November 24, 2015 11:52 am at 11:52 am #1103807
So, I’m about to sell my first house. It’s not the greatest house, but I did just put in a brand new kitchen new carpet, new windows, new electric, new water line, some hardwood flooring and the bathroom is only a year old. It’s not in the greatest neighborhood, but it’s on a nice quiet, clean street. It’s a small house that will probably sell for less than $100k. The upstairs needs a little work but the downstairs is pretty fabulous, IMO.
Anyway, I’ve been shopping around for real estate agents, and so far they’ve been, let’s say, less than enthusiastic. When you’re trying to pick an agent, should the agent be talking you down on your expectations or convincing you that your house is awesome? I would think that if the agent can’t convince me that my own house is a great buy then how is he going to convince any buyers that it’s “a steal?” So far, I haven’t signed with any agents because none of them seemed impressed with all the work I’ve done to the house.
So, what’s going on here. Is it because I’ve already moved into my new place and the potential commission is just too low? Or is it it pretty normal for agents to be sober and conservative when talking to sellers?November 24, 2015 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm #1103815
If you really want an aggressive agent, then just list the house as a FSBO. I guarantee the first 20 calls you get will be from hard-selling agents who want to sell your house. Just pick the one you like best.November 24, 2015 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm #1103825
An agent is also a “third party” with no emotional investment in the home. It may be that your blood, sweat and tears on the updates and renovations may have skewed your objective assessment of the home. You are the only person evaluating what the home has become, everyone else is evaluating what the home is. You should be grateful if the agents are giving an honest assessment of the home and its selling potential. Upselling your house to you, just to get the listing, would be a disservice to everyone involved. Obviously a higher priced home would be more attractive to an agent, but I would imagine that there are plenty of agents that round out their portfolio with less expensive homes. I agree with Ned23 that you could try listing for sale by owner just to test the waters or to see if agents contact you to offer to list. I would also suggest looking up agents who currently have listings in your neighborhood at the same price point, if you haven’t already. Lastly, if you want an honest assessment of your home, either throw your own open house, or if you find an agent, try to convince them to let you be anonymously present for it. You have to have a lot of fortitude to quietly observe as people assess your home, but if you want an honest evaluation of your product, put the buyers in there and listen to what they have to say.November 24, 2015 4:02 pm at 4:02 pm #1103911
Carpet in the kitchen is usually a mistake for resale. You may have other issues that make the house difficult to sell, hence the lukewarm response by real estate agents.November 24, 2015 5:40 pm at 5:40 pm #1103951
Here is what you need to keep in mind regarding real estate agents. The common notion, fostered by real estate agents themselves, is that they are skilled professionals in the markets who, using any number of sophisticated analytical tools, can determine what your house is worth on the market and what you can get for it. But the fact of the matter is that these real estate agents are simply the equivalent of used car salesmen. That is, they are are in the business of getting someone to buy a property that someone else has owned and used at the best price that they can. Any used car lot manager knows what he has put into the car and what he wants to sell it for to make a profit, and if his salesman says to him that this particular item is worth much less than what the manager wants from it and that he(the salesman) will refuse to ask any where near that, then that salesman will have to find another job. (New build real estate salesmen are, accordingly, the equivalent of new car salesmen.) Yes, carpet in a kitchen may well be a turnoff. But if a salesman cannot overcome that neither you nor I needs to employ him/her.November 24, 2015 6:07 pm at 6:07 pm #1103953
When I was buying a house I expected the agent to have great leads and show me great houses, but really they didn’t. I ended up finding my own house and the agent got paid a lot for doing the paperwork.November 24, 2015 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm #1103967
I don’t think there’s carpet in the kitchen, I just think there’s a missing comma.
just put in a brand new kitchen, new carpet, new windows, new electric, new water line, some hardwood flooring, and the bathroom is only a year old.
FIXED. Also added the oxford comma because it’s how I roll.November 25, 2015 9:47 am at 9:47 am #1104053
There is no carpet in the kitchen. It’s a new ceramic tile floor. I’m kinda bummed that I’m not going to get any reward for all the effort. I’ve had the house for 15 years and spent over $30,000 in improvements on it, and it looks like I’ll get about the same price I paid for it when I sell now. I don’t know why people even bother.November 25, 2015 9:57 am at 9:57 am #1104060
Here is what you need to keep in mind regarding real estate agents. The common notion, fostered by real estate agents themselves, is that they are skilled professionals in the markets who, using any number of sophisticated analytical tools, can determine what your house is worth on the market and what you can get for it. But the fact of the matter is that these real estate agents are simply the equivalent of used car salesmen. That is, they are are in the business of getting someone to buy a property that someone else has owned and used at the best price that they can. Any used car lot manager knows what he has put into the car and what he wants to sell it for to make a profit, and if his salesman says to him that this particular item is worth much less than what the manager wants from it and that he(the salesman) will refuse to ask any where near that, then that salesman will have to find another job. (New build real estate salesmen are, accordingly, the equivalent of new car salesmen.) Yes, carpet in a kitchen may well be a turnoff. But if a salesman cannot overcome that neither you nor I needs to employ him/her.
