Tuesday 13 February 2018

When it's time to sell, don't get bought

Have you ever been bought?  I know, I know, what kind of question is that.  But in the real estate business, there is a term "buying the listing" that many people are blissfully unaware of.

Buying the listing refers to inflating the value opinion you give on a property to sway the sellers to list with you rather than your competition who might give a lower - but more accurate - price evaluation.  Because once they have you listed, you're stuck with them under contract even if you reduce the price.

Just to be clear, we're not talking about when the seller gets advice and makes the decision to list higher anyways - and sometimes the market does surprise even the professionals.  This term refers to an agent intentionally inflating their price opinion to stand out from their competition.

You might ask, "WHAT?  Does that really happen?"

Sadly, yes.  I think most of the time it is an honest difference in price evaluation and most agents are decent folk like anyone else, but like any business we have our mix of all types. 

I have sometimes seen sellers I have given a price evaluation go and list with someone else at a higher price.  Sometimes a much higher price.  And then sit on the market for a while before eventually selling at a price close to what I said in the first place. 

As I watch these scenarios, I can't help wondering if they were just "bought" by an agent giving a higher price evaluation or if it was the seller ignoring advice and listing high.  And I sometimes wonder if I would get those listings by simply inflating my price evaluation.  Moot point, of course, because it's not my style.

To avoid this happening when you are looking to sell, if you have two price evaluations done and one is higher than the other, at least get a third to see how they compare.  If the third is still high, then give it a try, because maybe there is something the lower one is missing. 

But if it's closer to the lower one, give it serious thought before listing with the higher price agent or you might regret your choice after wasting much more time getting sold than you should have.

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