From Listed to SOLD - How to Sell Those Listings You Work So Hard to Get!


No Wonder Houses Aren't Selling...

Okay, rumor has it that the real estate market is in a slump. Is it true? S'pose so, everyone says it is.

I've been previewing my little heart out here in Charming Old Denver, catching back up on the market since my return to the trenches. I gotta tell ya, if YOUR market is anything like MY market, I can see why buyers aren't buying.

The inventory is CRAP! I've looked at 25-35 houses in the last two weeks and of those 25-35 homes, I found 4 that I would actually consider showing a buyer. The others? Well, they're way overpriced (like up to $100,000 in a $350k - $450k range), and/or they show poorly and/or they're HARD to show.

Now, these properties aren't listed by "discount" brokers or otherwise unpopular types - they're listed by some of the biggest names in the area.

I'm dismayed and frustrated. I actually HAVE buyers that would like to buy something, but I have nothing to sell them. And I blame the listing agent community. It's our job to tell our sellers what they need to do to in order to sell their homes. I really want the listing agents in my area to do their job better so my buyers will fall in love!

Now I remember why working with buyers frustrated me. No, not because "buyers are liars" or because I hate being run all over town. I don't mind that. What I do mind, deeply, is the inability, even in a "buyer's market" to find enough decent listings to show my reasonably fussy buyers.

Okay, that's my rant for today.


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Comment balloon 56 commentsJennifer Allan-Hagedorn • February 14 2008 05:41PM


Yes I also see that same thing happening in our market. I see a lot of junk, but there are some great buys also. Thanks for the post Good luck

Posted by Richard Perkins (R PERKINS REALTY) over 12 years ago
the homes that you think are over priced.. just hang and wait .!!! they will come 2 u !!!
Posted by Brian Bender, Your 24 Hour Realtor (Perry Wellington Realty) over 12 years ago

Jennifer,  so true for my area too,  I have buyers that have sold their home ( we staged & priced it right ) that are renting because the inventory sucks & homes are still overpriced

We just got a call from a listing agent from a home they made an offer on 2 months ago that the sellers would not even counter! Sellers are now ready to accept.

So make those offers if not accepted the selllers may come back to you after a little time & over priced feedback

Posted by Karen Ann Martin, Realtor Fall River Westport MA Real Estate Agent (Safe Harbor Realty ) over 12 years ago

They may come down, but that's not the way it's supposed to be.  It should be priced right when it goes on the market.

Posted by Epcon Communities Epcon Columbia (Epcon Columbia, SC) over 12 years ago
I have to agree Jennifer.  The junk as i call it is priced at the same per square foot as th nice stuff.
Posted by John Walters, Licensed in Louisiana (Frank Rubi Real Estate) over 12 years ago
Very interesting.  We are in a unique position in that Michigan sellers are understanding they have to price low and suddenly they lower it sooo much that 3 offers come in on the same property and they are well priced.  To die for priced!  I'm not kidding.  Oh well, it just takes time.  Good luck!
Posted by asdf zcxv, Ann Arbor Area Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty) over 12 years ago
I feel your pain, Jennifer.  I usually work with sellers but lately have had a few buyers as well.  The amount of crap that is on the market right now is frustrating and often a waste of time.  Just take deep breaths and keep on keepin' on.
Posted by Amanda Evans, Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas (DFW Living) over 12 years ago
Honey - welcome back to our world. you ain't seen nothin' yet. diligence, patience grasshopper. you shall find your groove and the orange cruah will never be the same.
Posted by John MacArthur, Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes (Century 21 Redwood) over 12 years ago
Jennifer- That is why we are listing agents.:) Lots of listings! Send them our way..hee, hee, we have gorgeous great priced listings for sale! Katerina
Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) over 12 years ago
Well, I suppose it makes it much easier to be a listing agent when the competition obviously doesn't give a darn!
Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago

Same thing here Jennifer, agents who take these way overprice listings are just throwing their money away. I just saw one expire at $159,000.  It was 30,000 over the last sale!  Sellers are not going to be too happy with these agents.  That is a good way to get a bad name.

Posted by Delaware Junk Removal Residential And Commercial Hauling Clean Outs, Whole House Clean Outs, Basements, Garages, Attics (Delaware Junk Removal 302-530-9186) over 12 years ago

Buyers can still buy nice homes in College Station for reasonable prices.  Guess we are fortunate.  If the media would stop all their talk about how bad the market is, I don't think the market would be as bad.

