“I’m listing with the agent who suggests the highest asking price!

By
Real Estate Agent with Howard Hanna Smythe Cramer

"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!

Listing Price

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

Copyright 2010 Mark L. Ostrovsky All Rights Rerserved

Posted by

Mark & Elly Ostrovsky

Howard Hanna Smythe Cramer

Cellular: 216.577.1156

EMail: EllyandMark@GMail.Com

Website: http://MarkOstrovsky.Com

 

Mark is a licensed attorney in Ohio & in Massachusetts and works with his wife Elly in residential real estate representing buyers and sellers in Cleveland, Ohio's Eastern suburbs. You can search for homes on their website:

FIND A HOME: http://markostrovsky.com/

 

 

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Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Gregory Bain 02/10/2010 06:15 PM
  2. Donald Bradbury 02/10/2010 06:45 PM
  3. Kathy Schowe 02/10/2010 10:03 PM
  4. Cheryl Ritchie 02/11/2010 05:08 AM
  5. Lauren Bianco 02/11/2010 09:58 PM
Location:
Ohio Cuyahoga County Beachwood
Tags:
im listing with the agent who suggests the highest asking price
buying the listing
beachwood oh homes for sale
mark ostrovsky

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Rainmaker
78,958
Rick Fifer
FLORIDA EXECUTIVE REALTY - Tampa, FL
REALTOR, Heights Bungalows and Vintage Homes

I use to lose listing to agents who kept promising yesterdays prices (ah life in Florida).  Then I basically start saying: here is your competition, we have more houses than buyers on the market, and even started point out listings I lost because I gave a realistic price and the seller went with the highest who is now in foreclosure.  I lose a lot fewer these days. Most Sellers have become a lot more realistic.

Feb 10, 2010 10:24 PM #47
Rainer
2,593
Mary Cassidy
Coldwell Banker - San Francisco, CA

Overpriced listings + an unmotivated/unrealistic seller = bad business plan. This is not an equation for success or longetivity in the business especially in this market. Time for a new approach.

Feb 10, 2010 10:26 PM #48
Rainmaker
487,088
Lorraine or Loretta Kratz
Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions. - San Marcos, CA
Certified Negotiation Consultants

Mark & Elly:

Congrat's on your feature post. As much as we pellet the other agent for taking a listing that is over priced ---we----many times see those agent successfully get the price reductions and get the listing sold. Is it a great business strategy --- it depends on how successful the agent is in getting the seller to see reality.

Ah, yes we all know the down side to a over price listing--- the challenge is how we handle or align doing something of that nature with the principals that we prescribe too.

Feb 10, 2010 11:15 PM #49
Rainer
38,406
Mark & Elly Ostrovsky
Howard Hanna Smythe Cramer - Beachwood, OH

We're amazed, impressed and even entertained by many of the interesting and insightful responses that this posting has generated from the ActiveRain community. Thanks to all for your participation!

Feb 10, 2010 11:16 PM #50
Rainmaker
649,719
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

You said, "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."

That actually happened to me last year. Listed a house, told the seller to price it at X, he said no, he had to price it at Y. I said he could keep it at X and hold off until latter in the year to accept any offers, but he insisted at pricing it at Y. I took the listing, stupid me, and my broker refused to advertise it, put a sign in the yard, nothing. The listing expired, and someone else got it...listed it at the original price I suggested, and it was sold by the end of the year.

I'll never do that again, that's for certain.

Feb 10, 2010 11:26 PM #51
Rainmaker
649,719
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

You said, "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."

That actually happened to me last year. Listed a house, told the seller to price it at X, he said no, he had to price it at Y. I said he could keep it at X and hold off until latter in the year to accept any offers, but he insisted at pricing it at Y. I took the listing, stupid me, and my broker refused to advertise it, put a sign in the yard, nothing. The listing expired, and someone else got it...listed it at the original price I suggested, and it was sold by the end of the year.

I'll never do that again, that's for certain.

Feb 10, 2010 11:30 PM #52
Rainer
128,922
Renee Thompson
Premier Sotheby's International Realty - Tampa, FL

The home is going to have to appraise, and it really is best to price a home at true market value. A Realtor should also not want to be known as the Realtor with the overpriced listings.

