I think REALTORS have got it… “it” being the connection between current market trends and the need to set reasonable expectations.  The REALTOR seems to know that they are in for the long haul when taking a listing.  I am not sure that brokers and educators are doing a good job of equipping the REALTOR with what they need, to set the seller’s expectations.  Knowing the connection and relaying it to the consumer are two different skill sets.

My wife is a REALTOR and recently she has prepared two market analysis for indvidiuals wanting to sell for lifestyle upgrades.  It’s interesting to me that these sellers haven’t “gotten the memo”.  It’s a buyer’s market.  In the county where we live, in December there were 399 homes for sale and only seven went under contract.  In this same county these folks are asking to get substantially more for their homes than ANYTHING that has sold in the past year. 

I have recently gotten information from a Zillow.com survey that was done.  What was reported in the Real Estate Intelligence Report was of great interest to me.  Zillow reported that 77 percent of Americans do not believe that the value of their home has declined.  34 percent advised that they were going to try and sell their home….this year. 

Wow!  Someone really hasn’t been listening.  For a generation of REALTORS, we’ve been saying that it’s location, location, location; but isn’t that just if there are actually buyers looking?  I think it’s important to remind the seller that it’s price, price, price.  It doesn’t matter where you’re home is located in this current market if it’s overpriced, not compared to the appraisal the received a year ago, but in comparision to the other competition.  Let’s not forget, that even if it is priced well, the chance that a buyer is going offer full price is pretty slim in a lot of cases.

I’m sure that it’s not everywhere, but in plannig district 16 it’s a tough market.  It’s time that we frankly tell your seller just that.  Setting a reasonable level of expectation will help you and the seller sell the home.  It’s the REALTOR’s obligation to sell the home – not simply generate more listings.  I recently spoke to a listing agent complaining that her clients were calling her almost daily upset that there had been no activity on the house.  When I asked about the price point, she replied that it’s very overpriced and was when she took the listing.  She simply took it, so that she could get a sign up to generate more listings.

I have to ask… is the pain and suffering of dealing with a unreasonable seller, in a home that has no chance of selling worth the “free” marketing that you can get.  I would think a busness analysis would probably not relfect that ideology.

A marketing strategy employed by some other practitioners has been to find out who else the seller is interviewing and show the seller the “success rate” of that other agent jockeying for the listing.  If you are an agent who takes every listing, it’ll be pretty easy for these “success rate” agents to show the seller that you’ve failed in selling the listing more than you’ve succeeded. 

Whereas there may be many barriers to agents giving the sellers the hard facts about what’s going on, it’s still your ethical duty to let them know if they are off target.  It’ll save both you and them a lot of headaches in the long run.  As a buisness decision, every REALTOR should know their walk-away point.  You should be able to articulate to the seller why you can help them, and why as a professional you have to give them the tough news.