Sellers Seeking Advice

Bleedingheart I get phone calls from sellers who are not my clients.  They are under contract with other agents.  I can never call someone who is already under contract nor can I solicit their business. 

They  ask about why their home has been on the market for so long and if I think it will sell.  When I ask them if their agent has ever recommend a price reduction the answer is almost always yes.  It is as if they are shopping around to find an agent who will tell them something different.  Some of the callers have had their homes on the market for less than 30 days.

I always send them back too their own agent.  I won’t second guess or even comment on how another agent is doing his or her job. That would be just wrong.  When homes are on the market for a long time sometimes sellers just switch agents.  I have seen homes on the market for as long as two years and homes that have been listed through as many as six agents.

I wonder if the sellers listened to their agents or just switched agents every time a price reduction or repairs were suggested.   When these sellers come to me and I see that their home has been listed by other agents I ask a lot of questions before I agree to even look at the home Sometimes the problem isn’t the home, or the previous agent, but the sellers.

There are still sellers who tell me they have to have X amount of money by X date for their home.  I wish it worked that way, it would make my job much easier.  It doesn’t matter how much sellers need or how much they paid for it.  Buyers do not care how much money the seller needs or when they need it by.

The very best advice I can give any caller, and I do give it to every caller, is: please talk to your  agent if there is a problem.

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9 Replies to “Sellers Seeking Advice”

  1. Michael Citron says:

    Great Post! I prospect expired listings here in South Florida, and expired sellers are persistently explaining that they need to net X at closing. Unfortunately, many sellers in in the Sunshine State refinanced or bought homes with less than favorable mortgages.

    I am amazed when I find out that a seller refinanced and pulled many times 80-90% of their equity out of the property. Haven’t these sellers already pretty much cashed out on their equity? How much equity is left in a declining real estate market? But, these unrealistic sellers still bicker that they need X at closing no matter what. Most agents will take the overpriced listing, but I respectively decline to work with sellers with unrealistic, fantasy land expectations.

  2. Great post- and so true. Many of my sellers have since moved and the properties are now vacant, so much of the communication is via email. I find it very interesting the responses to my recommended “price reduction” emails that are sprinkled with other concerns or questions that are uncomfortable for the seller to deal with.
    There is no response to my request for a price reduction or any of the other uncomfortable questions, they respond to the “idle” chit chat questions-so at this point I anticipate they will relist with another agent that will tell them what they want to hear, and not listen to the facts that will sell their home. So 3 of my more recent “lost” listings are approaching DOM of 2 years for one and 1 year for 2 others.

  3. I wish everyone took the approach of “don’t interfere with another agency agreement” Some agents in our area will bad mouth another agent to try to take the client. That doesn’t really help our cause and obviously it gives them a bad reputation.

  4. Teresa Boardman says:

    Greg – I quite agree, we need to respect each others contracts and relationships. Bad mouthing, or even second guessing another agent doesn’t help any of us.

  5. I am currently a seller, and for the same reasons, I have not currently acted, but in our instance, could counter your article.

    Our house is at the 2 yr limit. We’ve the same realtor. We have continually asked for feedback regarding how things look, feel, staged, etc. and get comments that our house is always immaculate, fresh, uncluttered. We’ve lowered our price when requested and have actually posed the question long before our agent suggested we should. We’ve worked together on signage/advertising and always agree to showings. We let our realtor know when we’re out of flyers. I enjoy reading your and others real estate logs to truly question whether we’re (in another agents eyes) doing something wrong or help look for ideas. We’re ready to move on.

    My question is this – if you’re open and honest with your current realtor and your house is not selling for the multitude of reasons (or nothing apparent other than the market state), when to potentially cancel your contract and seek a new one?

  6. As a buyer in the current market, it’s all about price to us. Homes that seem significantly overpriced are just not considered.

    We recently saw a home, over 200 days on market, no showings, no offers, etc… We liked the home, except felt the price was at least 15-20% overpriced. This was not an uninformed opinion, the home is one of the smallest in the area, and been massively (at no cost to the owner) over improved, so that it is now listed for 20-30% over any comparable sales.

    The pricing had odd fluctuations, they had recently raised the price??, so we worked with our agent to feel out the sellers. After 6 months on the market they had lowered there price by 5% in an attempt to get multiple offers. This resulted in no offers at all, and so they raised the price again.

    As potential buyers who liked their home, we didn’t feel there was any way to work with those sellers. We had serious concerns about bank appraisals, and trying to negoitiate with them. So we moved on.

    I’m not picking on the sellers, they very well may simply decide not to sell and live in their home. But it does illustrate that in this market it is truly all about price. And price will even prevent people from taking the time and effort to make an offer.

  7. Teresa Boardman says:

    very well said Nate. Your attitude does reflect that of most of today’s buyers, and you are right about appraisals, they don’t appraise any more. I still say make that 20 to 30% low offer, if the answer is no walk. It doesn’t cost a dime to write an offer.

  8. Want to see a stop-motion video about a couple of mice who must second-guess their real-estate-purchase descision? I made this video recently. Please check it out and comment. Thanks.

    Blemish and Pittance: The New Place

  9. Sellers either have to drop prices or offer attractive terms . . . If a seller has enough equity to carry a note and first deed of trust (or mortgage) and they are willing to carry paper, they just might have a chance of selling at their above market price . . . but the terms would have to be very good, even so.

    At least the problem with bank financing and appraisals is circumvented.

    In addition to telling the sellers to lower the price or make repairs, agents should explore the sellers’ willingness and ability to offer terms. Advertising Owner Will Carry has a way of greatly increasing the pool of potential buyers, and price can be leveraged with terms.

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