Do I Really Need That Listing?

By
Real Estate Agent with Marc It Sold!

There was a blog a few days ago authored by Judy Cicalese entitled, How do you know when it's time to give up a listing? soliciting comments from us as to when is the time.

In too many instances, the time is before you even take the listing, especially in our present market.  I'm located in the Greater Orlando market and we have a much healthier market than most areas of the country.  We all want listings, but I don't understand why someone would take an overpriced listing just to have it languish on the market with your name rider on the yardarm.  Yes, I do agree that exposure is great and that is what promotes us as realtors, but there is a limit.  Don't you think that when people see your name on a yardarm for an extended period of time, that they won't question your efforts (marketing, etc.) as a realtor?

I've continually mentioned that to sell a home within a reasonable amount of time in this market, that you have to show 'Price & Value.'  Yes, there are many more factors, and I know that Price & Value are not on the top of the list as reasons for consumers to purchase a home.  I've always felt that for a home to sell it has to be sold twice.  First to the realtor and then to the consumer.  I rarely forward overpriced listings to my prospects, unless this home just totally suits their needs.  There are too many other goods values out there.  I don't have time to waste showing a listing where the owner needs a reality check. 

I've been working with a prospective seller who wrote to me that she wanted to price her home high so that she has more room to come down in price.  I viewed the home for her out of courtesy, since she is an absentee owner who bought the home for her children to attend college.  Before I went out to this home I wrote her that there was a good chance that I would not take the listing due to what she wrote me.  She understood that I might not wish to waste the excess time on her listing, but she did not understand there is a price to pay. 

It costs us money for a listing - there is the yardarm, producing marketing materials, virtual tours, etc.  There is also the possible future cost to us if that listing languished on the market for too long.  Yes, your name may be remembered from people consistantly seeing it on the sign, but will they call you?  Don't you think that there might be a negative connotation given to your name for being out there so long?  Don't you think that people might infer that this may not be the realtor for me?  You know that they will be wondering why that home was on the market too long.  Some may know the reason, but how about all of the others that don't know the story behind it.

What I do when I take a listing that the seller wants to price somewhat higher than I feel is to write in the listing agreement that the home needs to be reduced to the price that I suggested in 2 weeks time.  This, of course, is dependent on the amount of traffic, realtor feedback, etc.

I apologize if I may seem to negative to some here, but we are the professionals.  Our industry, unfortunately, gets too much negative publicity.  It is our job to educate the public. 

How many times has it happened that you may have taken an overpriced listing and then was meek about calling the seller and telling them that you needed a Price Improvement?  It's best to address that at the beginning.  Why put yourself in that position? 

Thanks again for allowing me to rant!

Best Regards to all.

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Ambassador
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Interesting.  I just turned down a $2,400,000 listing about an hour ago.

Things to consider include the market, the degree of difficulty, the market, the seller, the market and finally, the market.

 

Mar 23, 2007 08:09 AM #7
Rainer
60,896
Axel Weiss
Bradenton Realtor and Sarasota Homes for Sale - Bradenton, FL
Sea to Sky Realty
If the seller is reasonable and agrees to lower the price after a certain amount of time - you can give it a shot. But we want a commitment upfront!
Mar 23, 2007 08:11 AM #8
Rainmaker
226,979
Joan Snodgrass
Midamerica Referral Network - Kimberling City, MO

Amen and amen.  There was a post this week that described an agent taking overpriced listings and I believe she called them PREDATORY LISTINGS. 

Taking a listing at an excessively large price harms not only the seller and the agent, but everyone else who has to work in that area.  

Mar 23, 2007 08:39 AM #9
Rainer
24,260
Heather Saul
Weichert Realtors Hoey Group - Wildwood, NJ
Could not agree more.  I wrote a blog a few weeks ago and swore to never take an overpriced listing again.
Mar 23, 2007 11:44 AM #10
Rainmaker
337,519
Thesa Chambers
Fred Real Estate Group - Bend, OR
Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon
Some of these can suck you dry -
Mar 23, 2007 11:47 AM #11
Rainmaker
42,167
Darren Kittleson
Keller Williams Realty - Madison, WI
CRB, SRS, RENE-Madison WI

I agree with everything said.  I can't count how many times, in the recent market, I've coached my agents that simply taking a listing so you can capture market leads is simply a HUGE mistake!  There's a fallacy out there that a for sale sign in a yard, no matter how overpriced, is somehow good for th real estate agent.  I remind them that not only is this not good for them, it could be a violation of the REALTOR Code of Ethics.  Sometimes that puts the fear of God in them enough to realize the error of their thinking.

Great post!

Mar 23, 2007 12:00 PM #12
Rainer
36,982
Richard Parr
ADT Security Services - Slidell, LA
Home Security Specialist - Greater New Orleans, Louisiana

I went to a listing appointment not too long ago where I was at $425,000 and thought that was a bit high.  I was competing for the listing where many agents buy the listings, but felt that it would still sell at that price.  I didnt get the listing.  Was I upset?  No!!!  The agent who got the listing priced the house at $595,000.  He can have it! 

