What do you think of this advice from Lawyer to seller?

Real Estate Agent with Prudential Santa Fe Real Estate

I was listening to radio talk last night and heard a lawyer from LA who took a call from homeowner and gave the following advice:

Homeowner's house was now worth $320,000 - his mortgage was at $400,000.  He was just laid off and was wondering if he should try and sell his home.  ADVICE lawyer gave was to interview several realtors and try and see if he could list his home.

QUESTION:  Lawyer indicated that when interviewing realtors --- SHOULD NOT HIRE THE REALTOR THAT SAID IT IS A "BUYERS MARKET".  Said that is not TRUE -- should hire the realtor who "HONESTLY SAYS THAT PRICES WILL GO DOWN MORE.....not a buyers market....... but let's list your price at a fair market value for now so it won't be on the market for 6 months to a year!

Would love to hear comments on this advice!  Marcia Leary


Comments (8)

Bob Southard
Atlas Realty Service, LLC - Kennesaw, GA
e-Pro - Cobb, Cherokee, North Fulton

I think it sounds like his point was to price it right today so that you don't ride a downward price trend. 

The agent who says its a buyer market could be percieved as having a somewhat defeatist attitude?

Getting the home listed at today's value is definitely the right track to getting it sold.



Jan 05, 2009 04:47 AM
Connie Goodrich
Keller Williams Realty - McKinney, TX
CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas

Being truthful is the best advice and outlining the market, potential and recommendations are always good so the buyer has the facts and can make a business decision.  The lawyer forgot to mention to select the Realtor who has confidence in the business and has marketing edges that they can bring.  Realize that proper pricing is the key to everything.  Good luck!

Jan 05, 2009 04:52 AM
Scott Kniskern
Rogers Realty & Auction - Mount Airy, NC

I'm 50-50 on his comments. My first thought is "what the heck does a lawyer know about real estate?". To suggest that a seller should blindly eliminate any agent who says "buyers market" is ridiculous. However, he does have a point about pricing the house appropriately so that it is not sitting there forever.

Jan 05, 2009 04:52 AM
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Marcia~ The first big issue is if he owes $400,000 and it is only worth $320,000 he is in big trouble to start with. (unless he has cash in the bank to pay the difference, which isn't likely according to your statements above)

Fair market value is always the best way to price a home when listing it. If the prices should continue to decline, as the lawyer said above, then of course you have to price it competitively which means pricing it just below what the market is doing in that particular market so that it doesn't sit on the market.  You do that to make it stand out above the rest.  I bet that is what he meant :)   

Jan 05, 2009 05:17 AM
Goodbye Active Rain
Out of Real Estate

Why would you list the property when he owes more than it is worth.  How do you get paid from the seller?  The seller would have to bring cash to you to pay your commission right?

Do they ask for attorneys' advice just because he has a law degree?  I had to personally educate an attorney on a finer point in real estate investing on a deal a friend was working on.  He was in practice for 10 years.

To me it goes to show many people operate inside the 'comfort of the box.'  get more education and you WILL open more possibilites for business in real estate.

Thank you for the post.

Jan 05, 2009 05:17 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Well, I'm not sure what the lawyer was talking about.  I do agree with hiring a Realtor who's realistic and not trying to buy a listing.

Jan 05, 2009 05:41 AM
Michael Wayne Jackson
Coldwell Banker - Novato, CA
Broker - Seniors Real Estate Specialist Novato

That is a very odd way of interviewing an agent. Maybe the lawyer beleives it's not a buyers market.

Jan 05, 2009 05:45 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

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