Collective Dissonance in Selling—a Recurring Issue

Judy and Dave want to sell their home. Or do they?
It took Judy six months to convince Dave they needed to move, as the home had become unbearably small for the family. Yet Dave delayed in doing the minor fix-ups to get their home market ready and reluctantly agreed to have the home evaluated.

They sought opinions of value from three REATORS®. Judy felt the two of the opinions of $330,000 reflected the home's value. Dave liked the higher estimate of $350,000. To leave room to negotiate he chose a list price of $360,000. "We can always come down," he reasoned.

In real estate, such collective dissonance plays out a lot.
1) Reason for selling between husband and wife are poles apart.
2) Some agents have ulterior motives that heighten the conflict.
3) This results in a listing that is incompatible with the market.

Let's look at No. 1: Judy can no longer live with the cramped quarters. Yet fix-up delays and unrealistic expectations of value do not support Dave's agreement to move.

On top of it, Dave found a REALTOR® who appeals to his prejudices. How will he react in the event that the home lingers on the market and garners scant showings with no offer?

Now let's look at No. 2: Unfortunately some agents attempt to anticipate what a seller wants to here to secure the listing--sometimes called "buying the listing"

Perhaps the agent has nurtured the relationship over time and fears offending the seller and losing the listing. 

Finally, No. 3: Incompatibility with the Market. Lack of motivation often results in a high list price and the home is ignored by buyers and their agents.

What about the notion that they need to leave room to negotiate and can always come down? With whom are they going to negotiate? If no one looks at the house there won't be any potential buyers and no offers. On the chance that a buyer does make an offer, will Dave demonstrate the flexibility needed to engage the buyer into a successful negotiation or express rigidity and scare off the buyer?

A clash of motives between both sellers and their agent results in total discordance. Buyers and their agents to shun the home. Such collective dissonance can only lead to stress and disappointment and serves no one.

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Eugene Pilato

Eugene Pilato

Broker of Record
CENTURY 21 Today Realty Ltd., Brokerage*
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