Damn straight. Everyone selling a house should read the chapter on real estate agents in the first Freakonomics book. Basically, the interests of the sellers and their so-called agents do not align. Say an agent knows a house could sell almost immediately for $100k or could sell in 1-2 months for $110k. The extra ten grand means a lot to the seller, but at a 5% commission rate, the agent will only get an extra $500 for the higher price. What agent is going to put in all that extra work for a measly $500? The book goes on to explain that real estate agents always sell their own homes for more than their clients.
So trust your real estate agent about as far as you can throw him.November 25, 2015 10:45 am at 10:45 am #1104087
Strange how things can work out, I sold a house listed at $195K and accepted a bid for $220K. Then I bid $80K on this place and paid $77K.
I’m putting money into it, like attic insulation (was none) and a water heater, roof work, etc. I’m gambling that this neighborhood (Lincoln Village) is on the rise.November 25, 2015 11:24 am at 11:24 am #1104098
While I think it is highly beneficial to educate yourself on the selling/buying process and what the comparable homes are instead of putting it all in the hands of the agent, I would disagree that most agents would try to artificially deflate a home value for a quick sell, even on a lower priced property. Remember that it is the seller who ultimately determines the price and not the agent, so no matter what they advise you, you can set the price at whatever you want to sell it for. (That’s not to say that the agent is going to stick around if you try to sell a $100k house for $200k.) What I’ve seen more often is that the seller prices a house too high (often against the agent’s advice) resulting in a negative perception by buyers and agents. Overpriced homes that are on the market for too long get stale. Constantly reducing the price by small increments over time also puts a negative perception on the property and/or the seller (is greedy, has unrealistic expectations, must be trying to pull a fast one, will be difficult to negotiate with, etc.) In the $100k example above, I don’t think the market is sensitive enough to turn on a 10% price differential in a month or two. If it is not worth $110k this month, it’s probably not going to be worth $110k in two months. My experience as a home buyer and as an avid observer of home values and sales in my neighborhood has been that fresh properties priced right sell and they sell fast. Those that may have been underpriced (at least in my neighborhood) actually sell over list price due to competing bids. Once a home is on the market for a month or two, many of the folks who looked at it when it was just listed don’t come back for a second look when the price is dropped by a marginal amount. It is also typically in the interest of the seller to sell quickly in order to minimize carrying costs and to realize any tangible profit from the sale as soon as possible (time cost of money). The crux of a market-demand economy is that something will only sell for what it is worth, and that worth doesn’t typically increase by 10% in two months’ time. Even though you ultimately determine at what price to sell, I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss an agent’s advice.November 25, 2015 11:43 am at 11:43 am #1104108
The Fed is just about to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. Unfortunately, at this point it’s too late in the year to put your house on the market. The higher interest rates could have conflicting effects on house sales. You may see some sellers moving to lower priced homes, but at the bottom end of the market it could price some people back out of the market.
The problem in this day and age is that there is not the same sense of ownership pride in a home as their used to be. Young home buyers are extremely particular. They’re perfectly willing to remain in a nice rental property near their favorite Chipotle if they can’t get the dream house they want in the good school district or the hip neighborhood. And there is so much nice rental property. They days of middle class families living in small, frugal homes really seems kind of over.
I’d say take what you can get for the house and consider yourself ahead for all the rent you didn’t have to pay.November 25, 2015 11:55 am at 11:55 am #1104110
Stereotypes are just that, there’s plenty of honest realtors who will work hard to get you top dollar.
I’d recommend Alex Macke with Carriage Trade.November 25, 2015 11:58 am at 11:58 am #1104111
[quotr]’d say take what you can get for the house and consider yourself ahead for all the rent you didn’t have to pay. [/quote]
Yes, I considered renting for a year while house-shopping, but I would have evaporated at least $12K, probably more.November 25, 2015 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm #1104113
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