Should You Just Test The Real Estate Market?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cam Realty and Property Management

Should You Just Test The Real Estate Market?

As a Real Estate agent, it is a great honor to receive a call from a homeowner who is considering me as their listing agent. I certainly take pride in my what I do, and work hard regardless of the price point. BUT, that is a big but, I also ask the right questions prior to meeting with the homeowners to understand what their intentions are. If they are not realistic, then, I'm out.
Some may not understand what it takes to list a home. Please allow me to mention a few things that a real estate agent does to get your home listed;

-Prepare a CMA
-Meet with the sellers, preview the home, make suggestions, talk about the market 
-Prepare the listing agreement, along with all the documents such as HOA disclosures when applicable, sellers disclosures, net sheet etc.
-Hire a professional photographer 
-Arrange a real estate sign installation 
-Prepare all the marketing material online as well as direct mail
-Input the listing into MLS
-Enter the listing into all the social media sites the agent advertises on
-Forward the file to the title company/attorney
-Coordinate all the showings
These are just the normal steps we each take, some homes take a lot more time and money to get on the market, and those include arranging the cleaning crew, landscaping crew, getting the utilities turned on, and the list goes on and on...
For me, and please understand, this is just me, I do not want to do all this work if the homeowner has no intentions of selling but is simply "testing the market". You might ask how I know that, well, that is very easy, just ask the right questions starting with the reason why they want to list their home and their expectation of the sale price. I have no problem with saying no at this point in my career. 
I have taken on overpriced listings many times but there's always an agreement from day one to re-visit the list price after two weeks and make the necessary adjustments.
What I still don't understand is why anyone in their right mind would want to just "test the market". It takes a lot of work not only for the agent but the homeowner to get a house ready to market. If the homeowner has no intentions of selling, then, what is the point? Do you know the answer? I sure don't!

My suggestion is if you are a homeowner who wants to just test the market, just look at the active, pending, and sold listings in your area to see how the market is. There's absolutely no need to list your home. 

Thinking about buying a home in the Central FL area? Whether you're a Floridian or moving to Florida, home buying should be a great experience. Together, we can achieve that. Call or text me at 407-929-1852, email or visit


Should You Just Test The Real Estate Market?

Comments (29)

Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Hello Beth Atalay As always, you have hit the nail on the head. To determine the direction of the market, all they need to do is check what homes in the area are selling for. The biggest question is, where will they move  if they get the price they want? Do they have a plan? I am sure you ask all the right questions.

Oct 17, 2023 09:30 AM
Beth Atalay

Hello Hannah Williams, knowing what questions to ask does take experience and being able to say NO when we need to is a must if we value our time and dime.

Oct 18, 2023 05:32 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Oh wow - who would want to list their home just for the fun of it? (I ask with tongue in cheek). I love your list, Beth. Excellent.

Oct 17, 2023 10:19 AM
Beth Atalay

Hello Dr. Paula McDonald, I truly want to understand why people list their homes if they have no intensions of selling but it happens more often than most think.

Oct 18, 2023 05:31 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is good advice to share.

Home sellers are in very good hands when they seek your professional real estate advice and assistance.

Oct 17, 2023 12:19 PM
Beth Atalay

Thank you so much Roy Kelley.

Oct 18, 2023 05:30 AM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Hello Beth, It is a great gift we receive the longer we are in Real Estate...the ability to say 'NO' and knowing when to do so.  Mark

Oct 17, 2023 12:31 PM
Beth Atalay

Hello Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho, saying NO does come with experience for sure.

Oct 18, 2023 05:29 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Hello Beth Atalay Mr. Crappy was rushing around this morning so I did not have time to leave a comment. 

No way. No How. No Testing the Market on my dime and time! 

We have learned over the years the important questions to ask. And we do not need to test the market, we already know what our market is doing and how it will respond to homes in various locations and price points. 

Congratulations on the Feature! 



Oct 17, 2023 02:16 PM
Beth Atalay

Hello sweet Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, amen to that. They can go test the market with someone who's willing to work for free but my time is valuable and not running a charity organization. 

Oct 18, 2023 05:29 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Way back when I was an agent there was a gentleman (?) in our community who owned several properties around town.

Every couple of years he would list some or all of them. Then, as soon as he got an offer on something, he'd take it off the market. 

He always used the same agent and I always wondered why she fell for his story over and over again. I dunno - but I saw it happen 3 different times over the years. 

Oct 17, 2023 03:22 PM
Beth Atalay

Hello Marte Cliff, that's one of the craziest real estate stories I've heard in a while. I wonder what the purpose was.

