Lift the Burden of Marketing an Overpriced Home

Molly listed her home after purchasing another privately. She closed on the purchase in January and now, 4 months later, her home sat empty and unsold.

Molly was understandably upset, as she was paying taxes, utilities and insurance, plus mortgage payments on two homes. She called the broker, stating that her REALTOR® wasn’t advertising the home enough and wanted an agent who could get the home sold. The broker agreed to talk to the salesperson and get back to her.

The salesperson too was frustrated. He explained that Molly was a past client and agreed to list the home at her price: $30,000 more than recommended. He was averaging two showings per week with the same comment: too much money.

To appease Molly’s demands, he was advertising twice as much as any other listing. He advised her repeatedly that the problem was the price, not the marketing. Molly argued that she needed the extra money to help pay for the new purchase.

The broker also researched homes in her area and found that homes similar to hers were selling between $192,000 and $195,000, with a selling time of 2 ½ months.

The next morning he and Molly met. He reviewed what the REALTOR® said and presented his research of homes sold over the last 3 months. Molly somewhat reluctantly agreed that, based on the information, her home probably was worth around $195,000, but she needed $25,000 more. “A really good salesman could sell it for the price I need,” she said.

“Let me ask,” the broker replied, “As a buyer, would you pay more than a home is worth, in spite of a salesperson’s efforts?”

“Definitely not,” she stated. 

“What if the salesperson said, ‘Molly, the seller needs the extra $25,000 to help finance this other home.  By giving it to him, you’d be doing him a huge favour.’ How might you react?”

“I’d be insulted,” Molly said, “and would stop doing business with that salesperson.”

“So Molly, can you see how your situation is basically the same?  Any good REALTOR® knows that trying to make a buyer pay more would alienate that buyer. What’s more, by insisting on the higher price, you are:

  1. Fighting the market,
  2. Defying natural laws, as buyers are drawn to homes that display more value,
  3. Working against agency laws, as REALTORS® are obligated to disclose a home’s present worth,
  4. Paying burdensome monthly costs carrying two homes, and
  5. Sitting with a home yet unsold.

Molly finally did agree to lower the price. The REALTOR® went into action and notified all who had seen the home and Molly had a sale within two weeks. Molly was relieved and thankful. The burden was lifted.

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