Posted by Kay Perry (Kay Perry, Broker) over 12 years ago

Here's the thing... If we listing agents did our job, then houses would sell and the media would have to find something new to focus on. But this ridiculous overpricing and underpreparing is just making the problem so much worse!!!!!!!

I'm sure every market has agents who care more about having signs in the yard than closings on the books, but I will NEVER be one of them!

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago
Jennifer, Sounds like there is an opportunity there to take some good listings and do it right. Sellers in your new market need you. Go get 'em!!!
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 12 years ago


Is really bad to hear your area has Sellers not compiting with other they'll do to sale their home? We have a huge inventory here in Miami, up to + - 3 years. Before lisitng they have to understand that is mandatory to " prepare the house"' come'n





Posted by Maria Borci, P.A., TRC, REO - Doral Pinecrest FL Real Esta (Colfax Realty Group) over 12 years ago
I really like working with buyers too. Yeah, we have some junk ... also some nice ones. Have you tried pursuing the FSBOs? If I can't find anything in the MLS - I'll start beating the bushes.
Posted by Renee Busse, ABR,ePRO Dyer Co. TN Real Estate (Tennessee Realty) over 12 years ago
I am having the same problem;  no shortage of well qualified, wonderful buyers, but a shortage of decent inventory.  I suppose the only people on the market these days are short sales, foreclosures and people who must sell.  Everyone else is "waiting for the market to go back up" -- and I have heard that repeatedly. 
Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) over 12 years ago
I see fewer for sale signs up whether they are from the realty company or FSBOs. 
Posted by Latonia Parks, Certified Military Relocation Expert (Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV) over 12 years ago

Sellers and agents need to wake up. A house is a product and like any other product it needs to be priced and marketed properly.

The element that has been missing in real estate services is something called product development. Agents need to tell their clients the truth, properly advise them and stop taking overpriced, pie in the sky listings.

Posted by Susan Peters, The Better it Looks the Better it Sells (Dove Realty Inc.) over 12 years ago

You go girl! Tell 'em like it is! I agree. Most of the inventory is overpriced. And even when I tell them that we have 2.5 years of inventory, and that prices are still falling, and that they don't want to get stuck in the trap of "chasing the market" AND that all the buyers I've worked with have ONLY bought houses and condos that were priced well below the competition... they still want to price their home the same as everyone else in the neighborhood. I've already told them that if they really want to sell, they need to be priced well BELOW everyone else in the neighborhood, and be willing to negotiate. 

However, a couple of days ago, I read a post by Andrew Lenza that I believe would be a huge help in getting the inventory priced properly. He has the sellers sign a clause that he adds to the listing agreement that says...

"Sellers determined list price. Listing broker advised owners of the jeopardies of over-pricing."

I will definitely be using this clause from now on! It puts the responsibility back on the sellers!

Posted by Lisa Hill, Daytona Beach Real Estate (Florida Property Experts) over 12 years ago
I like that ieda Lisa let the sellers know where they stand, agents get beat up all the time about properties being overpriced, with this clause "Sellers determined list price. Listing broker advised owners of the jeopardies of over-pricing." sellers will think twice about overpricing.
Posted by Freddy Solis Bristow, Braemar Realtor (Carrington Real Estate Services) over 12 years ago
I have one listing right now that is over-priced, and that was how they said they wanted it.  I told them when they listed that if we didn't have enough showings after a month, they would drop the price.  Problem is, I didn't have them sign anything saying that.  They now refuse to lower the price, and it's a divorce sale o top of everything.  Argh!  Send me the buyers, please! My other listings are priced properly, and they sell.
Posted by Marlene Scheffer, Realtor to Kitsap County, WA (Realty Station) over 12 years ago
What would happen if every agent gave back their overpriced listing to the seller?  What would happen if agent refused to take an overpriced listing?  Wouldn't our housing market recover more quickly?
Posted by Dan Forbes over 12 years ago
WE have a total lack of inventory.  Good/bad/medium - doesn't matter.  I can show maybe 3-4 homes to any given client in a given price range with reasonable criteria. Some areas have more inventory and a lot of that is overpriced.  Something nice comes on in my immediate area - people are all over it. 
Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) over 12 years ago

Dan - I agree 100%. If the listing agents of the world would do their jobs properly, we'd be out of this mess. I was kinda feeling sorry for us as an industry, but not anymore. Now I"m just irritated!

Ruthmarie - I know what that's like - and it's not much more fun than the other extreme. Although it does give a nice energy to the market.

Marlene - Ah well. THEY need to sell more than YOU need to sell it (let's hope).

