Real Estate Pricing - It's All About The Crystal Ball...Or Is It?

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage NRDS # 146013739

Positioning Sedona Property For Sale

"Price War To the Door!"

Jackie Leavenworth -

Early in my career, I took a CRS course in a small mountain town of Pinetop Arizona. This town is about 3 hours from my home in the east central part of Arizona,  but I was told that I had to take this course. It was a must to be a successful "listing" agent!  Well, it was one of the best classes I have taken to understand the listing presentation and process. Some of the points in my blog below came from this 2 day CRS class that Jackie Leavenworth teaches.  

Another outstanding course that I attended was a 5 day certification process  to be a Master Certified Negotiation Expert (MCNE) that can be split into a 3 day and 2 day schedule.  Negotiations play a major role in everything a salesperson does. However, there are specific areas that can help us when we are positioning property for a seller.

Some of the takeaways are:

  • Persuasion Principles
  • Understand and Demonstrate Communication Skills & Techniques
  • Handling Highly Competitive Negotiators With Ease
  • Persuade Sellers Not To "Over-list"
  • Understanding Generational Factors


Doing The Homework

Part of my pricing strategy is to find out everything I can prior to getting to the property. I will look up tax records, and prior listing info (if available) and see where that leads me. I will do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and hone in on properties that I think should be comparable. However, not all competition is COMPARABLE.  

I start in the neighborhood and circle out into the rest of the subdivision. In Sedona, there are two zip-codes and I will widen the search out into each zip code.  I will only use some of this information if I have a seller who just does not understand the "sweet spot" of the market. Otherwise, there is information overload. 

I always want to see the house before I give the seller any idea of how we should position the home. Curb appeal - updates - staging - views - flow, etc. 


Positioning Strategies 

  • Show Marketing and Sub-division reports to give a high level view of our Sedona real estate market. I explain why my reports have quartiles. I review the trends I see...
  • Question Sellers - Ask open ended questions - what they like, what could be an issue, what made them buy this house, what price were they hoping to get - how quickly do they want it to sell - etc. 
  • Don't set a list price - we don't have a crystal ball. Don't be a predictor of the real estate world. You will be taking pricing ownership. We don't know what a buyer might find as worth and value. 
  • Don't compare to "active listings". Some properties are not active. They are UNSOLD PROPERTIES. 
  • POSITION the home - As a REALTOR®, I don't establish worth and value - I position the home to sell. 

Unrealistic Perceptions

Nothing is in stone. Education generally works. I know my marketing will bring buyers through the door if the pricing is right. 

Steps I have taken in the past include:

  • Show a seller a home or two that is/are the competition. 
  • Prepare a plan to re-position the home after 2-3 weeks with agreement. 
  • Lastly - walk away if the seller can't agree with the strategy I am providing. 


More about this next Part 3

Always Remember the first showing is on the Internet...NOT through your front door. JL


Crystal Ball - Courtesy of Dan -


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Gabe Sanders 09/18/2017 11:55 PM
  2. Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 09/20/2017 05:29 AM
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Lee Keadle
Carolina One Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Keadle Real Estate Group

In my listing homework, I've started looking up the Zestimate for the home before I meet with the sellers because I don't want to be caught off guard when Zillow tells them their home should be listed $30K higher!

Sep 08, 2017 09:59 AM #27
Elva Branson-Lee
Solid Source Realty GA - Atlanta, GA
CDPE - Atlanta Real Estate & Short Sale Agent

That Zestimate is still a bane, is it not? Walking away when sellers have unrealistic expectations is the hardest thing but sometimes it just has to be done. No one has time or resources to waste.

Sep 08, 2017 10:18 AM #28
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Looking at active listings is important b/c those are competition for your listing.  SOLDS are what is most important, but also I consider actives when pricing --comparing the features against my listing.

Sep 08, 2017 10:27 AM #29
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

 We don't even buy into SOLD listings....seasons and prices change  !

Sep 08, 2017 11:00 AM #30
Luke Acree
ReminderMedia - King of Prussia, PA
Making Agents Memorable

Preparation always makes for a better presentation. 

Sep 08, 2017 12:14 PM #31
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

Great post! Good information and advice. Thank you!

Sep 08, 2017 12:20 PM #32
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

You go in prepared, as a true professional agent does.  We don't just pull numbers out of thin air. They are based on facts and figures.

Sep 08, 2017 01:13 PM #33
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


This is such a great post, and so glad it was featured. There are so many good points here...I love the comment about not taking ownership of pricing. And we all know the first Open House is online!


Sep 08, 2017 04:05 PM #34
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Sedona is in good hands....

Sep 08, 2017 04:37 PM #35
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Pricing can fix any defect in the house!!!

Part of my pricing strategy is to find out everything I can prior to getting to the property. I will look up tax records, and prior listing info (if available) and see where that leads me

Sep 08, 2017 06:23 PM #36
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I hope home sellers in your market area will read this post and call you

Sep 09, 2017 02:48 AM #37
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

We may not have a crystal ball, but we have skills to position the home to make it salable. Overpricing is detrimental to success. I love the sentence about active homes are unsold homes. Homes in my market sell quickly if priced correctly.

Sep 09, 2017 07:40 AM #38
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® - this post reminds me of my January contest about the crystal ball - and we are almost getting into 2018! Wow! Time flies...

Sep 09, 2017 11:34 PM #39
Walt Fish
Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC - Marquette, MI
Upper Michigan's Most Experienced Home Inspector

How do you prepare sellers for the inevitable Home Inspection Sheri?

Sep 10, 2017 05:52 AM #40
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

You are so right Sheri Sperry - MCNE® first showing is on the internet

Sep 10, 2017 11:01 AM #41
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

I have NO idea how I missed this wonderful post, Sheri! I tell my clients this all the time - that's why we're so picky about getting everything PERFECT for the photographer. 

Great advice and congrats on the feature, Sheri! Well-deserved!

Sep 11, 2017 07:10 PM #42
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Knowing the Market, Knowing the Market, Knowing the Market.

That is the bottom line for an agent.

You laid it out well in your post.


Sep 14, 2017 04:13 PM #43
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Great blog, Sheri! Chock full of good information that demonstrates you're the expert in the field!

Sep 19, 2017 04:33 AM #44
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® "Nothing is in stone. Education generally works...Prepare a plan to re-position the home after 2-3 weeks with agreement. "

Right on target - and - re-blog!

Sep 20, 2017 05:29 AM #45
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Very smart advice Sheri.  Showing sellers the competition is key and getting them to understand that Active listings aren't sold YET and how they could be next! 

Sep 25, 2017 11:33 AM #46
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Sheri Sperry - MCNE®

(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®
Don't know Sedona AZ? Let me answer EVERY question! Call me!
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