A key characteristic of a good real estate agent is raw honesty. I have a duty to tell my clients the Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth, no matter the pain or tears which ensue. So, in this market that often means a heart to heart discussion with some frank news to follow…
So here’s a true story about a home worth more $ to the owners than the buyers who bought it. Any agent worth their salt tell this story in first person backwards & forwards.
Setting: The North Shore
A very nice home on the North Shore, built about 2005/06 had been owned by a couple for exactly one year when they decided to sell. Upon meeting with them in the Spring of 2011, I learned that they hoped to sell for 15% more than they paid a year ago. Wow. Really? In a continuing declining market since 2006…hmmm. I explained there was no chance of that unless a significant remodel had been done which added quite a bit of value to the home.
Naturally they were not delighted to hear the news that they should list their home for 10% less than they paid for it the prior year, if they really wanted to sell quickly and move out of state, as they had already spotted the next home they wanted to buy.
Naturally I was disappointed I did not win their business, but not at all disappointed that they found another agent who was delighted to tell them what they wanted to hear…and that agent took their overpriced listing. And the home sat, and sat, and sat on the market, costing them money every month.
Nine months later the home has finally sold …. for what I might ask? For 10 PERCENT LESS than they paid for it in 2011 and 20% less than the price the agent promised them. That agents stats are well, let’s just say not on the charts.
Their out of pocket costs included approximately $20,000 in real estate taxes alone and 9 months of mortage payments ! Ouch…
It’s a tough market for sellers and the message is not likely good news – so beware the agent who tells you what you want to hear as you will pay the price for their misguidance or their inexperience. As my attorney friend Sam says, There is no substitute for experience.