I recently had the good fortune to be asked to do listing presentations on two single-family homes. The homes were side by side on the exact same street. They were the same house, the same view, same school district, same, same paint color, same .... well, you get the idea.
To help you differentiate them, let's call them the LEFT house and the RIGHT house.
The seller of the LEFT house, had purchased it in 1964, and paid about $134,000 for this fabulous 3br/1.1 bath home. Since 1964 they'd updated the kitchen, updated both baths, and overall maintained the home in excellent condition, including the landscaping. The seller of the RIGHT house has purchased it in 2005 for $480,000, and when they bought the 3br/1.1 bath home, the previous owner had already updated the kitchen, both baths and had maintained the home in excellent condition, including the landscaping, in fact they used the same landscaper to care for the expansive yards.
I did a CMA on the homes, and my CMA clearly showed that the current market value (in order to sell within 90 days) was approx $430,000, and if they really wanted to show as a "value" on the market, they probably ought to list at $425,000-ish. The owner of the LEFT house read the CMA and agreed, based on the very convincing CMA, and listed their home with me for $430,000. The owner of the RIGHT house, however, was very upset. This represented a drop in value of about 10% since they purchased. "My home" he said "Is worth more than the LEFT home, you're asking me to LOSE money, just so you can have a quick sale. If you were any kind of Realtor®, you'd run print ads, do internet marketing, and hold open houses to bring me a buyer at $500,000, which is where I think we should list.
At that point, I revert to my trusty Gold Coins, and I explain to my potential seller. Your home is not a "product"... your home is a "commodity". And as a commodity, the prices on these homes goes up and down. Here in my hand I have two 1-ounce gold coins. One of them, I purchased many years ago, at a cost of $300.00. The other gold coin I purchased recently, when gold was a bit higher, at $800.00. They are identical coins, same country of origin, same condition, same luster, same gold content.
Gold is currently trading on the market around $700.00 an ounce. Do you suppose, if I try to sell either of them, that by way of extra advertising, extra internet presence, or extra broker's opens, or public open houses, I can entice someone to pay $800.00 for either of them? Do you suppose any amount of exposure could entice someone to pay $800 an ounce right now? Can you look at them and tell which one is worth $300.00 and which one is worth $800.00? If you can, then I'll list your home for $500,000.
Of course, he couldn't do that. The market is, what the market is! (feel free to quote me on that), and people will only pay what the market says your home is worth. Just as people will only pay what the gold coin is worth today. While we don't have a "gold exchange" to tell us what each ounce of our home is worth, we DO have the ability, through comps, market times, and actives to tell what the approximate pricing on a home should be... and not amount of advertising, open housing, broker's tours, or fancy signage is going to get someone to pay extra, just because YOU did.
Did I get the listing, no, not yet. The RIGHT house, decided to go with another Realtor who agreed to list their home at the WRONG price. Maybe after my LEFT house sells, and the RIGHT house sits on the market for reduction after reduction, they'll remember my Gold Coin Analogy and call me the be the follow-up Realtor? Am I upset that I didn't get the RIGHT house.... well, I'm a bit upset that I wasn't convincing enough, but I'm not upset that I don't have an overpriced listing to sell, and spend lots and lots of money on, with a high-maintenance seller, in today's market.
Did I do the RIGHT thing? I think so.
btw... graphics are supplied via ClipArt.com and my $159/year subscription, and are copyright protected. I have a subscription which allows me to post them on my web.