When you are a seller in a buyer’s market, it’s easy to start believing that your REALTOR has lost interest in you. After all, he or she seemed excited when you first asked them to list your property for sale, but now the excitement has waned, and you rarely hear from them anymore. What went wrong?
More than likely, your REALTOR is anxious about having to explain to you that your home is overpriced. It’s difficult to have to confront this fact in a listing relationship, but a seasoned REALTOR can sense it early on as your home doesn’t get the attention it should simply because it is overpriced.
What is the first warning sign of an overpriced home?
The first sign usually occurs during the listing appointment. It goes like this: During the appointment with your REALTOR, everything was going fine until the subject of pricing came up. Your REALTOR may have asked: “What do you think your home is worth?”
Many sellers will say: “Well, I’ve been researching what homes are listed for on-line and I think we should list it for ‘X’.” Or “Two years ago it appraised for ‘X’, so I think that is a good starting point.” This can be the defining moment in the listing relationship when the REALTOR decides just how much effort and expense they will put into marketing your home based on your answer.
If at that point your REALTOR doesn’t say something like: “That’s a great price”, OR: “I think your home could sell at that price!”, then you should know that your expectations are probably too high for your home’s selling price. In an effort to not hurt your feelings by confronting you with the truth about declining home values, many REALTORS will just fill in the list price you stated and continue on with the appointment without bringing up the subject again.
What just happened? You may have just contributed to the demise of the relationship early on by taking away one of the main reasons you hire a REALTOR, which is to help you set the right list price for the property.
It’s like a manager who hires an employee to do a job but then dictates to the employee exactly how to do it. Or like a parent who tells a child to “grow up” but then continues to try to control everything the child does. You can’t have it both ways.
If you don’t have the confidence in your REALTOR to have them set the list price, then either hire another REALTOR you do have confidence in, or have your home appraised by a competent local real estate appraiser. If the REALTOR’S price opinion or the appraisal is too low for you to sell, then don’t list the property. If you decide to list anyway at a price above the market value, prepare to be frustrated and to make your REALTOR frustrated as well while you hope someone will come along naive enough to overpay for your home.
The most important thing you can do is to price your home correctly when it first goes on the market; otherwise you will lose valuable marketing time and your relationship with your REALTOR will probably suffer as well. A home priced well will get showings, and your REALTOR will be excited about your relationship, and you will hear from them regularly.
A REALTOR will remain excited about a home they think they can sell, and that excitement will show through whenever they call you. In the end you will both be happier.
If you need a price opinion or would like to get a certified real property appraisal of your home, call Dale Holmes of Headwaters Realty at 706-499-0367.