Don’t call me until you listen to the market

Sellers need to be all ears. (Flickr photo by Daniele Sartori)

I’ve sold my own homes a few times, so I get it: All owners want the best possible price for their property.

But wanting and getting are two different things. Consequently, I just won’t be an enabler.

I don’t see the point of accepting a listing for which the owner insists on a price that it is way above my estimate of its market value. Here’s why:

  • It will cost me time — assessing the competition, preparing marketing materials, holding open houses, scheduling appointments, privately showing the property, and
  • It will cost me money — for materials and advertising — in addition to the waste of my time.

Many brokers will take any gamble because, in fact, there’s a chance they’ll manage to attract an offer that the seller ultimately accepts.  (In all likelihood, that bottom line is a secret that the seller has kept from the broker.  Or, to be charitable, maybe the seller didn’t even know it until the rubber met the road.)

Other reasons for taking overpriced properties is that brokers enjoy accumulating listings, especially high-priced ones, to burnish their reputation.  And they believe they might lure buyers to represent in the search for other properties.

I have no doubt that those hidden objectives occasionally pan out.  But do so lotteries.

I don’t buy lottery tickets, bet on horses or, as it happens, play poker either.

While I could be a winner in the long-odds game of taking an overpriced listing, I’d rather use my time more productively than working on a listing with little hope of a real return on either my time or my money.

There’s a saying in my business that it’s better to be the second broker with a listing that won’t sell at its original asking price than to be the first.  I’ll gladly settle for that.

So, sellers, please don’t call me until you and reality are in sync.  Otherwise, your request will fall on deaf ears.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201
Web site

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