It was cancelled on the March 23rd, 258 days later.

Mar 23, 2007 12:01 PM #13
Rainer
36,982
Richard Parr
ADT Security Services - Slidell, LA
Home Security Specialist - Greater New Orleans, Louisiana

Many realtors need to learn how to tell the client what is hard and necessary not just what the client wants to hear.  They don't need a "yesman!"  They need a professional to tell them what price the market will generate for their property.  Even if you don't get the listing you will get something worth a ton more...Respect!   

They will never tell after they list with someone else and reduce the price 5 times and a year later that you were right, but they will remember.

Mar 23, 2007 12:13 PM #14
Rainmaker
613,330
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL
St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS

In the current market, we turn down more listings than we accept. Why? The owners

  • insist on overpricing
  • insist on overpromising
  • insist on misrepresenting
  • have unrealistic expectations of an agent
 
Mar 23, 2007 12:57 PM #15
Rainmaker
1,049,108
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Hi Marc,

First I ask the  Seller when do they want their home Sold by? Then we go over the stats inducting the average time to sell and home, usually 60 days, with another 60 days for closing, that adds up to 120 days or 4 months..This helps the Seller understand that Over pricing may delay the Closing date. Ask them if they want to Sell the Home or just list it, and explain the difference.

Cheers, have an awesome day!

Fred Carver www.fredcarver.com

Mar 23, 2007 01:34 PM #16
Ambassador
4,108,817
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Yep, there is OUR cost as the agent - the tangible (marketing, etc.) and the less tangible (our reputation). But there is a huge potential cost to the seller - money they lose every day the home is on the market (mortgage, utilities, insurance), and the likely drop in price with the increased marketing time, so they get less than they would have if priced correctly from the get go. Duh!

Good post.

Jeff

Mar 23, 2007 02:18 PM #17
Rainmaker
1,317,651
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
You raise some important points and I hope that more agents will see things the way you do.  You are right about agents getting a certain reputation.  I know when Agent A, F or S has a listing it is ALWAYS way overpriced!   I think it hurts these agents in the long run.
Mar 23, 2007 02:58 PM #18
Ambassador
2,301,090
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK
I have said to a seller that does not need to sell and the price reflects that fact, "If we don't get a good offer in a 30 days or so, let's agree to adjust the price."  Then sometimes they forget that conversation. I like your idea of putting it in the listing agreement.
Mar 23, 2007 03:01 PM #19
Rainmaker
47,470
Rick Turner
Key Realty - Toledo, OH
Puts People In Their Places!!
This is a business, and if we don't treat it as such, we will soon be out of business!!
Mar 23, 2007 03:09 PM #20
Rainer
249,287
Desiree Daniels
RE/MAX Tri County - Robbinsville, NJ

Many agents "buy" listings in my market place.  Even the experienced agents do.   They do it because they rely on their skills to "beat up" the seller on the price during the listing.   Me personally, don't have the mental energy to do this.  

I can't help think, if as the professional, we do a market analysis, price and list the home, isn't asking for the reduction a reflection on OUR abilities to price it from the beginning.

 

Mar 23, 2007 03:18 PM #21
Rainer
26,139
Inland Empire Real Estate Short Sale Pro
InlandHomeFinder.com - San Bernardino, CA
InlandHomeFinder.com
Great topic!  We are experiencing alot of this in my area as well.  I totally agree that you must be able to walk away if the seller is unrealistic.  I am in the business of selling homes, not putting them on the market to sit.
Mar 23, 2007 03:30 PM #22
Rainer
132,211
David A. Podgursky PA
THE PODGURSKY GROUP @ Re/Max Direct - Boynton Beach, FL
THE PODGURSKY GROUP - Make the Right Move!
When I was trained as an agent, there was a pyramid diagram... I wish I had it... it showed that for every 1% the price is over the actual value of the property, 5% of buyers would be lost ... so by the time you make some 'wiggle room' you've already lost 5-10% of potential shoppers
Mar 23, 2007 04:16 PM #23
Rainmaker
442,335
Debbie Cook
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Silver Spring, MD
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate
When I was faced with scenarios like this in the mid 90's. I found out about being realistic from the school of hard knocks.  My manager told me that I hadn't gotten "MY TEETH" yet, meaning I didn't know how to stand up to unrealistic sellers.  Well, I do now, I just politely say NEXT! and wait for the unrealistic sellers to become realistic expired listings.
Mar 24, 2007 01:44 AM #24
Rainer
122,217
Christy Powers
Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners - Pooler, GA
Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent
I need to get my teeth....I need to learn to say no!
Mar 24, 2007 02:59 PM #25
Rainer
22,184
James Holmes
Chartwell Mortgage Corporation - Denver, CO

Marc - Great post. When a lisiting is taken (especially in your farm), you future sellers will know if you sell houses in a short period of time or over months of time. If a listing is taken despite of condition or inflated price, your reputation "track record" is on the line.

Great advice!

James

Mar 24, 2007 04:56 PM #26
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Marc Grossman

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