When in doubt- blame the market

by Dan Krell © 2010

In a recent conversation with a home owner, who withdrew his home from the market, I asked if we could talk about the possibility of re-listing the home. My intention was to discuss different aspects of the listing, such as; the price, the amount of buyer traffic, and the types of marketing. The usual respectful responses I have heard in the past include; “no thanks” or “sure, when are you available?” However, this owner’s sharp tongue and cryptic language seemed to put all the blame on the market.

Sure, it’s easy enough to just blame the market when your home doesn’t sell. Unlike the many home owners of the last few years, who were forced to make other plans when their homes did not sell, you are more likely aware of today’s general market conditions [than they were]. So listing your home without analyzing the data to plan and tailor your sale for your local market is just poor preparation on your part.

In today’s market, the primary sources of a non sale are either your agent and/or the listing price.

Did you know that many people do not interview more than one agent to list their home? According to the National Association of Realtors 2009 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers (Realtor.org) forty percent of home owners chose a real estate agent who was referred to them, while twenty-four percent hired someone with whom they worked in the past.

Let’s face it, your decision to sell your home hinges on information provided to you by your agent. Because much of the market data is interpreted, there is a chance that you can be misinformed (or even malinformed) by any one real estate agent; for this reason, (in today’s market) it is essential to interview at least three agents to get an accurate picture of the neighborhood market, pricing and marketing strategy.

Our natural inclination is to hire the agent who promises us the highest price and with the greatest exposure. However, many experts recommend that before you make your decision, you should talk to several past clients of the agent you intend to hire to get a true picture of their professional abilities. Additionally, a current trend of agent passivity has affected many sellers; many agents have discontinued advertising and dropped open houses from their repertoires. The reality is that you need to get the most accurate and candid picture of your ability to sell without the agent’s salesmanship to get the listing.

Pricing a home has become much more technical because of variance in market conditions, seasonal trends, and home differences- while also keeping in step with frequent changes in lending and appraisal practices. When considering pricing, it’s important to review and compare several agents’ data. Although the point of pricing your home properly is one of the most important items to consider when selling a home today, so much has been written and said about it recently that that I won’t belabor the point. However, consider that if your home is over-priced, home buyers may become alienated because the list price is not in their range of competing homes.

Selling and marketing real estate in today’s environment has moved away from the “sales-y” approach by the ego-centered real estate agent, and evolved into relying on truthful and honest information. However, for those who fail to recognize the weaknesses of their home sale- just blame the market.

This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. This article was originally published in the Montgomery County Sentinel the week of April 19, 2010. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws. Copyright © 2010 Dan Krell