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We are not in a hurry to sell, is it unfair to the realtor to wait for a good price?

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April 27 2010 - Town of Bellingham
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Answers (17)

The longer the house is listed, the less it's expected to be worth. MLS has a timing mechanism that allows us to see how long a home has been on the market. The "golden time" are considered the first 6 weeks and that's when it should capture the most interest, if it's priced correctly.

If you are in no hurry and your Realtor is aware of it, they can still benefit by having a sign out on your lawn advertising their name on it. This can help get them more business since some prospects will see their name on the sign and call them, either about that house or another. Maybe even to list their own home.

In this market, my listings are generally a year although the faster it sells the better.
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May 19 2010
Profile picture for SoCal_Engr
Several thoughts...

"We are not in a hurry to sell..."
I assume this means that you will eventually sell, but there is nothing forcing you to do so - so you can, and are willing, to wait until you can sell at what you believe to be a good price.

"...wait for a good price..."
What is your idea of a "good price". Is it at the top of the current value range for your market segment? Or, is it above your market's value range and what you mean is "we're willing to wait for the market to come to our price"?

"...is it unfair to the realtor..."
As long as the realtor knows going in what your objectives are, then "it's all fair". But, is it a good move?
 
If you are pricing at the upper end of the current market, then you are likely going to wait a while until the "right buyer" comes along. If you are pricing above the current market, then you could be waiting for something that may never happen. In either case, if you really are firm on your pricing and are really willing/able to wait, it might be better to just pull the house off the market until the local market will support your target price. Just let the agent know, and I'm sure they will be willing to keep you in their "potential" basket until the market comes to you...or you change your mind about pricing and waiting.
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May 19 2010
In a downward moving market, the longer the home is for sale, the value goes down. If in a stable or appreciating market waiting for the right offer could be a benefit.  It rarely is though. If your home stays on the market longer than the average time on the market then buyers will think that something is wrong with the home.
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May 19 2010
If you priced your home realistically and the condition of your home is good, there should be very little waiting. Good Luck!
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May 18 2010

All of these answers are great, but the big thing is how long your house sits on the market. People will think there is something wrong with it or the price is too high. That's the short answer.

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May 18 2010
Profile picture for EdwinjdlkEmily
Depending on the area in which you live, your biggest competition may well be foreclosures and short sales.  Those listings ARE in a hurry to get contracts and are generally priced accordingly.  If you are "unmotivated", what you may find yourself doing is HELPING TO SELL YOUR COMPETITION.  This happens all the time with "overpriced listings"...but in today's market, that effect is even more prevalent.
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April 29 2010
Provided you are honest with your Realtor about your plans and expectations and the Realtor has taken your listing with that understanding, fairness should not be an issue.

There are a couple of the items in your question that do concern me though.  When you say "we are not in a hurry to sell" (which, by the way, the MAJORITY of sellers say that...most likely because they are trying to "protect themselves" from what they perceive the agent might do...which is to try to push them into pricing their home too low or into accepting what THEY BELIEVE is too low an offer) you are setting yourself up for things you may not be anticipating:

* Depending on the area in which you live, your biggest competition may well be foreclosures and short sales.  Those listings ARE in a hurry to get contracts and are generally priced accordingly.  If you are "unmotivated", what you may find yourself doing is HELPING TO SELL YOUR COMPETITION.  This happens all the time with "overpriced listings"...but in today's market, that effect is even more prevalent.

* Buyers will use "time on market" against you when it comes to offers and negotiations...including WHETHER OR NOT THEY WILL MAKE AN OFFER in the first place.  Buyers who are actively looking look for things like relative pricing, how long it's been listed (which they see as "what's wrong with this house...why isn't it selling?????"), etc.  IF they make an offer, and the home has been on the market a while, they generally are less negotiable because they fear "all those people who didn't make an offer might know something about this house that I don't..I don't want to make a mistake and pay too much!"

* Historically, typically the longer on the market a home sits on the market, the LOWER it sells for.  Yes, I know there are exceptions to that, but the reality is it's more often the case than not.  We generally don't see homes selling for "Top Dollar" that have long market times.  Quite the opposite.

When you say "wait for a good price", that signals a number of considerations to me

* What constitutes a "good price?"  Where did you arrive at that number?  How does your home compare to similar properties THAT HAVE RECENTLY SOLD (in the past 3 months).  How does it compare to similar properties currently on the market?  How MANY similar properties are currently on the market competing with you?

* Is your price dictated by the results of a comprehensive market evaluation, or is it based on the sorts of things THAT DO NOT MATTER to the buyer, to the appraiser for your buyer's bank, to the underwriter for your buyer's lender, etc?  Remember, when you are selling, there are MANY people you must sell on the "value" your home offers
    - the Buyer's Agent (who will be advising the buyer as to whether your home offers good buyer potential, and may help the buyer determine whether to even look at the home in person or not)
    - the Buyer (of course)
    - Buyer's lender's appraiser
    - Buyer's lender's underwriter
All of those folks need to perceive "value" for your home before you can close your sale.