Oct 18, 2023 05:27 AM
Marte Cliff

Beth Atalay - I don't know, but he's a strange person. 3 or 4 years ago he purchased a big old building that had been an auto repair shop. In the years since he has slowly gutted it. This year he removed all the windows and doors.  The story is that it will be home to an antique store, but ... in what century?

As for your comment to Dorie Dillard Austin TX - I've met people whose hobby was looking at homes. Some of them used their vacation time to visit different communities and pretend to be home buyers. Not nice - and I don't think they ever considered the expense to the agents who became their tour guides. 

Oct 18, 2023 08:58 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

This is excellent advice for real estate agents Beth  as well as the home sellers.  I am the same way - if after asking the 'right' questions I hear them say 'test the market' well I'm not the one for them.  I remember the very last one I did go along with that and I said - never again.  Ask the right questions and listen to what they day!    Excellent Beth!

Oct 17, 2023 03:56 PM
Beth Atalay

Thank you Anna "Banana" Kruchten, when I was a brand new agent, I would probably think twice before telling them to go somewhere else but now, I know better.

Oct 18, 2023 05:26 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

You can test it but might fail in those efforts without any return and lighter in the bank account, Beth. Enjoyed this post and congrats on the feature!

Oct 17, 2023 03:57 PM
Beth Atalay

Hello Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, lighter bank account for the listing agent but the unrealistic homeowners just move on. Thank you so much!

Oct 18, 2023 05:23 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Beth Atalay  I loved the headline, I did not need to read the rest of the post:))) I have discussions with potential market testers and I advise them to get another listing agent and once that does not work out to please reach out to me when they are ready to sell, Endre

Oct 17, 2023 11:17 PM
Beth Atalay

Good morning Endre Barath, Jr., recently, I did tell a homeowner to get another listing agent and let me know when they're ready to sell. 

Oct 18, 2023 05:22 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I guess it comes down to knowing the difference between risk and calculated risk and then going from there. :

Oct 17, 2023 11:49 PM
Beth Atalay

Hello Laura Cerrano, you're right, the risks are high for the listing agent but the sellers have nothing to risk.

Oct 18, 2023 05:21 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

It is so frustrating for the seller and the agent when the seller just wants to test the market and doesn’t listen to what the market is saying.

Oct 18, 2023 04:00 AM
Beth Atalay

Hello Lise Howe, it is truly frustrating, honestly, it's not worth the time or the effort to take an an overpriced listing.

Oct 18, 2023 05:20 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

The people that get to work with you are so lucky, you are such a good agent and have the best advice for any situation!

Oct 18, 2023 04:18 AM
Beth Atalay

You're so sweet Brian England, thank you so much for your kind words.

Oct 18, 2023 05:18 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Excellent point. It does take a lot of work to get a listing ready and on-the-market. Why do it if the seller doesn't really want to sell?

Oct 18, 2023 06:44 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
NC Real Estate Transition & Relocation 919-602-848

Beth, Now really isn't the time to test the market. If there ever were such a time, I was during the pandemic. While inventory is still low for many areas, buyers are few and they're choosy. Get the house sold while you can!

Oct 18, 2023 06:48 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Very smart post and a good one in this current marketplace!   Great advice for anyone wondering what's going on the housing market.  Testing the market is never a good idea!

Oct 18, 2023 10:34 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Excellent list, Beth. Testing the market is very risky and a waste of time. And it indicates a lack of being serious as a seller.


Oct 18, 2023 11:48 PM
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

Then you are looking at higher mortgage rates on the next home you are buying if you do get your price. Unless of course if you are paying cash for next home

Oct 19, 2023 05:43 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Beth Atalay - Congratulations on your well-deseerved feature on ActiveRain! 

I like how you started out by having a meaningful conversation with your client before agreeing to list. Knowing how, what, why, when, and where are very important before rushing to list without a well-thought-out plan. As a Broker and owner of your business, I salute you and how you manage your business methodically and precisely for all the right reasons. 

Oct 25, 2023 09:24 AM
Gwen Fowler SC Lakes & Mountains 864-710-4518
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Walhalla, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

I started setting boundaries when I started school, and I still have boundaries. Testing the market, the Seller has his bottom amount or many other boundaries in the sand to keep me from listing unrealistic properties.  I also don't show the marketing plan for the house until they have signed.  

Oct 26, 2023 04:56 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Beth Atalay  just wanted to stop in, hope all is well with you it has been a while....Endre

Nov 12, 2023 04:08 PM