"I'm listing my house with the agent who comes in with the highest asking price on my property."
"Tis an old maxim in the schools
That flattery's the food of fools
Yet now and then your men of wit
Will condescend to take a bit."
The great writer Jonathan Swift understood that flattery is powerful enough to trick otherwise very bright individuals ... and that was some three hundred years ago. Yes, some agents know that a good way to get the listing is to flatter you by inflating the value of your house. Or they may sort of lie by omission and go along with "your" unrealistic price without objection. This is what's known in the trade as "buying the listing." The agent figures that you'll eventually burn-out and place a real price on your property. If you let this happen, it's really your own fault. Don't be a fool!
You want your agent to be straight with you from the get go. This means you should receive from every agent you interview a "supportable" opinion of value based on recently sold properties in your neighborhood; exactly what you would demand if you were a buyer. An honest agent will give you a "range" in which your house should sell. As you know, if you price your house too aggressively high it will take longer to sell and you will likely wind-up with less. If you take too long to reduce your price, your house can get stigmatized with prospective buyers wondering what's wrong because your house has been on the market for so long. Ultimately, buyers determine value ... not sellers and not real estate agents.
Here's something else that happens all of the time. When a seller is finally ready to reduce their asking price to the amount their agent suggested, the seller then waits for the listing to expire and then lists with another agent; at the reduced price. The house of course sells and the new agent is a hero.
BTW, we feel compelled to say something about that legendary out of town buyer with deep pockets, who's in town for an hour or so and must buy today at any price. Yeah it can happen, but this is a seller's fantasy ... an urban legend! Do you really believe that a buyer won't look at competing properties and notice that superior houses are offered for less money than yours? If you're feeling lucky go to the racetrack or buy a lottery ticket.
Finally, it's critical that you select an agent who understands and "gets" your house. We once owned a unique house in Florida which had hardwood floors, a fireplace and a basement. We mistakenly listed the property with an agent from our development. As soon as we read her comments on the M.L.S. it became apparent that she neither liked our house, nor did she get what made it special. She was enamored of our three car garage and carelessly listed that the house had two instead of three baths. Another agent subsequently got the listing and sold the house! We found-out the hard way that agents in on-going developments "sometimes" have a greater incentive to sell their new stock than to sell re-sales.
FIND A HOME: http://markostrovsky.com
2010 Mark L. Ostrovsky All Rights Rerserved