Grossly Overpriced Property…The Kiss of Death

If you’re a real seller, this is NOT the market to grossly overprice your property.  Surprisingly though, I would have to say that as many as 50% of the marketing presentations I have done in the past couple of months have been with sellers who are terribly unrealistic with their asking prices.  And for those who stubbornly suggest pricing above what I believe the market will bear, I say ‘best of luck to you."  I also walk out the door wishing I could say, "I look forward to hearing from you in 5 or 6 months when you become more realistic," but I tastefully refrain. 

Just this morning I learned that the owner of a prewar 3BR property chose to list with one of my colleagues who priced his home at $1,000,000 more than what I and another agent at a third competing firm determined to be the value.  That’s right!  Both I and an experienced agent from another very large and reputable firm (she is currently representing another property in the same building that isn’t selling) independently priced the home at $3,495,000.  The agent who received the privilege of "attempting" to sell this home priced it at $4,495,000.  I’m sure that you’re asking yourself right now, "How can that be?"  The answer is that sellers sometimes (certainly not always) hear what they want to hear.  I’m just surprised that this gentleman, with a real estate background, was deaf to the more realistic data supporting a lower asking price.  But it’s hard to let go of the possibility of $1,000,000 more in your pocket!

All of that said, I often explain to new brokers that it is better to be the second broker who actually sells the home than simply the one who "wins" the initial round of marketing presentations.  Having been in the Manhattan residential real estate business for 16 years, i remember the days when property was on the market for 2 years before a buyer would surface.  It takes a lot of time and money to market a property for 6 months only to have a seller hire another agent after that 6 month term who likely reduces the price and sells shortly thereafter.  I know because I have been on both sides of this phenomenon.  In the past 3-6 months, I have had multiple sellers reach out to secure my services after not hiring me initially.  On every occasion, I was able to effect a sale for an excellent price in a reasonably short period of time (a couple of times we sold after our first day on the market after another agent had marketed for 6 months).

So for the sellers out there who refuse to listen to what the market is telling you about the value of your home, you may find yourself interviewing brokers in another 5 or 6 months.  If so, just be mindful that market conditions will not likely be what they are today and you may regret not listening to the market earlier.

This entry was posted in A Broker's Job, Market Insight, Tips & Advice. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Grossly Overpriced Property…The Kiss of Death