Have you ever heard the adage, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”? Home sellers would do well to keep this adage in mind when preparing to price their home to sell. What is key is to actually price it to SELL. I thought hard about this today as I finished showing my clients a few homes. After spotting a new listing that I realized was overpriced by a cool $80,000, I actually became a little concerned. I became concerned that this miseducation is part of the reason the real estate market has gone topsy-turvy.
An overpriced seller sends a message to buyers whether they realize it or not. The messages that a buyer leaves with are one or a few of the following:
- I am just testing the market and want to see if I can actually get this amount.
- I am underwater and need to sell at this amount so I do not have to complete a short sale.
- I am not educated on the market and therefore have no idea what I am asking.
- I am unreasonable and will probably be very difficult to work with.
Once a buyer believes that one or any mix of these messages are what the seller intends to convey, then a typical buyer will react in the following manner:
- I will not look at this home because it is too expensive for the current market. (This means the seller will have fewer showings as a result. Fewer showing men less exposure and less exposure means less offers.)
- I have looked at the home and even though it is nice, I do not want to make an offer because I am afraid the seller would be offended by my offer.
- I believe the seller is being unreasonable and will probably be too difficult to work with (See number 4 above).
- I will just go put an offer in on the same home down the street that is priced for the current market. (Mr. Seller your neighbor now thanks you for helping him sell his home).
Remember, much is said without actually using the exact words. When a homeowner means to convey a message that they want to sell and they want to strike a win-win deal, then they will price according to fair market value. Once that message is clearly conveyed, the buyers will pour in and there will be a sale that pleases everyone involved!