I hate to say I told you so, but I am. Below is my original posting back in November about a listing I lost to another agent after making a listing presentation, and was originally entitled "The One that got Away": Make sure to read the update at the bottom of this post.
"I met recently with a woman who was interested in engaging a real estate agent to sell her home. I had met her previously at her home during her extensive period of preliminary meetings with potential agents. She was very proud of the work she had done to get her home ready to put on the market, but had a very highly inflated view as to what her home was worth. The woman was extremely detail oriented and had met with at least 30 real estate agents , and had attended many, many open houses in the area.
She came into my meeting with her at my office with a thick notebook of materials she had collected. I was delighted when she said that I was in the final 2 of the agents she was considering and wanted me to finalize my opinion of what she should list her home for. Her home was basically a tract home very similar to other properties in the area which were either on the market or recently sold, so it was relatively easy to prepare a comparative market analysis for her.
Based on my comparative market analysis, I demonstrated to her that most homes similar to hers were selling in the high $800,000 to low $900,000 range, and suggested a list price of approx. $910,000. You could see her extreme disappointment on her face while I was discussing this with her, and she finally said that she thought her home was worth closer to $ 1 million. I then asked her on what basis she believed that and whether she could point how any fault in my CMA. She really didn't have an answer.
I explained to her that many agents will often tell a seller what they think the seller wants to hear, and will agree to list the home at an unrealistic price, with the intent of securing the listing and then significantly dropping the price in a few months. I explained to her that this was a common tactic used by agents in a listing presentation, but that it ultimately leads to a much longer sales period.
Most activity on a new listing takes place in the first 2 to 3 weeks on the market. A home properly priced to the market will attract a lot of showings and interest from buyers. A home obviously over priced however, will often discourage agents or buyers from looking at the property as they believe, rightly so, that the Seller is either uninformed about the market or will simply be too difficult to work with in trying to negotiate a deal.As an over priced property sits on the market, the cumulative days on market continue to rise, and then agents begin to wonder what is wrong with the property.
I explained all of this to my potential client and tried to get her to understand that I try to be very truthful with my clients and don't try to sell them on something that can't be achieved. I have taken clients in the past that insisted on over pricing their property, and invariably found that it just led to the troubles discussed above, and more time, effort, and expense on my part in marketing the property over an unnecessarily long period of time.
Sure enough, in a couple of weeks, my potential client called me and told me that she had listed her property with another cagent at a price close to $ 1 million. I thanked her for the opportunity, and although disappointed, I must admit that I was somewhat relieved not to have to spend the next 6 months trying to sell this over priced property.
What did I learn from this eperience?? Sometimes I wonder if I should just do what other agents do and just tell potential clients what they want to hear, but I think that in the long run, clients appreciate my honesty and direct dealings with them, and after all, what is more important than our repurtation ?"
After listing the property last October 31st for $989,000, and then lowering the price to $949,999 in late January, the owner and agent have just lowered the list price to $910,000, exactly the list price that I recommended to her 5 months ago. After wasting 5 months on the market trying to market an over priced home, maybe now they might see some activity.
For more information about Palos Verdes and South Bay Real Estate and buying and selling a home on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, visit my website at http://www.maureenmegowan.com . I try to make this the best real estate web blog in the South Bay Los Angeles and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. I would love to hear your comments or suggestions.