After overpricing, what are the 3 most common errors made in selling or marketing a property?

Asked by Deborah Madey, Brick, NJ Thu Jul 19, 2007

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Irina Netcha…, Agent, San Marino, CA
Thu Jul 19, 2007
Deborah, great question!!! Let's share our knowledge. Here're my three:

1. Property NOT staged! Major mistake - in my professional experience, the properties that are staged sell faster and for more $s. All my listings right now ARE staged. I pay for the consultation of an accredited stager and help my sellers work through her comprehensive report.
2. Lack of BLITZ Marketing - I see a lot of agents rolling out their listings via piece meal marketing plan. To successfully sell a home, everything has to be in order and ready to go at the same time - internet, paper, neighborhood and co-broker marketing.
3. The most obvious is selling a home without the help of an experienced Real Estate Consultant. Kiss of death for the seller.

Again, a wonderful question... can't wait to see what the other answers will be.
3 votes
Ken Bui, , San Jose, CA
Thu Jul 19, 2007
In addition to the answers below, "not taking the first offer". Sellers always turn down the first potential buyers thinking that there would be many more to come. The 1st offer is important because it's from buyers who have been watching the market everyday and found their dream home. They wrote an offer on it immediately because they found the home they have been searching for. Usually, the first offer is lower than ask, but the right negotiating strategies can move the numbers to where both sides come out winners.
2 votes
Ruthless, , 60558
Wed Oct 24, 2007
I was searching for another old question and ran across this one. What a great question. It deserves more answers now that we have more people on-line.

I've learned more trying to sell this house than any other before. I think it is because there have been too many cooks in the kitchen with too many different opinions. One of our mistakes with this house was to correct a mistake from the last home we sold and another mistake was repeating the same mistake as the last home. So here is what I have learned.

1) Perfect condition!
Our last house we waited until it was in perfect condition before we put it on the market. But things always take longer than you think and we ended up putting the house on the market at exactly the wrong time. So with this house, we had the main house perfect but the basement and yard were not done. First impressions! Big mistake! It was the perfect timing but by not having the condition perfect put in question the quality of everything else.

2) The RIGHT price.
Now, I think this is different than overpricing. Agents give the homeowners a price range based on comps. Homeowners obviously think their homes are better. So even though they say they want to price it to sell, they pick the higher end of that range. "It's not a science, it's an art." Wrong! It's a compromise. When I sold my previous home, it was a hot market. I could not believe that this one family came back 3 times to see our beautifully restored 1920s Arts & Crafts home and ended up buying an old lady's 1950s ranch. That's not even a comp!!! It was so ugly. But it was in the same price range and had a better basement and location even though it was only 2 blocks away. With my current house, the right price had to do with the changing market conditions. It wasn't overpriced, everything supported the price and still does. But with the current market, it has to be under-priced to sell immediately or wait for the right buyer. Unfortunately, waiting when things are getting worst causes the home to be overpriced. Now in my case, Oak Park is actually seeing increasing prices but the competition is still fierce. Even if EVERY HOUSE was UNDER PRICED they would NOT ALL SELL. Because who wants to buy in an area with continually falling prices. Some of the top priced homes in their range sell because it only takes one buyer. It is still an emotional decision. But we all rationalize our compromises.

3) Marketing Blitz.
I think number three changes depending on market conditions, location and other particulars. I just know that was the big mistake made with my current situation.

By the way, I completely agree with Ken.
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1 vote
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Fri Jul 20, 2007
1. Sellers not letting buyers in on a timely basis or being too restrictive. Weekends only, agent to show, not after 5pm, etc.
2. Pets.
3. Condition.
1 vote
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Fri Jul 20, 2007
Hello and Thanks to All Who Responded So Far,

As a Broker, I engage in conversations regularly with agents about challenges or mistakes made in selling properties. Those can be seller or agent mistakes. I learn from agents and the public every day.
I thought that a discussion about common mistakes would be helpful for the public as well as agents. For example, when a seller hears from you about the dangers of overpricing, they may remain reluctant to accept what you (or I) say. When the same message comes in from mulitple sources, it confirms the information. There is strength in numbers. It builds our confidence in the messages we deliver, and provides a third part validation. I was also curious to see if there was any variation across geography.

Ken, your point about the first offer is well made! When I first heard this (10 years ago, when I started in real estate), I had a hard time believing it. After seeing an initial offer refused, only to lead to a lower selling price, I fully know and understand this today. Thanks for the reminder. Great point!

It was interesting that Irina places staging at the top of her list. Staging is so much more valued in CA, than the East. Not that we are unfamiliar with it, but the same value and emphasis is not here, yet. It seems that it is where it is more common, the sellers and agents give credit to successes for it. Perhaps it's something I (we) should place more emphasis on, even though I am on the East Coast.

Ty to Linda and Keith; your comments are also well taken. Keith, I am going to borrow your quotes about, "What happens if you don't sell ? and What is Plan B?" I think that is great dialog to have before the listing agreement is signed. Linda, I fully agree with your 3 points.

Thanks again!
1 vote
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Thu Jul 19, 2007
From the listing agent perspective:
1. What is the motivation for the seller to sell; why is it important for him and what does he hope to achieve?
2. How much time does the seller have?
3. What is the seller's expectations of net?
4. What is the drawback if the property does not sell or the seller nets less?
5. Does the seller have a Plan B? If so, what is it?

The answers to these questions will drive all the marketing, pricing, etc.
1 vote
Linda J Sears, , Lady Lake, FL
Thu Jul 19, 2007
Dear Deborah,

I am wondering why a Real Estate Pro is asking this question but here it goes.
1. Does not show well - poor curb appeal - cluttered - poorly maintained
2. Not marketed correctly - MLS- internet - virtual tours - multiple pictures- not written well
3. Difficult to show - not accessible to the realtors for quick showings

All of this together means not listed with a Realtor with a proven track record.

Hope this helps,
Linda J Sears
1 vote
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