Active Rain June 30, 2009

Why Lower the Price?

Jennifer Allan has written a blog post entitled Any Idiot Can Give Their House Away…If Price is All that Matters – What do they need us for?   Her point is that price alone isn’t the only thing we can do to get a listing sold, which is true enough, but it has inspired me to list a few things that some unrealistic sellers feel will sell their home instead of addressing the price.  I call these real estate marketing myths, and sellers who put stock in them are in for a long wait.


  1. The house will sell if you buy an expensive print display ad in the weekend real estate section or supermarket homes magazine. Because, as we all know, people who are looking for homes don’t sit at a computer and search, they buy homes with their eggs, butter and milk.  
  2. Run an ad in the Eskimo newspaper. Sometimes a seller will notice a martian or Venusian at the supermarket and decide that they are the next wave. They are under the impression that Eskimos, Visigoths, or elves don’t look for houses like the rest of humanity does; their only source of information is the weekly newspaper published in another language.
  3. The 6-week old photo is the reason people are repelled. The photo you took in April with all the leaves in the trees is awful and outdated. We all know the only reason people buy houses is because of the peonies. 
  4. People don’t buy the home for their reasons, just for ours. Just to prove that, we’ll pester the people who really dig our back yard with useless prattle about our close proximity to the highway, not caring that they don’t need a commuter location but do want a quiet back yard far from noise.
  5. How can you sell my house if you don’t get feedback? If you don’t get me feedback by 5pm on a 3pm showing you aren’t doing your job.
  6. We need better brochures. And a 3-ring binder with 40 pages of data on the town, because anyone already in our kitchen has not done any research about our town or school system. 
  7. Sell Sell Sell! How can people decide that the place feels like home if you aren’t pounding them with data about our gutter guards, curtain drain and dry well? 
  8. We don’t need to pay a competitive commission. An agent with a buyer isn’t in the driver’s seat in a buyer’s market, he or she should just be happy to make something and not nothing.
  9. Nothing sells like top-quality formica. Granite causes cancer. Asbestos is only bad if you eat it. The 2003 bathroom vanity qualifies as a complete update. People can do whatever they wish to address the water in the basement once they buy the house. The zoysia grass  that is green 3 months out of the year is a selling point. 
  10. We don’t need to lower the price, people can just make an offer. And who cares that if the house is priced at $509,900, and that the people who are searching up to $500,000 don’t know we exist?           

Price isn’t everything. In the mind of consumers, especially in this market, it is everything. Obviously, we have to tidy up, stage, take good photos, write good marketing material, and do anything and everything to get the home sold.  That said, there is nothing-absolutely nothing- that the best agent on the planet can do if the home is not priced competitively except hope and pray for dumb luck. 

Read my short sale bog here. See the New York Photo blog hereSend J. Philip Your New York Referral!