Outdated Sales Tactics Remain the Norm

I wrote this piece nearly 8 years ago for my blog and unfortunately, not much has changed:


You can probably guess where I’m going with this before you even finish reading this sentence but here are my thoughts on these ridiculous mantras that are spewed all over my inbox on a daily basis:

  • PRICED TO SELL-isn’t this the point always?  To sell I mean?  How else would you price something?  How about this one…PRICED TO SIT ON THE MARKET FOREVER
  • MOTIVATED SELLER-one would hope that a seller is at least somewhat motivated when they decide to sell their home but just how motivated is relative.  The irony here for me has always been that when you make an offer to one of these ‘motivated-type” sellers, you find out immediately that they aren’t quite as motivated as you had imagined.  I like this one…UNREALISTIC SELLER HOPES TO FIND STUPID BUYER
  • NOW THE PRICE IS RIGHT-This one actually came in today and was the impetus for this post.  It made me laugh out loud.  The price is right when you have offers and a place sells not just because you say so.  Trust me, I always think the asking price I set is right and that is definitely NOT the case all of the time.  In fact, I have a 4800sf townhouse in Washington Heightsthat is asking the absolute “RIGHT” price of $1,500,000 (it started out at the absolute “RIGHT” price of $2.495M with another broker 2 years ago) and although we are close to a bid, it still seems that we have missed the “RIGHT” price. (2017 UPDATE: That house sold for $1.2M! I know, I know. Why didn’t I buy it myself!?)
  • OWNER SAYS SELL-this is often paired with BRING ALL OFFERS.   Now I don’t know about anyone else but ALL of my owners have said “sell.”  ALL of them!  Not one has said to me, “hey Doug, please market our home for sale but whatever you do, DON’T sell it!”

I know that you get my point here so why then are so many still (EVEN STILL in 2017) using these antiquated sales slogans to try to pique interest?  (In 2017, I believe that  most of these emails end up in spam/junk folders anyway) I have my theories of which the primary is that most people will beat a dead horse until way after they realize there’s no pulse.  Innovation and change are rarely embraced and my 18 years (NOW 25) of experience in the Manhattan real estate market has served as evidence of that.  Still no official MLS in Manhattan; no standard measure of square footage; listings data still perceived as proprietary (we have made a little progress here since I wrote this); and the industry remains one that puts its own interests before the consumer more frequently than not (this too is changing for the better but we have a long way to go still).

On a positive note, I have seen some incredibly creative marketing strategies implemented over the last several years. That said, there is no single factor that will bring about a sale more effective that proper pricing. So the next time you consider sending out an email with one of the subject lines above, first re-evaluate the asking price based on a solid analysis of current comps. You may just find that a simple “price reduction” announcement will garner more positive attention.


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