You Can't Sell 'em All: An Overpriced Listing Story

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Mexico Properties 47726

You Can't Sell 'em All: An Overpriced Listing Story

When I first entered the world of real estate back in 2013, my mentor told me that there will be certain listings that I would not be able to sell, for one reason or another.

I, being the cockeyed optimist that I once was, thought this was nonsense. I WILL sell every single listing I take because I'm just that good. Insert face-slapping emoji here.

Recently, I had a listing that I feared was overpriced. It was a cute property and it was not overpriced for the market but overpriced for the condition of the property. But, I took the listing anyway, and at the somewhat unrealistic list price that the sellers were seeking.

Six months passed by - I had an open house every month, held broker's open houses, and obtained broker's price opinions and property condition. I showed the property to several sign calls, etc. I presented all of this to the sellers.

The property's condition was slowly deteriorating. I asked the sellers to have their yard guys and handyman repair items in the house, and maintain the yard, OR, to have my guys come and do it. They didn't want my guys, said that they would take care of it -  but they never did.

Finally, when it was time to renew the listing, I asked the sellers for a meeting at the property. That meeting was the first time the sellers had been back to the property since when I listed it.

During our meeting, we walked the property and I pointed to issues around the property that customers and other brokers were stating as problematic. The same items that I had been documenting and discussing with them over the months.

They asked what it was going to take to get this sold. I told them a drastic price drop would be needed to get it sold once and for all. They thanked me and asked for a day to think it over. The next day they called me and said they were going to list with another agent. The following week, the listing was back on the market with a new agent, and low and behold, at the listing price I had suggested.  Insert face-slapping emoji, again.

It's hard not to take these things personally, but after a few hours, I remembered what my mentor so callously said to me all those years ago. You can't (and won't) sell 'em all! Now, move on to the next customer and keep on selling. Good advice.

Comments (16)

Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

He was smart and I am just like you, it still stings when I have one I don't sell.  I've had a few in the past 31 years.

May 20, 2023 08:14 AM
Jeff Stevens

Thank you, Tammy. "Stings" is a nice way of saying it! :)

May 20, 2023 12:28 PM
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 Jeff,
It does happen and is irksome when they list with someone else at the reduced price AFTER you've spent 6 months working the listing.

May 20, 2023 08:28 AM
Jeff Stevens

Yes. If I sat around on my hands the entire six months, then I deserve to get fired. But, that was not the case. :/

May 20, 2023 12:30 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Jeff - optimism, cockeyed and in all sorts of other ways, has always played a role in real estate.  And that's coming from someone who wishes I never said always.  But "stuff" happens.  Lessons continue and they seem to be taught in a somewhat different way each time.  

May 20, 2023 09:01 AM
Jeff Stevens

Thanks, Michael. Very true. "Stuff" happens.  It kinda stinks! :) Forward. 👍

May 20, 2023 12:32 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Jeff good to see you, it's been awhile.  You know, I'm sure most of us have dealt with this type of situation.  I remember the first one over 30 years ago.  It was a lovely custom country home on acreage. The sellers were very nice but pretty stubborn about bringing down the price after 3 months, then 6 months. Once again I made all the suggestions I could and had to let it go.  They did list with another agent (which was a friend of mine) and honestly I wished him well.  They weren't so lucky to get even a price drop.  Not sure why he took the listing honestly.  Like you, my broker taught me to move on to 'the next' as he used to call it.  You can't win em all but you can give it your best shot.  You did!!

May 20, 2023 01:25 PM
Jeff Stevens

Thanks, Anna. Yeah, it's been way too long since I posted anything other than for listings. I need to get back into the habit. Yes, the lesson that I can't please everyone all of the time is ongoing. I actually had a pretty good relationship with the sellers, mostly. One more than the other. Two different personality types. It's all good. I do wish them well. They needed it off the books. They needed a fresh start. Good on them. Good for me -Next! 

May 20, 2023 01:33 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker

That's the spirit Jeff!  Clear up the energy and on to the NEXT!   Again, great to see you back! 