In today's market in particular, with lenders being so restrictive (yes, the pendulum has swung too far the other way!) it's become even more difficult to find GOOD BUYERS.  My suggestion is that you discuss an "acceptable range" in which you would consider selling your home.  If comprehensive market study indicates your home would likely sell for, for example, in the $150-170 range, and your "good price" is AT LEAST  $200k, chances are you're wasting EVERYONE's time.  An agent might be interested in listing your home with that understanding IN THE HOPES OF GENERATING POTENTIAL BUYER CLIENTS from your listing.  Think of it this way...why do stores sometimes advertise products that COST MORE than they're selling them for?  Those products are "loss leaders"...the store keeper knows they'll lose money on them, but they BRING CUSTOMERS TO THE STORE who may then buy more profitable products.

My question to you is....DO YOU WANT TO BE A LOSS LEADER?

Best wishes with your dilemma....

Judi
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April 29 2010
Yes! Nothing is worse then an overpriced listing that a Realtor can't sell. We are in the business to sell homes and not pricing your house to sell is a waste of your Realtors time. The longer your house sits on the market, the less you will get. Take it off of the market and when you get serious price it 2-5% below what the market value is and it should sell within 30 days.
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April 28 2010
This may be putting it harshly, but "greed" does not equal value.

Have you asked yourself what happens if you wait months for what you think is the right offer only to have the bank underwriter nix the deal based on the appraised value?

It's not about what's "fair" to the Realtor. It's about what makes good, solid business sense.

The reality is that in most markets it's still a buyer's market. When you combine that with a conservative lending market, you better hope your home attracts someone who can pay cash. Unfortunately, most buyer's with cash are quite market savvy and looking for the best possible deals.

I suggest you educate yourself about pricing strategies with an eye towards the statistics that illustrate what typically happens when a home sits on the market unsold week after week, month after month. The National Association of Realtors website is one place to look.

Good luck with your home sale. I wish you the best.
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April 28 2010

No, but it is unfair to you if your realtor doesn't give you a true and acruate  price based on current comparables sold within the last 6 months.  As a seller if you are not ready to accept an offer very close to that figure than you would be financially better off to wait and list your home at a later date when the market value of your home is closer to the price you are willing to accept.

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April 28 2010
If its mutually agreeable then its fine, however if its that overpriced it wont sell and you will take less in the end for a property that sits too long!
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April 28 2010
Do you have reason to believe you will ask for significantly more than the CMA or appraised value?  If so, and if you are in no hurry to sell, then I suggest you also be in no hurry to list.  Houses that are on the market for a long time tend to get noticed by buyers.  The house is at risk of getting a bad rep - being perceived as having something wrong.  It might be a better idea to wait until house prices come back up to the level you need, or until you decide you want to sell and you are willing to accept an amount consistent with the current market (whatever it is).
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April 27 2010
There's nothing wrong with waiting for a good offer, but you want to make sure that you're being reasonable. If you get an offer that's in line with what's going on in your market at the time, then refusing it makes one wonder why you would list the home for sale in the first place. If you're turning down offers that are close, but not high enough for you, your agent should be recommending a counter offer, rather than just turning the offer down.

Your realtor should be aware of what price you're looking to get, so I wouldn't call it unfair. But if they have not sat down with you and explained that your home is overpriced, then either they are not marketing it very well, or they are not doing a good job of helping you to understand how much it will sell for.

Another thing, if you're not in a hurry to sell, maybe it's not the right market for you right now. Many sellers are distressed and underwater, and are willing to accept whatever offers they get, because their lender is the one making the final decision, not them. Kind of a tough market to compete in when you don't share that same urgency.
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April 27 2010
Profile picture for wetdawgs
I am not an agent, so will not speak from the perspective of an agent but instead as a person who has hired people to help sell in the past.

If I hire someone to do a job, and they do the job then I feel I should pay them.   Therefore,  if you get a reasonable offer and refuse it, they've done their job.   Then, if you wish them to continue working for you for an unknown duration when they've already done what you've hired for, you are asking them to work for free.

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April 27 2010
Hi John & Joy-

It's not only unfair to your Realtor, but more so to yourselves.  You see an overprice listing that sits on the market for a longer than average "days on market" is going to typically net you less in the long run.  When pricing a home to sell in today's market, it's important to price the house competitively so that you have the best chance of selling from the get-go.  Otherwise, you'll be trying to continually catch the falling market with gradual price reductions.  In Bellingham, we're averaging a 1%/month decline.  That means on a $300k house, you'll be risking $3k/month or $18k over a 6 months period.  

For a Realtor, it's not too big of a deal due to the nature of the commission structure, but for you it means potentially losing thousands of dollars.  Also worth mentioning is that stress & frustration you might experience by low-ball offers that you might attract and the long drawn out process of selling & preparing for showings.

So, as you can see, it doesn't affect your Realtor nearly as much as it'll affect you.  If you're looking to buy after you sell, you're going to pick up equity on your purchase that far exceeds the loss you might take on you current property.

Hope this helps.  Happy Selling!

Tara

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April 27 2010
As long as your Realtor is aware of your timeframe and conditions and is ok with it anything you mutually agree to is fair. At the end of the day you are the client and it's your best interests they're working for.
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April 27 2010
Just like most answers in real estate, the answer is a strong absolute "it depends." Most agents have a commission arrangement whereby they are only paid at the time of settlement. However, you could work out a retainer or hourly arrangement also. Most top producing agents who will aggressively market your property and give you the highest probability of selling will most likely pass on an over-priced listing. But, as long as you are honest about your intentions everyone should feel they have been treated fairly.

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April 27 2010
 
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