Thursday, September 27, 2007

Part 3 - Practice what you Preach: advising sellers not to sell

I've had three clients in the last week ask me about selling their home. All three were ready to sign a listing contract that day and get their home on the market immediately. Unfortunately (and fortunately), since my goal is to always work for my clients' best interests, I'm not going to list any of the three for sale. Here is my third client's story:

Client #3

Client #3 is a family who wants to move to a different school district. They have already looked around on their own, and have found a neighborhood that's calling to them. They have had their house on the market for several months with another realtor, but have had very few showings. Now that school has started, they are very frustrated, and want to make a change.

It took me all of about 5 minutes to see what the problem was; they're priced at the very top of the comps, probably about 10% higher than "competitive" and 20% higher than what would sell the home. We discussed various strategies, marketing campaigns, time horizons, etc. But at the end of the day, price matters – and it matters a lot!

My advice: it's time to do some soul searching about why you're moving, how important it is, and how much you can realistically afford. Your home will not sell anytime soon at your current price; you'll be lucky to have any showings at all. Even at the "competitive" price, you're most likely just going through the motions, and you'll probably end up following the market down further over the next six months. If you really want to move, let's use the price that will sell the home, and then we can market the heck out of it. If that's not acceptable, let's hold off.

Client #3 has decided either to hold off or to try again with a different agent – I'm not sure which yet.

ps – if anyone wants to buy my Microsoft shares for $40 each, please let me know. They're trading right now at $29.41 on NASDAQ, but what do they know?

- Chris Butterworth

[tags] home selling advice, moving, pricing [/tags]