I’ve interviewed several agents to list my home. One of them says he can sell my home for significantly more money than any of the others. Why wouldn't I just list with him?
Allow me to preface my comments by saying that determining a list price for a house is a subjective task. Different people can look at the same data and legitimately come up with different assessments of market value, especially if the property is unique.
Having said that however, if the house is in a subdivision populated with other homes of similar size and floor plans, accurate pricing becomes a much easier exercise. And aside from possibly the physical condition of your house, your asking price is the most important factor you control in determining whether or not your property will sell.
The unfortunate truth is that some real estate professionals are willing to do what’s called “buying a listing” in order to get hired by the seller. This means that the agent probably knows that the price he’s selling you on is too high to bring in any legitimate offers, but he’s willing to let your house sit for awhile if it means that he gets your listing. Once he has the listing secured, he can work on convincing you to lower the price when the inflated price fails to produce showings.
Why would a Realtor do something like this? The answer is actually simple. Among the best sources of buyer leads are existing listings the agent can advertise with yard signs, in publications and online. The buyers call in on your house and become potential buyers for the agent. If your house is overpriced, he can sell them another house priced to sell.
The bottom line is when a listing price sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Just as you are justified in asking your listing agent to support what seems to you to be a low price with comparables and absorption rates, you should also require the same kind of proof when the agent says he can bring you more than anyone else.
We all want to get as much as we can when we sell our homes, but National Association of Realtor statistics clearly show that the average seller of an overpriced listing, actually nets much less for their home than those who price aggressively on the front end. Use common sense and look at your house alongside the competition as if you were a buyer. If there’s another house that offers more value for the money than yours, potential purchasers will choose that property before yours.