Anatomy of a Listing

I have to say, I really love having listings. This year especially, but it’s always a challenging and interesting thing to do. Creating the marketing and setting the stage for a home’s run on the market is a great experience and it can’t be understated that preparation is a HUGE part of successfully selling a home. Not taking sufficient time to prepare hurts any sellers opportunity to get top dollar.

Having said that, and accepting that the place is on the market, the experience with buyers and agents is really engaging and fascinating. Not too long ago I listed a house in San Carlos and I had over 200 people through the first weekend’s open houses. I ended up handing out 16 disclosures and ultimately got 4 offers. During the course of the week, I received various calls from agents and buyers. Most of the agent questions were about determining how much interest there was going to be at offer time. The house was listed for $1,149,000 and many folks want to get an idea of how much they’ll need to offer…and most folks assume they’ll need to offer more than asking. Once a certain number of disclosures are out you can get a pretty good idea of where it’ll sell. Plenty of buyers won’t want to swim in those deep waters and they’ll step aside. That’s undoubtedly what happened here. When they hear more than 10 disclosures are out that’s a pretty good sign that it’s going well over asking. Folks bow out.

What’s amusing is the questions I get that run counter to this thinking.

“How many disclosures are out at this point?” They ask.

“9 (or 10, or 11..whatever)” I say.

” Do you think the seller will take $1,089,00?” He asks.

“I doubt it, but feel free to write an offer if you want” I say. I do that because I don’t want to discourage participation. Secondly agents will call again to see how many actual offers there are and it doesn’t hurt my feelings if I have a couple of frivolous offers. It just ads to the total I tell to the serious buyers. (Seriously, don’t write frivolous offers…you only end up driving the price up).

The other fun calls I get go this way:

” I saw your listing at the open house and I would like to write an offer. I don’t have an agent, so I’d like to work with you”.

Interesting, huh? This usually comes from a buyer who doesn’t understand the value of relationships and thinks they can work me to their advantage. I did this about 15 years ago or more. I didn’t like the fact that nobody ended up liking me. Other agents got mad at me too thinking I had an unfair advantage. I won’t act as a dual agent on one of my listings. What I do is refer it to a colleague. The colleague typically informs me that the buyer wants a kick back to work with them. If they don’t get it from my colleague they move on to Redfin and then they still don’t get the house because their offer stinks. By the way, the house went over $150,000 over asking.

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