In a down market, the listing agent is faced with the age-old real estate dilemma. How to list the home at market value? Even today, sellers can have unreasonable expectations about the value of their homes. And, of course, most real estate agents want every listing. After all, every listing has a sign and that is a valuable marketing tool for this property and others.
In today’s real estate market, every agent, every lender and every appraiser is obligated to perform in a professional manner. Agents should be prepared for listing meetings and they should be prepared with facts and figures to support market value appraisals.
Overpriced homes will not sell. It is a buyer’s market and buyers know what their value. A buyer with a letter of pre-qualification is a hot commodity. Overpriced properties will not appraise and will not qualify for today’s stringent lending programs. The best policy for the serious agent is to present the true value of the home to the seller.
This should lead to a frank discussion about marketing practices, the agent’s qualifications and experiences and an accurate portrayal of the services the agent will provide. This is an important part of every listing solicitation.
Every homeowner has an opinion of value of the residence. For many homeowners, this may be the biggest asset on their balance sheet. The home’s value is important. It is important that the agent have the correct value. If necessary, the agent should seek assistance in formulating the comparable analysis. Frankly, it should be an analysis similar to information the agent would present to an appraiser.
The homeowner may well seek another opinion. Another agent may come in with an inflated value. However, the homeowner will appreciate your integrity and will think twice about not listing with the reputable agent. Being candid and honest about value is the responsible action. If the homeowner rejects your fair market value appraisal, you can ask for another meeting and seek a commitment for that meeting or you can ask for the homeowner to meet with your manager who should support your analysis but whose presence will lend credibility to the process. Being honest and professional does not mean losing business. Uphold your integrity and sell your services.