"I'm with you Karen. I've had the same experience in Stevens Point.I thought I was hiring a seller, a closer. I have yet to see any serious sales effort. It seems that real estate folks favorite words are updates and drop the price. Where is the vision from these professionals? I have made it abundantly clear that I was certainly willing to negotiate reasonable updates from any serious buyers. Those words fell on deaf ears. Realtors want you to dump a lot of money into a property and then drop the price for an easy sale. I've done the math on price decreases and I notice that commissions don't fall as fast as price drops.So you're out money and their commissions don't change that much."
These comments only show that you don't know how to sell real estate. Everyone thinks it's so easy and this is a typical misconception among sellers - that we just want you to lower the price. Personally, I ask sellers to do updates only if I think it'll get them MORE money.
First off, if you wait to do the "reasonable updates" you turn away many buyers who will see your photos of a dated house and don't even make the appoitment to get through your front door. Once they get there, every update will cost you 3 times (in a buyer's mind) than it would have const you to do it ahead of time. They want to take that off the price. Where you could have changed some fixtures and a countertop for $1,500, the buyer sees a $20,000 kitchen redo. So, they'll automatically think you're $20,000 overpriced. MOST buyers won't make an offer on a property which they think the seller isn't going to negotiate. And if you are in completely the wrong price bracket - say $250,000 when you should be at $225,000, then you will never get an offer. The $250k buyers will just laugh and buy house that is really worth $250k and the $225 buyers won't write an offer because they'll never see you're house - it won't come up in their search results because they're only searching up to $225k.
Everything comes down to price, because for the right price, people will buy ANY house.
What do you consider "serious sales effort?" Lots of open houses and newspaper ads? If so, you're completely misinformed. Open houses generate tirekickers and nosy neighbors. About 4% of home sell off open houses. Would you keep spending hours and hours doing something that has a 4% chance of success? Agents sold sellers on Open houses becaue they were great sources of future business - they knew that 99% of buyers at an open house will NOT buy that house. And 90% of buyers are searching for houses online. Why waste $300 for an ineffective ad? I'd rather put that money into better photos, a staging expert,a virtual tour....not a print.
There's only so much we can do with an overpriced, dated house when there are so many cheaper, updated houses for the buyers to choose. And why hire an agent when you don't want to listen to their advice??
We don't "sell" houses. We market and negotiate. A house sells itself to the buyer. But it has to be the right condition at the right price. No salesmenship in the world will sell an overpriced house. Buyers are too smart for that. All we can do is try to get the sellers to do the thing that allow their property to complete and appeal to buyer, market the heck out of the property, negotiate offers and protect our client's interests.
There's something you and no agent can never change - the buyers are looking at ALL properties on the market in a certain price range. If your house isn't as nice as those, they won't buy it, nor will they bother making an offer. They will just buy a nicer house in their price range. Buyers in the lower price range won't make an offer because they think you won't take it and it's a waste of time. So they'll focus on houses in their price range and never see your house.
If you won't get the house into the same shape as the competition, in the same price range, then you have to lower the price. It has nothing to do with agents and their commissions - it's just what buyers expect in a buyer's market. In ANY market, really.