Written by Jaymi Naciri
Selling a house today is like being on a reality show. And that show is called “Everyone’s An Expert.” Especially when it comes to the sales price. If you’re a REALTOR, don’t bother showing neighborhood comparables. The seller clearly knows what the price should be – based on what they owe, what they need to move up to their dream house, or what they simply think it’s worth. Never mind that their “must get” price is way out of the line for their house, their neighborhood, and the real estate market as a whole.
Perhaps there is a new idea for a realty show there, with a well-known name and a few special guest stars.
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to “The Price is Right”, the reality game show where we buy sellers’ homes, and all they have to do is give us a sales price that’s within three percent of the market value.
Seem too easy? Play along.
You’re the next contestant, and you’ve been called in to “sell” your home to the show. You’re nervous, but confident. Heck, you have the best home on the block. Your kitchen is killer, your landscaping pristine. You never got around to remodeling the bathrooms, and your basement is unfinished, but still.
So you walk into a room with the judges and you tell them all about your house—the great curb appeal and scenic drive up. The newly painted living room. The granite counters and farmhouse sink in the kitchen. Lookin’ good and feelin’ good, you’re uber-confident when you say. “I will sell my house for $230,000.”
The judges confer and look over the comps on their iPADs. Jennifer Lopez announces she has goosies. Kim Kardashian looks perplexed. Gordon Ramsay is wildly interjecting and cursing. Finally, “Dancing With The Stars” judge Bruno Tonioli interjects, “I’m sorry, the market value of your home is only $214,000, my darling. The Price is Wrong. But please do bring your gorrrrgeous self back next year.”
As you turn to leave, you hear Blake Shelton saying, “You know your house has a lot of good qualities and with a little more practice on pricing, you could run away with this thing…”
But you’re not really listening. You’re too busy thinking of your family waiting outside for the exciting news that you’ve sold your house. They trust you. They believe in you. They’re all packed.
They know you’ve got this. Those were your last words to them before the cameras rolled. But now you’re getting ready to head back down the hall, and The Bachelor is offering to “walk you out.”
You step outside and your family sees that you are not waving the sales contract. Ryan Seacrest sends you off with a, “Maybe you should have listened to your real estate agent, Buddy.”
Yes, maybe everyone should. After all, it’s the agent’s job to know the market and develop a pricing strategy to get their clients’ homes sold. They have no emotional connection to the home like a seller does, which gives them another advantage.
The reality is that there is no more important factor in the sale of a house than price. Even an ugly, old, never-updated house will sell if the price is right. Get it wrong, and you might be doing the walk of shame back home, where not even Carson Daly’s consolation can make it any better.