My background prior to my 25 year real estate career was in the field of education. I was always going to be a teacher and got my degree in French from the University of Nevada, Reno. When I got into real estate in 1986, I was told teachers were generally successful in this field and it made sense to me. Buying or selling a house is an educational process. The terminology and the processes are not familiar to the general public. It is a stressful time for clients (moving is one of the top most stressful situations) so the steps involved pass by in a blur for most individuals. I was going to show everyone the way and educate them!
I also bought my first house when I was 22 and it was a wonderful thing. I loved my house! I loved making the changes to it that made it mine, and even kept it as a rental for several years. So I thought it would be easy to work with clients and sellers particularly as they generally make money when they sell instead of paying rent and getting nothing in return.
I was trained to check the comparable sales in a neighborhood to determine value before meeting with a seller. I quickly learned that no one wants to buy the most expensive house in the neighborhood. A house that is overpriced only causes the seller to think that I “suck” as a Las Vegas real estate agent and did not get the job done!!
Here are some seller comments.
1. “You never showed my home”.
Guess what, when a person called on the sign and I told them the price, they said “You have got to be kidding!”
2. “Are you sure you put it in the MLS because no agents have come to see it?”
Many agents do not show over-priced houses and the listings do not come up in the computer searches for their clients because they are priced over the neighborhood. If a client wants 1500 square feet in a certain neighborhood and they know the houses are $150000 and that is their price range for a mortgage, a house asking $180000 will not come up in the computer search.
3. “Why don’t agents just show the house and make an offer?
By having a price that is too high, the seller appears to not be an easy person to work with or negotiate with. To enter into a contract with a seller asking too much sets the buyer and his agent up for failure. The house will generally not appraise and the deal will cancel after the buyer has paid for an inspection and appraisal. Or the buyer finds out after closing that he paid more than anyone else in the neighborhood. Why would a buyer’s agent risk alienating his client this way?
The bottom line is the listing agent is on the side of the seller 100%. We do not want to disappoint you, or obviously work for free when the house does not sell. We care about our market and making our clients happy- that is how we get referrals and repeat business. If we disappoint the public, the public will not do business with us.
We all think we have the nicest house in the neighborhood. Let’s face it, folks. It is OUR home!
But the numbers are the numbers and the market “is what it is”. A wise real estate guru told me once to tell clients the following: “I am here to tell you what you need to know and unfortunately, it may not be what you want to hear………