There are certain things a home seller says that can cut their real estate agent to the core. “I don’t really need to sell my home” may be tops on the list. It even trumps “I don’t need a REALTOR® to sell my home”. To understand my logic let’s look more closely at the two statements.
Let’s start with a home owner who is thinking about, or going to, sell their home. They may either contact a real estate agent or be contacted by one. In either case a meeting between the parties seems imminent. On average that appointment may last between one and two hours.
After careful evaluation the home owner may choose to do nothing, interview other REALTORS®, choose the agent they are speaking to or, the dreaded, decide they don’t really need a REALTOR® to sell their home and try it themselves.
Now we will move to the home owner who has decided to use a real estate agent to sell their home. The REALTOR® works with the home seller to price the home, lists the home, takes photos, describes the amenities and features, puts up a sign and enters the information in the multi-list. There may be countless other things that get done but it differs from one agent to the next. In either case there is a concerted effort by the agent and the home seller at the inception of the partnership between the two.
Several weeks or months go by and the home is not being shown and no offers have been made. A discussion ensues between the agent and the seller that may go something like this…
Agent: Mr. Seller, it may be time to consider a price adjustment?
Mr. Seller: Well, we have not tried everything known to man to sell it. Let’s try this and that.
Agent: Okay, sounds like a plan.
So the real estate agent goes off and does a bunch of other things and spends more time and money.
In many cases, not all, the reason a home does not sell is based on economics. There are things a REALTOR® can do to enhance the chances a property will sell but rarely can they sell the home for more than the market economics relating to the property will allow.
One or two more months go by and it is time for another meeting between the agent and seller. This discussion may go more like this:
Agent: Mr. Seller, we have tried many things these past 4 or 5 months and none has worked. It may be time for a price adjustment?
Mr. Seller: Well you know, I don’t really have to sell my home!
In the second scenario there is an offer from a home buyer but it is lower than the asking price, much lower! Now the conversation changes:
Agent: Mr. Seller, we have an offer but it is low.
Mr. Seller: Tell them to take it and *&6+”4$# (Family show here but you get it).
Agent: Mr. Seller, we have been working on this a longtime and tried everything we know of. It is likely the price is too high and we should consider a counter offer.
Mr. Seller: Well you know, I don’t really need to sell my home.
Agent loses mind and passes out. Why? Because the REALTOR® did everything that their skill set allowed them to do, took advice from the home seller and tried their ideas. All this and after 5 months the trust between the agent and the seller is crushed. The partnership is absolved.
It may have been better if the home owner would have told the agent, I don’t need a REALTOR® to sell my home. One to two hours of time compared to 5 months. Now it should make more sense.
Even if the partnership continued it would be scarred. The agent would not trust the seller’s motivation and the seller may think the agent just wants to sell the home at any value to collect a commission.
How I avoid this scenario ~ firstly, when I meet with a home owner the last thing I will do is price the home by myself. I preview the home for structure and condition. I need to know what the owner’s motive really is. Once this is completed we then move to my office. It is there where both the seller and I employ the services of any and every online home valuation tool, including the multi-list and come up with a pricing plan that makes sense and meets the seller’s motives.
Secondly, never break rank with my partner. No matter what offer I present to the home seller I leave the pricing up to them. If they want full price so be it. It is obviously something we planned for when we first met. My job is to be my partner’s competent advisor as it relates to the terms and conditions of the proposal not the arbiter of what value they are willing to consider.
Sellers, what can you do to better your chances of selling your home for fair market value with terms and conditions that reduce the risk factor of the deal? Call me and at least give me a chance to provide you with much needed advice. Even if you do not choose me as your partner it will be 60 minutes you will never regret.
Jeffrey C. Hogue
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