Manhattan Real Estate: Patience Can Be A Virtue But Ego Isn’t

Manhattan is full of BIG egos.  Some would say that many of those egos help to pump life into the heart of this incredible metropolis.  Perhaps there is an element of truth to that but a big real estate agent ego can be an obstacle to selling your home.  Here’s what I mean:

  • An agent prices your home:  A big ego prevents them from seeing that they may have priced it wrong.
  • An agent markets your home:  A big ego prevents said agent from diverting themselves from their typical marketing strategy because "they know best."
  • An agent negotiates offers on your home:  The big ego reinforces their pricing and marketing strategy resulting in clouded judgment during negotiations (ex. an offer comes in "too low" in the selling agent’s mind and they take it personally thereby convincing a seller not to counter or worse yet, to ignore the offer altogether).
  • An agent facilitates a contract signing for the sale of your home:  A big ego here can be the kiss of death.  With so many parties involved in a Manhattan real estate transaction, there just isn’t any room for another big ego.  Often 2 real estate agents, 2 real estate attorneys, and a property manager or closing agent are in some way involved in the process prior to contract signing.  If just one of these parties has the false sense that they are "the" (not "a") key player in the process then you’ve got trouble. 

The impetus for this post is a recent experience I had with one of my colleagues.  In this particular instance what I believe she and her seller perceived as being patience ultimately boiled down to the agent’s ego IMHO.  First, she was insulted by my buyer’s offer of only 5% below the asking price and stated that her seller would not counter.  In addition, she provided no guidance except to state that we needed to offer the asking price or better to procure the apartment.  Almost one month later, the apartment is still available and my buyer’s offer of 5% below the asking price is shaky at best.  Who can blame the buyer for now thinking that perhaps there 5% underbid is too high? 

It remains to be seen how exactly this agent’s ego will effect her seller’s wallet or if the seller will even know how much money they may have left on the table.  There is one thing for certain…in a market with such low inventory for this type of space, the price of this property is wrong.  The bad news for the seller and their very proud real estate agent is that the perceived value of the property is only going in one direction the longer it sits on the market…and it ain’t up!

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