A Lesson From Rick Pitino – Why Homes Don’t Sell

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I saw an interesting article the other day about Rick Pitino’s Indian Creek Mansion. He’s been putting it on and off the market for 10 years – so why hasn’t it sold?

Like most mansions, it’s not for a lack of amenities. But it is falling prey to some of the common problems that home sellers have – no matter how big the house is.

So whether your next client is selling a $20 million mansion or a $250,000 ranch home, help them learn from Rick Pitino’s mistakes so their home can sell quickly and profitably.

Sometimes It’s the View

It’s very hard to imagine that a home on Indian Creek would be lacking a view, but Mr. Pitino’s home does suffer in that regard. Instead of facing the bay, it faces a canal. That makes it less desirable – but the premium pricing doesn’t reflect that.

When you talk to home sellers about the price they’d like, remind them that unchangeable things about the home – including location, view, and lot size – can make a big difference. Unless they want to spend a decade selling their home, they should price that in!

What Does the Buyer Want to Do?

One expert reviewing Pitino’s listing pointed out that most people buying a mansion there don’t want someone else’s mansion, they want a posh living space of their own design. This is especially true if the home wasn’t built in the last 10 years.

As a result, it’s the land value that affects Pitino’s home the most, not the property itself. Buyers want a wow factor, not an “old home.”

And it doesn’t help that Rick’s home is on a smaller lot than most in the area – 1.23 acres compared to the usual 2 acres.

As you review your seller’s listing, think about what a buyer will want from the property. Help them understand the impact of the land value vs. the value of the building. It’s unlikely that a buyer will ignore the home’s value, but they may not place as much of a premium on it as the seller does.

How Motivated is the Seller?

One problem Pitino has with prospective buyers is that it doesn’t seem like he’s that interested in selling. After all, he doesn’t seem to need the money, and he didn’t exactly price the home to move.

If the seller isn’t motivated, especially on a high-value home, buyers will move on. The same is true for your clients. If they aren’t particularly motivated to sell, they may be very picky with buyers and squash deal for little reason.

Be sure you – and your clients! – understand their true motivation before you all sign a listing contract to work together.

Price, Price, Baby

In the end, the reason Rick Pitino’s home hasn’t sold is a simple issue of high pricing vs. perceived value. The price he set doesn’t take into account the variety of drawbacks that potential sellers see with the property.

You know, as a real estate agent, that the most important thing you can do is get your sellers to choose a reasonable price. Perhaps you can use the example of Pitino’s non-starter to help them see the light!

Getting ready for a listing presentation? Be sure your business cards are in order, and consider getting some real estate brochures as well!


This post originally shared on PrinterBees' Real Estate Marketing Magazine.

Comments (4)

JoAnn Moore
The Mortgage Market of Delaware - Georgetown, DE
Home Loans in Delaware

Everything you say here is so true. Sellers can be so unrealistic about price. 


Mar 11, 2020 12:06 PM
Nadine Larder

Yes they can! Thanks for your comment!

Mar 12, 2020 12:42 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

great insights into the problems of selling a house that doesn't measure up to the standards applied to that market 

Mar 11, 2020 06:50 PM
Nadine Larder

Even a mansion isn't worth an infinite amount... I thought it was really interesting!

Mar 12, 2020 12:43 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

So is the Coach coach-able  ? Sometimes Buyers use these things to get a good buy going in .  But they act like the don’t exist when selling .

May 14, 2020 08:12 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

This was a fun blog post to read and so true; great points.

In any price point, you can blame 99 other things, but as you stated wisely...

"high pricing vs. perceived value" means 99.9% of the problem is price.

Bad views sell, poor condition sells, bad locations sell...when priced right.

Aug 01, 2020 05:55 AM