Freddy & Lisa - I haven't quite made up my mind about that overpricing clause... I have mixed emotions about it, at least in my market. I'm still stewing over it.

Susan - Agreed!!!

Latonia - Isn't it funny... It's supposed to be a Buyer's Market, but I just don't see it here either.

BB - Yeah - I'm trying to figure out that angle without making enemies with the real estate community.

Susan - Interesting dilemma. It's always something, isn't it?

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago
Sounds like a specific area where I gad combed for a client in Dallas. Fr us, it's more of the over-pricing. The area is very charming, with lots of restaurants and entertainment. And the Sellers think their house is made of gold.
Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) over 12 years ago

Jennifer,  I am also amazed at the prices of some of the homes out there. With the media hype, most sellers assume the buyer is going to try to "low-ball" them so they are overpricing to get what they feel they need for their home.  Out on tour this week I found 3 my clients would love, but they are over-priced.

Posted by Sandra Workman, BBA, Broker, CRS, GRI, ABR, SFR, CNE, ePRO, CNHS (Keller Williams Preferred Realty) over 12 years ago
There is always lots of junk and some gems in the pile.  That is what is fun about real estate.  Finding that great house, or finding the bargain.
Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ (Real Estate One) over 12 years ago
Wow. You haven't been out there long and already have buyers. Great job. An inspiration to us all.
Posted by Karl Burger, Pensacola Real Estate News (ERA Beach Ball Realty) over 12 years ago
Thanks for the note of cheer! Believe it or not, my "hottest" buyers came from Active Rain! Go figure!
Posted by Jennifer Allan (Jennifer Allan, Inc.) over 12 years ago
Jennifer -- I just clicked on your charming old Denver website. . .very nice! 
Posted by Lori Gilmore, Realtor - Will County Illinois (Baird & Warner Real Estate) over 12 years ago




Posted by Vanessa Plante-McDonald, MBA, REALTOR® - Cash Rebate to ALL My Buyers! (Bethel Equities, LLC) over 12 years ago
Thank Lori! I did it myself - and of course am tweaking it obsessively...
Posted by Jennifer Allan (Jennifer Allan, Inc.) over 12 years ago

For what ever reason sellers are really slow to on coming around, and taking the advice of there agent. However lately there is a glimmer of hope, it seems that some are starting to realize the impact of the economy recently, and they are lowering their list price to sell now. Because six months from now they potentially could receive 30k to 50k less than what they would get now.

Hope that you had a great Valentine's Day!

Posted by Rob Baldwin, REALTOR, Santa Clarita (US ECO-GREEN REAL ESTATE INC.) over 12 years ago



There is still too much money tied up in all these homes; banks  do not want to be landlords and do not know how to market property.

And of course, there will come a market time again when these crappy homes are worth every penny, and maybe (for the not-so-crappy ones) even a little more.


