By Wade Corbett
How much time do you spend time researching and creating comparables for properties that you aspire to list? You then sit down with the homeowners and they have decided—in their infinite wisdom—that you should list it at a higher price than you suggested. What do you do?
Many agents will say, “Sure! Let’s list it at your price and we’ll see if it sells!” After all, we’re just happy to just add another listing to our portfolio, right? Many months later, the home is still on the market and the same sellers are questioning your ability to do your job. How many of us have shot ourselves in the foot this way?
Thankfully, there are some easy ways to avoid this situation:
- I don’t LIST properties, I SELL them. I frequently tell my clients that I’m not in the business of listing their home. It reflects poorly on all of us when we can’t provide the results that we promise in that first meeting. Explain to them that they are better off seeing activity than no activity. Eliminate that “negotiation cushion price” that sellers love. This is when sellers price their home significantly higher than they actually want to sell it for. I tell my sellers that they can always decline an offer that they don’t like, but they can’t decline that offer if there’s no activity on their listing. I’d rather they received five offers they didn’t like than zero offers because the price scared people away.
- We’ll do it your way, and then we’ll try my way. In some cases, I’ll meet halfway a seller who firmly believes that their home is worth significantly more than the market suggests. In these cases, I’ll offer a compromise that typically works: “Why don’t we list it at your price for a short time, and if we don’t see significant interest from buyers, we’ll reduce it to my suggested price?” This method works really well, because it gives the seller a chance to test the market at a higher price but also leaves the door open to reduce if needed. Remind the seller that your goal is to sell the house at the highest price possible.
- Turn away. Sometimes we have to turn down overpriced listings. Do you really want to put time, energy, and money into researching, measuring, taking pictures, and marketing a home that might not generate any interest? Do you really want to explain in six months why you couldn’t do your job and get a property sold?
All of these methods will make your job much easier when selling a home that might be overpriced. Of course, you’re going to have homes that sell fast and some that take time, even at the right price. The important thing is to be proactive in the beginning; that will make your job easier in the end. Always serve your clients’ best interests first, but don’t let anyone dictate to you how you should run your business.