As indicated by the frequency of my ramblings on the topic, proper home pricing is one of my largest hurdles when meeting with hopeful home-sellers. Common sense tells me that will never change, but I feel that helping those who want to buy or sell homes in Edmond better understand the market is not only my job, but it’s my duty.
Business Week just published a pretty interesting story about the tendancy of homeowners to hold on to unrealistic expectations in regard to the value of their homes – even in this ‘declining’ market – and how that affects the overall recovery of the market. I can’t disagree with most of their points about the ‘stubbornness’ of some home sellers, and I’ve witnessed the ‘better-than-average’ effect more than a few times, but I think the blame belongs less on homeowners and more on the agents who routinely take overpriced listings. After all, if an unrealistic home seller is turned down by 2 or 3 agents in a row, and those agents are honest with that seller about why, won’t he/she eventually lower expectations and become more open to the reality of the market? Unfortunately, what happens many times is the reverse. An agent who just wants their sign in that yard (so he/she can get buyer leads) takes the overpriced listing, giving the homeowner validation that they know more than the agent. Wow, how does that help the client-agent relationship? And some agents wonder why their clients fight them on everything. Additionally, what does it do for the seller, when that sign is still in the yard 6 months later while home values continue to slide? Anyway, I digress…
Funny thing is, while I will always have those clients who want to over-price their homes, I’ve actually seen a reverse effect in Edmond lately. Let me explain; we have recently worked with some buyers who had unrealistic expectations. With all of the ‘buyers market’ talk circulating throughout the media, it’s not surprising that most buyers expect a ‘better-than-average’ buy, so they’re in the mode to low-ball some sellers. A few months ago, most sellers wouldn’t even entertain a low-ball offer. What I’m seeing today is that many sellers are actually taking those low-ball offers, simply because they’re scared; scared that the sky is falling, and that the real estate market as we know it is gone! They end up taking the first offer that comes along because they envision tumbleweeds and foreclosure sales and they don’t want to get stuck.
So, if I’m representing the buyer, this is a great scenario for my client, but if I’m representing the seller, my job now becomes finding the happy medium, and showing them – through solid research and knowledge of TODAY’S market – what’s reasonable, and which offers should be shredded.
Have you ever wondered why REALTORS® always seem to say ‘It’s a great time to Buy’ and ‘It’s a great time to Sell?’ Sometimes it really CAN be both. You just have to have the right agent for YOUR situation!
Don’t buy into everything you hear in the news. Base your decisions on solid information that shows the trends in YOUR neighborhood, because our market is VERY different from the majority of the US, and it’s changing every day.