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The Price is Right

by Stephanie Sims

stephanie-sims-chicago-agent-magazine-managing-editorWhen the price is right, properties move. It used to be no big thing to price a property – an agent would (and still does) take a look at the comps in the neighborhood, create a CMA and present a data-filled report to the client that demonstrated why they should price their home at the agent’s suggested price. The sellers would probably not be too defensive or saddened by the suggested price they sell their home for, either.

But after the recent recession, the challenge of selling a home for a price the seller agrees with can be a difficult one. What buyers can get for $250,000, $350,000, even $500,000 has changed, thanks to the market volatility. Depending on a seller’s motivation to sell, they might want to try to sell their home for as close to what they purchased the home for, plus some appreciation – which might not be a price the market deems logical or accurate. Sellers don’t want their home to be a “steal.”

Sometimes, pricing a home accurately is tough – it can be tough news for the sellers, and could prove difficult for the agent if they take the listing. @properties agent Kim Kerbis tells a sad tale in our cover story about a listing she had right at one of the worst times for the housing market: spring 2009. After listing it for $275,000, her client received a cash offer of $250,000, but the client just couldn’t imagine parting with her home for that amount. But unfortunately, waiting didn’t work out for her either; Kerbis lost the listing after a year, and only recently did the client finally sell her home – for $135,000 in a short sale.

But pricing properties accurately isn’t a negative experience as long as you explain to your clients why your suggested price is accurate, and even better, show them, with a detailed CMA or even tech tools like LeapRE’s Pricing Coach Module. And pricing them accurately from the get-go eliminates problems like having the home sit on the market for a long period of time – something that hinders a home from selling, as well.

“We need to share with our clients a realistic expectation of the market,” Donna Brooks, an agent with Weichert, Realtors – Kingsland Properties, pictured on our cover, says. She’s right. Read the best way to price properties accurately and be realistic with clients in our cover story.

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