When a listing doesn’t sell within a reasonable amount of time, it always is tempting to suggest that the seller chop the price.
I have been maintaining forever that the only reason a property doesn’t sell is its price. Offer a $1 million apartment for $900,000, and buyers will swarm with their offers. Offer it for $100,000, and it will go to contract virtually in seconds.
So it’s price, right?
Not always. A recent blog post that I read jiggled my assumptions. Written by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, the post argued for asking some key questions before reflexively dropping the price of a languishing property.
It is critically important, Allan-Hagadorn contends, to ascertain whether the market has changed since the property was first listed. How are other properties doing, whether similar or quite different? Is anything moving?
Too, have some of those buyers and their agents who have seen the place mentioned that it was overpriced?
Perhaps there are issues with the property — the way it is staged, a musty order, weird layout or a variety of eccentricities — that make for a hard sell. Would an even lower price than the one that presumably took such defects into account overcome buyers’ objections?
Because any decent broker would think about such questions, my point is that a price reduction shouldn’t be the first impulse when a property fails to find a buyer after too many months on the market.
Maybe the wall coverings need to be stripped off, more furniture should be removed or a fresh analysis of the competition be shared.
Chopping the price is always an option, and it’s essential if the place was priced wrong at the outset. But it isn’t necessarily the first option.
Tomorrow: Whose interests are best?
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Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022