Saturday, August 7, 2010

No! Your house is not as nice as Leann Rimes' house...

We recently had a listing appointment on a great house in a great neighborhood here in Nashville TN. The house itself is about 8 years old and the current owners have added a nice pool in the backyard. 

My team went over to the house, we did the walkthrough of the home with the wife, and then we discussed our marketing methods. She just LOVED us! She loved how we did things and seemed to be really impressed in general. As we sat down and started to go over the comparative market analysis of the home, she immediately said that they "have a specific number in mind". Yeah, so do we... Like any good agent would do, we did our homework. We looked up the house and compared the others around the area and came up with a rough price (before actually seeing the house).

We told her that we would call her the next day after we have looked at the numbers more in depth (after having seen the home in person). We really wanted to get this listing so we thought we could try and tweak the numbers just a little higher so they would be happy... after all, she insinuated a higher price. 

That night we got an email from her husband with some comparables of other homes in the area. This list was comprised of roughly 20 homes. His search criteria was 1) Homes with a pool 2) Ravenwood school district 

Here was the problem with the list;

1) Their home was the second cheapest on the list

2) There were 4 homes on the list that were in a neighborhood that has 24 hour gated security with security guards, an 18 hole golf course, a restaurant, should I go on?

3) Leann Rimes' $6.5 Million dollar home was on the list. Why? Because it fell under the search criteria!          a) pool b) school district. 

The next day we crunched numbers and dug really deep into the comparables in the area. We were still coming up with the same numbers. Finally, she text us and asked "What number did you come up with?". We shot over our HIGHEST number we could reasonably come up with and her response was "That is the lowest number we have seen". We asked if we could come back over and explain where we were coming from and why we came to that conclusion... We never heard back from her. Why? Because they chose the agent that told them what they wanted to hear. 

What are the two biggest things that can sell a home?

1) Price

2) Marketing

We have the marketing down! We can even make a home searchable on Google (for those that aren't using agents). What we didn't have was what they wanted to hear. 

We could have listed their home for DOUBLE the market value AND someone could have come along and wanted this house. A lender however will not lend ANY potential buyer a dime over what the appraiser says it is worth. Why even ask a professional for their opinion unless you are going to take it. Am I upset that we didn't get the listing? No. I don't like my homes sitting on the market for months at a time. I like to sell quickly. Look, I didn't set the value of your home... The market did. 

For future home sellers that will be doing interviews with agents: Realtors are professionals. They know their neighborhoods and have the ability to assess a homes value within a short amount of time. Most agents can get within $5,000 of what a professional appraisal would come in at. Don't blame the agent...Blame the market


Stephen Strickhausen



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