That was your decision, remember?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

"That was your decision, remember? You made that decision on XXXX." I had to say that to a seller this past week. I took a lot of listings in August. Of those listings, about 30% of the sellers listened to my advice, the data I provided and followed a solid marketing plan. The other 70% had their own opinions, received guidance from friends or just knew more than the pros.

Of the listings taken, about 30% went under contract in less than a week. One went under contract in the first hour of being an active listing. Can you guess which group went under contract and which one didn't? The 70% group still have not had a contract offer.

One of the group of 10 has finally accepted that he didn't know everything. I'm making changes to the listing now. Sadly, he missed that magic 14 day listing window. In my market, the best offer with the best price, conditions and contingencies comes in the beginning of the listing.

The longer the listing stays on the market, it becomes more likely that offers will be lower based on days on the market. Sellers can ignore lower offers and hope for better offers later, but they rarely come. If offers do come, they are typically below the first offers. If there were no early offers, the late offers will not match the list price. That's the norm in my market. 

What can you do about it? I don't want to be a pessimist, but you can only do your very best in the beginning and deliver the very best data you can to show your seller the snapshot of the market at the time of list. You can explain to your seller that a home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay, and if it sits on the market for long time, it's a good indicator that buyers aren't accepting the list price. It may become stigmatized if it sits too long.

I always ask my sellers, "How long are you willing to let your home stay on the market? If it can linger, you can go with your price. If you need to sell now, you should go with the price the market is telling you it will sell at." That might sound a little direct, but I'm not in the business to planting signs like flowers around my market. I'm in the business to sell homes.

If my sellers say they need to sell now and aren't willing to listen to the market, I try to negotiate a time-line for price changes. Price changes simply tell the world that it was overpriced from the beginning.

Most of my listings that sell immediately sell at full price. That's a pretty good indicator that we hit the market sweet spot. They will appraise well and they will be gobbled up by an anxious buyer who sees a great deal. Those that are listed too high will receive lower offers with a lot of conditions because the buyer knows it's over-priced and they are searching for conditions that favor them. 

Make sure you keep good records of your conversations with your sellers and buyers. When you need to go back and say, "This is what you said on XXXXX," you want to make sure they don't flippantly talk about your inability to sell their home based upon your decisions. It needs to come back to their choices. We're employees. We don't have the authority to make changes, we can only offer the best service possible and hope our clients listen. 


Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Kevin J. May 09/02/2018 11:24 AM
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Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Mike,  You are so right about the first two weeks and about people that list to people that do not make a living being a Realtor.  Can I reblog this in Oct.?


Sep 02, 2018 08:12 AM #1
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Good morning

Thank you for sharing your information with us 

Have a great day.


Sep 02, 2018 08:32 AM #2
Gwen Fowler-CRS- 864-638-3599 SC Mountains & Lakes--
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Salem, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

If only sellers would listen, read the info we send them or just have an open mind to learn something that wasn't on HGTV or Zillow, our lives would be so much easier.

Sep 02, 2018 10:31 AM #3
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Mike, if you could see me my ndding head gives this post a giant YES, while firmly moving side to side for those unfortunate 60% who failed to take heed. I have to RE-BLOG this keeper! 

Sep 02, 2018 11:02 AM #4
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon Mike Cooper - it is imperative to take good notes and be truthful.  It is good that you had the notes for the people that discovered they didn't know everything.

Sep 02, 2018 11:45 AM #5
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

It's a funny thing about Sellers. They rarely remember they were the ones who made the decision, only that you haven't sold their house yet. 

Great post, Mike!

Sep 02, 2018 12:35 PM #6
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I agree that the first 14 days are important.  It's why we harp on pricing right, and presenting in the best condition.

Sep 02, 2018 07:48 PM #7
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

CONGRATULATIONS Mike, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Sep 02, 2018 07:49 PM #8
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Mike.

Sometimes, all it takes is a rude wake-up call for those who think they know more than the expert.  The last seller I fired refused to sign a General Addendum lowering the price. I fired him after waiting three weeks.  Best decision I made.  As far as I know the home never sold

Sep 03, 2018 01:33 AM #9
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Mike,
No surprise which group sold quickly!  There are always those wanting to "test" the market but ultimately just end up missing the most effective marketing time... those first 14 days.

Happy Labor Day!

Sep 03, 2018 10:29 AM #10
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

It is important to own up to what you do and who you are and be authentic and everything that you do

Sep 05, 2018 10:00 PM #11
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Carol Williams We should all be so lucky about selling that quickly. Good luck yourself!

Sep 05, 2018 10:02 PM #12
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi Mike! I agree wholeheartedly with you on all points and we truly do need to be proficient note-takers, indeed! Sellers (and buyers alike) really do need to understand that we absolutely DO have their best interests at heart. 

Sep 06, 2018 09:02 AM #13
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Mike Cooper, GRI

Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
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