How to Lose a Listing in One Easy Step

The Vail Valley is a quirky real estate market to say the least.  Sellers don’t want to believe the market has dropped as far as it has.  Our peak was so high that the valley was bound to be very deep.  We are seeing prices dropping back to the same range we saw in the early 2000’s.  So most anyone who bought real estate in the Vail Valley since 2002 will be selling below what they purchased their property for.

Now the hard part.  What do you tell sellers looking for a real estate broker to represent them when selling their property?  You certainly want to get the listing.  That’s how we make our living.  But you also don’t want a listing that will sit for a year or two without selling, causing the broker to spend money on marketing and the owner to lay awake at night wondering why their property isn’t selling.

Quite frankly, this market is mostly if not all about pricing.  Buyers either want the exact property they are searching for or a screaming deal.

Some brokers will tell sellers anything to get the listing then figure they will hang on to it until the seller gets tired of the property and finally lowers the price to get it sold.  Other brokers will “guarantee” a sale if they get the listing based on their marketing or their company’s history in the Valley.

Honestly, there is no “silver bullet” that gets a property sold, except maybe pricing it below the competition.  Most sellers don’t want to hear that but brokers all market properties in roughly the same manner and, the truth is, that another broker will bring the buyer 95% of the time.

I believe that the brutal truth is the best policy.  I work hard to stay on top of my local market and have a pretty good idea what price it will take to sell a property.  I also believe I work harder than 95% of the brokers in the Valley and communicate with my clients on a weekly basis keeping them in the loop if the market changes.  But being honest has cost me listings.  Ultimately, I watch listings I’ve lost finally drop their price to what I originally recommended, but after months and months of trying to get it sold, increasing the cost to the owner.

Maybe I should reconsider my strategy for getting new listings.  No……….I want to be able to sleep at night, even if in the short-term it costs me money.


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