May 20, 2023 04:13 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


No doubt many here have had similar experiences around sellers and pricing. Sometimes it just best to move on and use it as a learning experience. Yep, it stings!


May 20, 2023 05:17 PM
Jeff Stevens

Thanks, Jeff. :)

May 21, 2023 05:43 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Jeff- my husband is a retired builder and always says if a house isn't's the price. And you were right...the price has to reflect the perceived value. 

May 20, 2023 06:19 PM
Jeff Stevens

Thank you, Kathy. Exactly!

May 21, 2023 05:43 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Sometimes an obstinate seller will just not want to look you in the eye so you can't tell them you told them so.

May 20, 2023 06:27 PM
Jeff Stevens

Thanks, Ed. Very true.

May 21, 2023 05:42 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

That must have been frustrating! Something very similar happened with one of my early listings - and they relisted with someone else who priced it at the lower price I suggested. Ouch.

May 21, 2023 04:34 AM
Jeff Stevens

Yes, ouch is right! :)

May 21, 2023 05:42 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Jeff... and that is exactly why I don't take overpriced listings in the first place. Sellers forget they insisted on the price and blame you for not selling their home. And then they relist with another agent at a price you recommended in the first place. But I do admit I like being the second or third agent in on a listing like this... by then sellers have gotten real and start to listen.

May 21, 2023 05:16 AM
Jeff Stevens

Thanks, Nina. So true. In this case, the second listing agent on this one seemed to be the magic number!

May 21, 2023 05:41 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

That happened to me with neighbors. Like you, I was doing all I could to generate interest and get the thing sold, but it didn't move until they took my advice and lowered the price - with another agent!

May 21, 2023 09:39 AM
Jeff Stevens

Thanks, Marte. Ugh. Having it happen with neighbors must be a little bit worse, I would imagine!

May 22, 2023 07:31 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

So the owners took your advice but did not give you the well deserved satisfaction of selling their house! What a shame! Yet, stuff happens. We know that not everyone respects us for what we do.

May 21, 2023 04:56 PM
Jeff Stevens

Thanks, John. So true, although I would say most of my customers and clients do respect what we do. But those few that don't, makes it unpleasant sometimes.

May 22, 2023 07:32 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I am sorry to hear your clients 

went with someone else after all of your good work and solid advice.

May 22, 2023 06:15 AM
Jeff Stevens

Thanks, Ray. :)

May 22, 2023 07:33 AM
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

Sounds like you had a great mentor to you-SOMETHING I WISHED I HAD WHEN i GOT INTO THIS BUSINESS IN 2005. But it happens to the best of us. So don't feel bad about losing a listing. Replace it with 5 listings.

May 23, 2023 01:25 PM
Jeff Stevens

Thank you, Lanre. Good advice!

May 27, 2023 09:09 AM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

Past experiences like this is a good live and learn story, but will also be a reminder in the future that it is sometimes better to walk away from a hard headed Seller who is an energy zapper when they won't listen to the facts.

May 24, 2023 08:36 AM
Jeff Stevens

Thanks, Buzz. Yeah, agreed!

May 27, 2023 09:10 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

I, being the cockeyed optimist that I once was, thought this was nonsense. I WILL sell every single listing I take because I'm just that good. Insert face-slapping emoji here.

HA! Ego . . . we've all been through that, I think. It goes away, when we learn how valuable TIME is . . .

May 24, 2023 09:02 AM
Jeff Stevens

Thank you, Candice. I guess the difference is the ego, after 10 years, is now confidence! :)

May 27, 2023 09:13 AM
Candice A. Donofrio

Yes. True confidence is so peaceful and chill . . . it contains no ego. 💯

May 27, 2023 09:32 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Jeff, this is how you learn sometimes. I try not to take overpriced listings and I also try to take listings from sellers who are reasonable and open to advice. Sometimes it is hard to judge. 

May 25, 2023 06:43 AM
Jeff Stevens

Thank you, Carla.

May 27, 2023 09:24 AM