Posted by Obeoman Glade Jones ( over 12 years ago
We've had that same experience, agents are doing a disservice to their sellers if their home is listed and not ready to be on the market or significantly overpriced - both of which end up costing the sellers money in the long run.
Posted by Monica Bourgeau, Business Coaching over 12 years ago
Jennifer, so you are saying that listing agents are "wimps." I think I get the point. They need to be more direct and frank with their sellers and tell them what it takes to sell a house. Great post.
Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 12 years ago
I had the privledge of telling a client that his home that he bout almost 2 years ago is worth less than he paid for it.  That was an interesting conversation
Posted by Joe Adams (Major Mortgage USA/Branch Manager) over 12 years ago
Joe, we have people in homes five years that are less than they paid for it. They REALLY never understand that but prices have to settle as new neighborhoods are built out.
Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 12 years ago
Jennifer- You are probably right. I think listing agents are in a slump, the properties aren't mooving quickly and they have lost the edge. I am going to refocus after reading your post.
Posted by Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC & (Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC) over 12 years ago
Having been a Realtor, I remember feeling embarassed when all that was available to show were the "dog" listings! All I could do, was watch my poor buyers rush through the homes. It was such a no-brainer for me to become a stager, because I used to try hard to get my buyers to imagine how nice the home would be, if THEY lived in it and took care of it! Now, I actually get to physically change the homes from dogs to gems!
Posted by Elaine Manes Gage, Staging done ONLINE! (Home Staging Online Services) over 12 years ago
I agree whole heartedly. I just got done showing houses this morning. Three of the four were empty, but over priced. The fourth house was occupied by well minded renters. They turned the stereo on a nice station, turned the wood burning unit on and then retreaded to the back yard to stay out of our way. The problem? Stuff, stuff, more stuff - stuffed into every corner, cabinet, closet & doorway. My buyers just went away shaking their heads. And the buyers have to have a place soon. What am I going to do?
Posted by Dena Stevens Coriz, Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004 (Rocky Mountain Realty ) over 12 years ago
It used to be that it didn't matter...when we were experiencing a strong seller's market even the ugly or overpriced listings would sell. I guess it's hard for some sellers to get over that mindset. And some agents, too, apparently! What a shame.
Posted by Kelly Sibilsky (Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD.) over 12 years ago
So... this all raises the question. If everything is overpriced... are the houses really overpriced? If you can't buy a house for less - for what seems "reasonable," does this mean that the overpriced stuff is properly priced compared to the competition?
Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago
So true!  Great obeservation!  Most homes on the market are filthy, over priced, not prepped, and no real upgrades!!  Oh, and did I mention they are overpriced!!!!  No surprises here!
Posted by Jim Crawford, Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR (Maximum One Executive REALTORS®) over 12 years ago
Well, all I can say is this... if my market area is in a slump then bring it on.  I've been busier in February than any other Feb before and Jan, Feb are normally a dead time for the mountains.  I do tell buyers that we have some great homes in inventory right now but if you wait too long, we'll have to scrape the bottom of the barrel and it "ain't" going to be pretty.
Posted by Donna Yates, Blue Ridge Mountains (BHGRE - Metro Brokers) over 12 years ago
I was out yesterday visiting open houses and had a chance to chat with other open house visitors - everyone said the same thing - that the homes they're seeing are way overpriced. C'mon guys!!!!! There ARE buyers out there - let's give them something to buy!!!
Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago

Jennifer, I have seen the same thing, including a seller sitting in their pajamas on the couch during the showing.  Any your house isn't selling because....

Posted by Kim Peasley-Parker (AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc.) over 12 years ago

Jennifer, we've been seeing the same situation here as well.  Now we are entering a season where an increasing number of bargain REO's and Short-Sales are creating an even greater disparity with the homes in the over-priced tiers!


Posted by Alexander- Slocum, Realty Team- Vancouver WA Real Estate (Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington) over 12 years ago

I feel your pain. We have a very hot market here (Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada) right now. It's a GREAT time to be selling, but if you are buying it's going to take a while. We have so many people looking for homes, and nothing to show them. It's very frustrating when you spend so much time prospecting.....for homes! No longer are the days of prospecting for buyers. 

It's times like these that it becomes very important for you to be tech savvy and quick. It's important you get those listings emailed out to your clients as soon as they come on the market, and if they like what they see there....get them in the door. 

Posted by Luther Harrity - Saint John, Rothesay, Hampton, New Brunswick Real Esate (Royal LePage Atlantic/Harrity Real Estate Services) over 12 years ago
Do thet want a Condo I have some Very Nice Well Priced Listings, In The Golden Triangle, LoDo & LoHi
Posted by Jane Wallace, CRS | SRES, Denver Real Estate (HomeSmart Cherry Creek) over 12 years ago

Hey - we've got a Golden Triangle too. Nice.

Sellers in California are still living in the dream world where they think their homes are worth what they were on their best day 2 years ago.80% of our sales the past two months have been REO's. Until individual sellers start to deal with the reality of the current market, their homes will sit on the market. Only time will sell - and until then it's our fault, of course.

Don't wait to buy real estate - buy real estate and wait.

Posted by Gene Wunderlich, Realtor & Legislative Liaison (1st Action Real Estate) over 12 years ago

Working with both the buyers and sellers, I see both sides!  My listings have been and are selling because I am honest with my sellers about what the market is doing and we price accordingly.  Very refreshing!  They know that not only does the price have to look pretty, but so does the bathroom, kitchen, garage, etc.  For the most part, they are getting it!


Posted by Joy & Shane Goushaw (Sandals Realty) over 12 years ago
I'm glad to hear you're doing so well, Joy!
Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago

Jennifer check this out for your buyers MLS#623940

Also I think the high prices in Highlands and LoHi and poor quality is because they are buying for the land values to scrape (LOHi will be like Cherry Creek in a few years only Hipper)

Posted by Jane Wallace, CRS | SRES, Denver Real Estate (HomeSmart Cherry Creek) over 12 years ago
Your right...there are still a lot of unrealistic sellers out here in Denver
Posted by Summit Realty Group (Summit Realty Group- The Future of Real Estate Today!) over 12 years ago

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