...the lady was a former neighbor who had listed with another agent based on a friends was a mess and the buyers never closed...the agent then refused to remove the listing from the MLS until the seller threatened to file a complaint and her broker wouldn't return calls...she called me and I told her she would have to reposition the home at the right price or I couldn't help her...she obliged and now has to list it 100,000 lower based on the market. She has been searching for me for 3 weeks according to her and was sorry she mad an error in judgement.

Mar 12, 2008 11:22 PM
Teri Eckholm
Boardman Realty - White Bear Lake, MN
REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro

Thesa--About 40% of my listings last year were relists. A couple were significantly overpriced by agents working outside their area. Both homes are now under contract. What was maddening to me on these were that the directions to the homes were incorrect for almost a year! I don't understand how that could happen. I have a couple of new relists and though priced right in the previous listing the photographs were HORRIBLE. With 80-90% of buyers weeding through listings on the internet before making home visits, the photos need to be awesome!


Mar 13, 2008 01:02 AM
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

It's the Santa Clause Buyer syndrome. 

Sellers believe that Santa is going to deliver a cash buyer who won't want an appraisal and will love the house and won't care about the price because they have more money than common sense.

When was the last time you had a cash buyer who didn't know what they were doing???

Sad.  Sad.  Overpriced listing and incompetent listing agents are holding the real estate recovery back and it's costing everyone dearly. 

Mar 13, 2008 01:14 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital
Thesa, a lot of the overpriced listings in this area don't have price tags that the listing agent suggested.  It could be a combination of unrealistic sellers and an agent who will take a listing at any cost - which is not a great strategy in this market.  Good post!
Mar 13, 2008 02:04 AM
Suzanne Sands
Pavao Real Estate - Somerset, MA
Somerset MA Real Estate

Hi Thesa,

Looks like we were on the same page! Its a shame that we have to go out there and clean up the damage because others agents don't tell the truth. I hope you get this listing these people sound like they need your help. :)

Mar 13, 2008 03:14 AM
April Hayden-Munson
Brookfield, WI
Brookfield Wisconsin Real Estate


Very well put.  On almost EVERY listing appointment the sellers want more for the house than they can possibly get.  They have all kinds of excuses, too.  They owe too much, they NEED to net a certain number, etc.  It is our job to let them know that none of that matters to the buyers.  AND the buyers have the stage right now. Thanks for a great post.

Mar 13, 2008 02:36 PM
Jim Crawford
Maximum One Executive REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR
Too bad the it was business as usual for many agents!  "What number do you want to list it at?  OK!"  Buying the listing is a violation of the NAR Code of Ethics!
Mar 13, 2008 04:51 PM
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection
Yes it is all about pricing.  I see some stubborn sellers in my marketplace so their homes will languish on the market.
Mar 13, 2008 05:34 PM
Marlene Scheffer
Realty Station - Bremerton, WA
Realtor to Kitsap County, WA
Thesa, normally I have no trouble figuring out a price point and telling potential clients exactly where they need to list their home so it will sell. Right now, though, I have a friend whose home is difficult to comp, and what makes it harder is that I know what she paid for it.  I know, suck it up and tell her the truth, but I HATE doing it sometimes, ya know?
Mar 13, 2008 09:34 PM
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate
I called my sellers yesterday on a home they have had on the market 9 months and told them I had an offer they were going to sign.....could they come into the office.  Not a full price offer, but they were thrilled!  We've only turned down 4 offers.  After the 3rd rejection, I had a serious talk with them about the market and dropped the price of the home. 
Mar 15, 2008 02:05 AM
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate
I called my sellers yesterday on a home they have had on the market 9 months and told them I had an offer they were going to sign.....could they come into the office.  Not a full price offer, but they were thrilled!  We've only turned down 4 offers.  After the 3rd rejection, I had a serious talk with them about the market and dropped the price of the home. 
Mar 15, 2008 02:05 AM
Laurie Logan
Keller Williams Realty, Inc., Broker Associate - Madison, WI
South Central WI Real Estate
Tough times call for tough measures.  If someone needs to sell, they need to face reality.  They also desperately need an agent who understands what reality is!!  Best Wishes!
Mar 15, 2008 08:36 AM
Sandra Cummings
William Raveis Real Estate - Guilford, CT
Real Estate Agent, Guilford Connecticut
Thesa, Sad when this happen. I'm finding many agents will still take an over-priced listing. To many sellers only want to hear what they want to hear and then can't understand why their home isn't even showing never mind getting an offer.
Mar 16, 2008 11:51 AM
Janice Dalston Kreymborg
Janice Dalston Kreymborg, Realtor (c) - Southampton, NY
Representing Buyers and Sellers in The Hamptons

Some sellers just won't or can't listen when explain that the market will tell them what the price of their house should be.  Whether it's the emotional investment in their home, or the need to take a certain amount of money out of the deal, so often they want to fly in the face of reason.  Then the house sits, and they wonder why or blame the agent for not trying hard enough to sell it. 

Aug 06, 2008 06:01 PM