In virtually every area of the country Sellers are looking at selling for less today than if they sold a year ago. It is the fact of the market. It isn’t pretty, but it is what it is. So what do you do about it? You tell them the truth!!!
I just listed 2 homes that had been on the market for several months with other agents last year and did not sell. Needless to say the sellers were frustrated. The first house had been on the market for $995,000 last year. It is a lovely house but even in the height of the market, it has not ever been worth $995,000. I was racking my brain trying to figure out how on earth they got lead so astray and how did their previous agent convince them that the price was valid? They gave me a copy of the market evaluation that was used when they first listed the house. The comparable properties were all active listings! That is a bad idea in any market, but especially this one. The only thing that matters is the solds! Even worse was to pull up those 9 active listings from a year ago and see that only 1 has sold and closed since. The rest are still on the market or have been canceled. No wonder their place didn’t sell. So we went about using SOLD inventory in our pricing analysis and came up with a price for $750,000 and you know what ~ the seller went there. We are now on the market at $749,000 and getting great showings and feedback.
The second listing that I am working on was originally priced at $850,000 and my pricing analysis came back at $600,000!
Now I’m not saying that either of these sellers are happy with my numbers. In fact I tell them in the very beginning that they might not like my numbers and that I am more than okay with that, but I do promise to give them honest numbers. So they are disappointed when I show them the numbers, but they have already experienced the frustration of being lead down the wrong path and so they still appreciate the honesty. In the end, they just want to sell and they need someone to not be afraid to tell them the truth.
The best part for me is that they are clients that I am excited about working with because we got all of the icky stuff out of the way first. I don’t have to worry about having taken an overpriced listing because I was afraid that the real number would be too low and then either praying that we get some crazy offer or stressing out about how to get the seller to drop their price.
So go ahead, take a deep breath break the news to your seller. You might be surprised at how well it is received.