What to be Careful of When Setting Your Selling Price
Meeting with a REALTOR
You have decided to sell your home and have a fairly good idea of what you think it is worth. Being a sensible home seller, you schedule appointments with three local real estate representatives, (or a friend of a friend who has a friend). They set up a time with you and maybe arrive with a “Competitive Market Analysis” (which no longer is an accurate tool, I’ll cover that in another report) and they each recommend a specific sales price.
Amazingly, two of the Realtors have suggested prices that are lower than what you expected. Even though they have backed up their recommendations with recent sales data of similar homes, you remain convinced your property is worth more.
When you interview the third Realtor’s figures, his or her numbers are much more in line with what you think your home is worth. Or they may have even suggested to you a higher price. Wow! Now you are happy and an exited home seller, perhaps already counting the money.
A Sales Practice Called “Buying a Listing”
If you are like most people, you have chosen Realtor number three. This is a Realtor who seems willing to listen to your input and work with you. This is a Realtor that cares about putting the most money in your pocket. This is a Realtor that is willing to start out at your price and if you need to drop the price later, you can do that easily, right?
After all, everyone else does it! Wrong!
The truth is that you may have just met a Realtor engaging in a questionable sales practice called “buying a listing.” He/she “bought” the listing by suggesting you might be able to get a higher sales price than the other realtors recommended. Most likely, he or she is quite doubtful that your home will actually sell at that price. The intention from the beginning is to eventually talk you into lowering the price.
Why do some “buy” listings this way?
There are basically two reasons: A well-meaning and hardworking Realtor can feel pressure from a homeowner who has an inflated perception of their home’s value. On the other hand, there are some who engage in this practice routinely.
If you start out with a price that is too high, there is likelihood you interviewed other Realtors. They did not get the listing, of course. They got “beaten” out by someone telling you what you wanted to hear.
If your listing Realtor routinely engages in “buying “listings, he/she has probably has done this to other Realtors in the same way. Word gets around that their homes are overpriced and the home seller has an inflated value in mind. This can be very difficult to resolve.
In short, you may have ended up with a Realtor who was good at selling you, but not good at selling your home. And you are willing to pay them a fee for it?
It is human nature for you to want the highest price for your home. However, when you choose the Realtor who promises what you want to hear, it often leads to stress and frustration. Most of the time, it will take you longer to sell your home. Possibly, and this happens, you will end up selling at a lower price instead.
Or maybe as a result of reading this, you will choose one of the “good” Realtors in the first place. They are out there, you know!
What Happens Behind the Scenes?
If you start out with too high a price on your home, you may have added to your stress level—and selling a home is stressful enough! There will be a lot of “behind the scenes” action taking place that you don’t know about. Contrary to popular opinion, a professional listing Realtor does not usually attempt to sell your home directly to a homebuyer. That would be inefficient.
Pro’s market and promote your home to hundreds of other local Realtors and even Realtors from the GTA areas who do work with homebuyers, dramatically increasing your personal sales force. During the first couple of weeks your home should be a flurry of activity with buyer’s agents coming to preview your home so they can sell it to their clients. (See my report “When is the most important time for a new listing)
If The Price Is Right
If you and your Realtor have overpriced, fewer Realtors will preview your home. After all, they are Realtors, and it should be their job to know local market conditions and home values. If your property is dramatically above market, why waste time? Their time is better spent previewing homes that are priced realistically.
Dropping Your Price Too Late
If you start out with a high sales price, then drop it later—your property is “old news”. You will never be able to recapture that flurry of initial activity you would have had with a realistic price. Your property could take longer to sell.
Even if you do successfully sell at above market price to an uninformed buyer, your buyer will need a mortgage. The mortgage lender requires an appraisal. If comparable sales for the last six months and current market conditions do not support your sales price, the property won’t appraise. Your deal falls apart. Of course, you can always attempt to negotiate the price, but only if the buyer is willing to listen.
Your property then goes “back on the market”. Other Realtors will know this, as will their buyers, what do you think their response will be to your home?
Once your home sits on the market awhile, it is harder to get a good offer. Potential buyers will think that you might be getting desperate, so they will make low offers. By overpricing your home in the beginning, you could actually end up settling for a lower price than you would have normally received.
In summary, when you decide to sell your property, why not work with someone who knows the market and is financially and emotionally strong enough to guide you? Who will not tell you what you want to hear. The truth hurts but you might as well hear it now than 3 months later! To get results, let’s discuss your options and let you start packing!