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New TricksI learned a valuable lesson this week about listing and selling houses.  You can put in all of the proper work by taking the right photographs, put the proper marketing plan together, enter the house on the market, and then wait for the showings to start flowing in.

What keeps our house from selling? Is it condition? Is it price? Is it location? Sometimes it’s a combination of all three, yet once your marketing is in place and you are reaching the projected buyers, and nothing happens, more than likely it’s about price and perceived value to the market.

Related Post: What to Expect When Your Listing Expires

What’s most intriguing to me during this process is this; you can share local market conditions, local market knowledge showing both the positives and the negatives of the shifting market with your seller, and the seller is still the one who determines the price.   When the listing expires without selling, what is the main cause?   After all of those conversations about price improvements, working to reach the buyers in today’s market, the price isn’t lowered and the longer it sits on the market, the more expensive the sale becomes to the seller.  Then, one day the client will call you and say “we want to remove the home from the market, we will just let the house for sale listing expire, then re-list it in a couple of months”. As an agent, you know down deep in your stomach what is coming next. They are basically saying we want to take it off the market so we can list it with another agent.

Generally, when the house is relisted with the new agent, guess what? The listing sales price has been reduced.  The new agent encouraged you to list the house at a lower price because a second opinion of price also shows that houses need to be priced correctly for today’s market. Every home that was sold during the time your home was on the market creates equity adjustments for your home.

Now, the seller can’t go back to the original agent and say that they were right.  They just re-list the house with another agent. What I have learned is this.. I promise, that I will work hard to never let this happen again.  I do not want my clients feeling that we did not do everything possible to get their home sold.  If we give them the proper statistics showing the market value for the home, a listing should never expire due to price concerns.  I do not want our clients to ever think that another agent will do more for them that we will do.

So, how do you keep this from happening? Listing agents, you need to make sure your clients are very well aware of the marketing that is being completed and what it has accomplished.  You need to have a timely update policy on when you share neighborhood sales and how they are affecting the sellers home equity. Have a weekly conversation with your seller about how the price is being determined by the market and not you. Share with your seller the expense of extending the days on market. And then, in the end, focus on getting their home sold by maximizing your timely price reductions.  I also have learned that you can never under price a property.  A home that is meticulously taken care of, in a super location and is priced in the market, will sell for more than the current market value.  This position will put more money in your sellers pocket.

In 2015 we had a few homes that did not sell due to the shifting market and prices not matching appraisal valuations. We lost the listings after they expired, a few were re-listed at a lower price, then sold. I have a new commitment in 2016, I will not let a listing expire because I wasn’t making the seller aware of price conditions.

Contact the RockStar Group for more information about your home selling plan.. 281-960-1900

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