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


Home Seller’s Regret – Two Types – Which Would You Prefer?

Y’know, it’s tough being a listing agent. No matter how good of a job you do, the margin for error is huge. If you sell the house too fast… you blew it on the price and “cost your seller money.” If the house takes too long to sell… well, we all know what happens then. We didn’t live up to our promises and we disappointed our seller.sold

I’ve decided that the best time for a house to sell is about two weeks after listing. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any way to make THAT happen with any regularity, but if I come up with something I’ll let you know.

Anyway, I just had a listing go under contract with multiple offers. Fortunately (for me), a good friend of mine had the same thing happen to him just a few days earlier and (unfortunately for him), his seller wasn’t prepared. She blasted him for underpricing her home and told him, rather snottily, that she had no intention of making any repairs at inspection.

So, Miss Smarty Pantz me, I warned my sellers up front about what I just named “Seller’s Regret.”

Here’s the thing. In today’s market, almost every seller will experience Seller’s Regret. But it’s their choice (sort of) which type of Seller’s Regret they’ll experience.

Type 1:  “Damn! We underpriced our home! We should have priced it higher! That darn Realtor – she cost us money!”

Type 2:  “Crap. I wish we’d listened to our Realtor upfront. We should have made the repairs, staged it right away and priced it lower. Now, five months later, our listing is stale, we’ve paid $9000 of interest-only mortgage and are fair game for low-ball offers, if we get any at all. Let’s look into renting it out (heavy sigh).”

If your seller is lucky enough to experience Type 1, he may never know the pain and angst of Type 2 and he may always wonder if he should have/could have priced it higher. My sellers admitted they had a twinge of doubt when the offers started coming in, but said that because we’d talked about it ahead of time, they felt pretty good about the outcome.

Whew. It's tough being a listing agent!



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Comment balloon 19 commentsJennifer Allan-Hagedorn • May 01 2008 09:44AM


Jennifer - I could not agree more on these points.  Well stated!  I think I may use this concept on my next listing appointment.  Good stuff - thanks for teaching me something today!
Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 12 years ago

Good morning Jeniffer,

It is difficult to cover all bases when doing a listing presentation. Fortunately for you, you learned of aan experience and conveyed the details to your seller. 

Posted by Harold "Hal" Place (A1 Connection Realty, Inc.) over 12 years ago

What's actually REALLY helpful to me in this situation is that I'm experiencing Seller's Regret Type 2 personally. I have two houses on the market that aren't moving and I wish with all my heart that I'd:

1) Staged

2) Repaired

3) Priced right 


So, it's easy to share those feelings with sellers since I'm going thru it, too. 

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago
I say its best to price it right and get offers right away in this market.
Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) over 12 years ago

good hit it right on the nail..this is exactly what happens....

Posted by Michael Shankman, Selling Las Vegas 702-498-3383 (Award Realty) over 12 years ago
This is a good post Jennifer.  I'm going to use it in my next listing appointment.  My husband and I went through #1 when we sold our first house - we had a full price offer on it the first day and we wondered the same thing.
Posted by Kelly McDonald over 12 years ago

As long as you went over the comparables with the seller and they were in agreement with where you were going to put it on the market at, I don't see where a seller would have a leg to stand on when saying that you priced it too low.  

That said, I have seen agents who were more interested in getting a quick sale (and therefore a commission check) than they were in serving the seller's interest.  I once bought a home because an agent had convinced the seller that his home was worth $30,000 less than it was.  When he argued with me about where to list the property at and mentioned the price that this "expert on the neighborhood" had told him, I told him that I would buy it at that price, which I did.  When we had it appraised it actually came in $5,000 more than I had told the guy!

I was left scratching my head over what that other agent was thinking????


Bob Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc. 

Posted by R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham, Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286) (Bank of England (NMLS#418481)) over 12 years ago
Multiple offers typically will drive the price up to fair market value anyway, even if it was priced "too low." Of course it was probably priced "just right!"
Posted by Kelly Sibilsky (Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD.) over 12 years ago
Oh Yes, after being hit with "Seller's Regret" a couple of times I present these possibilities to my Sellers when taking the listing. It still comes up from time to time and having already addressed the objection before it occurs it's much easier to handle by reminding them of our prior conversation.
Posted by Bob Edwards, