"Palos Verdes Resident since 1947"

Stale Listings

My clients lately have gotten my “Stale Listing” speech, which goes like this:  the market has been going bananas for about 18 months.  Whenever this happens, the idea seems to settle in that a seller can pretty much name his price and buyers will beat a path to his door.  There is no shortage of current examples.  If this isn’t a sure sign that the market is about to slow down, it certainly contributes to it.  Buyers look at the “comps” too.  When sellers go on the market at a price completely unsupported by the past sales, the house sits there.  The main beneficiaries are those sellers who have priced their house realistically — whose price looks like a deal by comparison.

banana staleThe problem for a stale listing is that the “Days on Market” shows up in the listing and you can’t get rid of it; so if you go out too high and it takes you 45 days to realize it and reduce the price, you are still going to show up has having been on the market for 45 days.  I know it comes as a shock, but not everyone out there is focused on your house, so many people will think you’ve been on the market at your new, lower price the whole time.  This is not good.  In the current environment, homes that have been for sale for that long tend not to be shown as often as newer listings.  I’m not going to give you the whole speech here, but I’m sure you get it.

You need to take your agent’s recommendation on asking price.  If you don’t trust your agent with this pretty crucial early decision, maybe he/she shouldn’t be your agent.  You’re going to have lots of decisions to make during your escrow, on which your agent should be able to guide you.  You need an agent who treats the sale like it was his own — who recommends the price he would go out at if it were his own house, and what he would do in the myriad potential situations that come up in escrow; you don’t need the agent who is trying to obtain your listing by flattering you with an unrealistic estimate, or get you to just agree to something not in your interest so the escrow closes and he gets paid.

The market decides what the house is worth, not you or your agent.  So if you trust your agent, go on the market at the price they recommend — don’t be adding $50-100K to their recommended price.  After 31 years in the business, I have a couple of marketing strategies that will insure that a) you get every dime possible, and b) you don’t get stale.  So call me 310 613-1076.  It’s free, and a lot cheaper than having your house become one of the stale listings.

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