What is Your Real Estate Agent's Modus Operandi?
I pride myself in knowing the Franklin TN real estate market very well. I preview lots of homes and produce monthly market reports for many of the Franklin TN neighborhoods. As a result, when a new house comes on the market, I instinctively know whether it is priced right. After all, I look at the numbers very closely every month.
Imagine my surprise, when I saw a new listing come on the market priced about $150,000 higher than the most recent comparable sales for this neighborhood. To top it off, within two weeks an additional listing came on the market similarly priced. I was astounded.
In an effort to give the agents the benefit of the doubt, I decided to preview both these listings. I was absolutely shocked at what I saw.
Both homes were built in the late '70's. One of the homes had remodeled the kitchen but the rest of the house had all the original baths, as well as, a very '70's looking rec room in the basement. The entire house was dark and dated.
The second home had original everything from the '70's. There was a terrible odor that almost knocked me over when I entered the front door. I believe it was the smell of cats even though I never actually saw one in the home. The house was a mess; it was dated, cluttered and dirty. I didn't even venture into the basement for fear of what I might find.
These homes were priced in the mid to high $400K. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
As I walked through these homes, I kept saying the same thing over and over again,
"I blame the real estate agents."
That's right. In both cases, the agents were to blame for the price and condition.
When a seller gets ready to list his house, he seeks the counsel of a real estate agent to guide him to the appropriate price and condition of his home. These agents should be using the most recent comparable sales and what's actively listed to price a home. Additionally, they should also be previewing listings in the immediate area to see how a home will compare. If an agent has done all of this, then he is adequately prepared to give a pricing and condition recommendation.
It was apparent to me that neither agents took the time to do these things. If they had, they would not have priced the homes the way they did.
The only conclusion I could come to--the agents didn't care if the homes were priced right. They agreed to the seller's price even though they knew the home wouldn't sell, just to get the listing. With the hope of getting the sellers to drop the price later to sell.
Upon further investigation, I found this to be true of at least one of the agents. Her modus operandi is to take over-priced listings and drop the price until the homes finally sell. Usually, at tens of thousands of dollars less than originally listed.
Unfortunately, in most cases, this causes the homes to sell for less than if they had been appropriately priced from the beginning.
In my opinion, the agents took the listings to satisfy their own needs not the needs of the sellers they work for. It is exactly these types of agents who give all real estate agents a bad name.
One agent even admitted it to me in a reply to my feedback that she knew the price was too high and the condition was terrible. She was going to use my feedback to try and get the seller to reduce his price. The other agent did end up using my feedback and hit the seller up for his first price reduction--a whopping $25,000. Unfortunately, not low enough to actually get this home sold.
What is your real estate agent's modus operandi? Did he agree to your price just to get your listing? Did he help you prepare your home to be in the best condition for the competition?
If you are looking for a Franklin TN real estate agent who will do both for you, contact Tammie White of Franklin Homes Realty LLC at (615) 495-0752. The most important thing a seller can do is choose an agent who will honestly advise them about pricing and preparing their home for sale.
Don't wait until someone asks you, what is your real estate agent's modus operandi?