Feb 10, 2010 11:46 PM #53
Rainmaker
1,335,616
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner
BuyersAgentPortland.com | (503) 810-7192 Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% o... - Portland, OR
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results

I don't take listings, as an Exclusive Buyers Agent, but if I did . . . I would take a few examples for the listing appt.  Oh, like the one that sat on the market for 1008 days.  I blogged about that one, and the history of pricing on that house.  It was on the market at $399,000, switched agents three times, and finally sold . . . for $250,000!  Strike while the fire is hot.  Apparently, they didn't quite price it right.

Feb 11, 2010 01:46 AM #54
Rainmaker
1,189,288
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

I ask the Seller's to show me the three they would like me to hand the appraiser to substantiate the price of the home. That puts the number where it should be from the get go.

Feb 11, 2010 05:10 AM #55
Rainer
125,837
Barbara Kornegay
REMAX Essential - Wilmington, NC
Wilmington NC Real Estate, Homes

Unfortunatly a common story around here....  People just don't get that it will not sell if it is not priced right...  Good job for getting this information out there!

Feb 11, 2010 05:57 AM #56
Anonymous
Ellie Shorb

You are right... and I agree that it doesn't make the selling agent look so great when his/her sign has been propped in front of the house for 2-3 years... I like to get listings to sell them not to sit on them. Great post.

Feb 11, 2010 07:13 AM #57
Ambassador
1,294,888
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

So true. I just wish more agents would just hold firm to the truth and when faced with TOO HIGH listings, just let it go. Walk.

Feb 11, 2010 08:32 AM #58
Rainmaker
67,094
Walter Grewe III
Long and Foster Realtors - Roanoke, VA
Realtor, SFR, A-REO, Roanoke Homes and Real Estate

I beleive this is an unfortunate problem everywhere. Agents want listings and some of them are willing to say/agree to anything to get them.

Feb 11, 2010 08:34 AM #59
Rainer
38,406
Mark & Elly Ostrovsky
Howard Hanna Smythe Cramer - Beachwood, OH

William, thanks for sharing your story. Not to one up you but we actually had a relative do this to us. We agreed to their high price because they are a relation, with their express promise that they would agree to a price reduction if the house didn't sell or get an offer within a specific time period.

Sellers also promised up-front that they would not relist with another agent once they agreed to reduce the price and you know the rest ...

When the listing expired, they sold the house through another agent at the same price we initially told them that the property would bring. It should be noted that the price we suggested was based not only on our CMA but was also a price opinion shared by a dozen or so of our colleagues whom we had come over for a price opinion before our listing hit the market. 

Feb 11, 2010 08:57 AM #60
Ambassador
1,294,888
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

That was timely. I just got a call that a seller is listing with another agent who "promised" them $80,000 more than my CMA says is reasonable.

Big sigh.

Feb 11, 2010 10:25 AM #61
Rainmaker
570,050
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Mark,  Not a new issue and certainly the above posts cover the ground pretty well.  Many agents in our area will take the high priced listing and wait for the market beat down on the sellers.

Feb 11, 2010 11:13 AM #62
Rainmaker
148,701
Linda Lohman
Fonville Morisey Realty - Cary, NC
Former Teacher/Broker

Lenn said it best!  BTW: A smart agent KNOWS the market and KNOWS when to walk away!

Feb 11, 2010 08:06 PM #63
Rainmaker
186,876
Jenna Dixon
DRA Homes (Atlanta, GA) - Marietta, GA
Associate Broker - Let's Talk Atlanta Real Estate

Great job.  Very logically organized. 

Feb 12, 2010 10:03 AM #64
Ambassador
1,600,767
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M

It doesn't make sense to me to buy the listing.  Listings aren't much good to anybody if they can't be sold.

Feb 14, 2010 07:34 PM #65
Rainer
38,406
Mark & Elly Ostrovsky
Howard Hanna Smythe Cramer - Beachwood, OH

Christine, somebody once told me that listings are a liability until they sell. If a listing isn't priced right what's the point? Thanks for your comments.

Feb 14, 2010 09:43 PM #66
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