List price, market conditions and the role of the real estate agent

Posted on 04/04/11 No Comments

Cary, NC Residential Sales stats from ActiveRain.comWe would like to take a minute to discuss list price. For something that just comes across as a number on websites and marketing materials, a great deal of skill, effort and emotion goes into its derivation.

In fact, list price can become the most challenging component of a home sale, especially in today’s more complicated market.

As highlighted in this recent article, sometimes Triangle-area families needing to sell their homes are not overly realistic about its value. While it is our job as agents to communicate every reason behind their recommended list price, they often go unheeded. Nevertheless, that does not take away from our desire to accept a challenge and professionally serve our clients.

An experienced, professional agent needs to provide for their client a very comprehensive and decisive presentation on why their home should be priced accordingly. It is our job to know the market and provide housing comparables that support our list price recommendation.

However, it is ultimately the home owner’s decision to confirm the price and agree to list their home for that amount. If we suggest one number and the client another, our fiduciary responsibility requires us to list at the price preferred by the owner.

Thus, some challenges arise that delve into the very essence of our industry. Are we best serving home owners by marketing homes that we know are priced well above what the market will pay? If a home has no financial constraints (pending foreclosure, under water, etc.) is it best for us hit the market at a very reasonable price point that will move the house quickly or use the time provided by a healthy mortgage scenario to price the home a bit higher?

We as agents are constantly bombarded with these situations in the post-subprime real estate market, which is a good thing. We are in this business to help families sell homes, not just stick a sign in the yard. The sale of home can have extensive emotional tentacles. Our fiduciary responsibility calls for us to help our clients get control of everything surrounding the sale of a house. We are by no means counselors (although we sometimes accept that role). Yet, we have to be pragmatists.

These complicated selling times make us better at our jobs. These are the times that make good agents. The boom of a few years ago made it very easy for agents with little experience to succeed. Good for them, certainly. But was that good for the industry? We’re not so sure.

The era of flips and quick turns created unrealistic expectations for both real estate agents and their clients. Things have changed; we need to work even harder.

Our business has been here before the boom and remains intact during its demise. We think that says quite a bit about how Ann & Amy Real Estate handles these difficult market conditions. Know that we’ll always do our best to create a marketing plan for your home that best serves you. As part of that, we will help you understand that market happenings mean a great deal to the successful sale of your home. They simply can’t be ignored.

In this market, the experience of a real estate agent is more valuable than ever before. The foreclosure and lending markets have completely altered how we do our jobs, which now includes deciphering a housing market that the most educated economic minds in the country are unable to accurately nail down. Yet, we’re the ones on the front lines. Please call on us for your real estate needs!

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