Last week, I had a new listing come on the market. This home was built in 1992 and had not been updated. It had the original cabinets and countertops and in some cases, flooring and appliances. I had discussed the possibility of making some changes to the property just to sell but the homeowners were of the mind to price it right and just sell it in its current dated condition.
The home was clean and well-maintained. In addition, it sat on a very coveted one-acre lot in Franklin TN. We priced it at $425K for 2,630 square feet, three bedrooms, 2.5 baths.
We brought the house on the market on a Saturday morning; something I don't usually like to do. Agents here might not respond to new listings for a couple of days and I was afraid we'd missed an opportunity to get showings that first weekend. As a result, I hadn't adequately prepared the sellers for what happened next.
The showings began immediately that morning and put the sellers out of their house for the entire day. We saw much of the same for the next three days. The sellers were exhausted and so was I as I personally showed the house four times to interested buyers.
I had advised the sellers that the best feedback was an offer and not to expect much response to my feedback requests. While we only received a 25% feedback response rate to our showings, the responses were as varied as the buyers who probably viewed the property.
The majority of the agents who responded were very positive about the property and the price. Their buyers were interested but not at a point yet where they could make an offer (had a home to sell). However, we did get a couple of agents who said the property needed updates and was overpriced, which I thought was interesting because it was priced much lower than comparable properties that had sold in the neighborhood two months earlier. Properties that did not have updates.
As I said, the best feedback is an offer and we did, in fact, receive several of those as well. The sellers are happily under contract with continued interest every day.
All of this to say, is feedback really beneficial?
I had done my research on this neighborhood. I know the surrounding area quite well and review market data every month. When we priced this house, I felt very confident in our pricing, even though, the house was in need of updates.
Many agents here say the market has shifted slightly because they've seen a drop in their showings. But that's not what the market data suggests. The data shows that 33% of new listings that have come on the market since October 1 went under contract in the first 14 days. That tells me if a home is priced right, it will sell.
To get back to the feedback. Unfortunately, we assume that the agents who show our properties know what they are doing and are familiar with the local housing market. That just isn't true. Let me share with you some of the calls and questions I received about this home.
One agent called to ask if the vacant lot next door was for sale? What vacant lot? There is no vacant lot. The seller owns an acre and so does his neighbors. There's a plat of the property online in the MLS and I referred her to that. As it turns out, she had just gotten her license that week and she didn't know how to access online documents or the tax record. Is this agent qualified to provide me with meaningful feedback?
Another agent called asking if the house was on city water. I, once again, referred her to the MLS and said that it was on city water but had a septic system. She didn't know how that was possible. She argued that it couldn't be both. Either it was on city water with city sewer or septic with a well. I told her she was mistaken. Where the water originates and where it ends up are two separate things. This agent wasn't familiar with the product she was showing.
Two other agents stated the house was overpriced and suggested it would take awhile to sell. I'm sure they were surprised to see the house go under contract in the first four days. I can't wait until this house closes and they see what we actually got. Remember, we received multiple offers on this one.
I can only think of one reason why agents want feedback. They aren't confident in their pricing and they want other agents to help them get the sellers to a more realistic price. Instead what agents should do is ask themselves, "How well do I know this product? Is my knowledge base adequate enough to accurately recommend a price to the sellers?"
In the case of this property, I found not all agents know the market as well as they should. They do a great disservice to their buyers when they show properties they don't know the first thing about or how they should be priced. And a bigger disservice to the sellers when they provide feedback on homes in a market they don't know.
This experience has really turned me off to soliciting feedback at all. I do it because the sellers have an expectation that I'll provide feedback but I'm seriously considering discontinuing this practice.
What are your thoughts? Is feedback really beneficial?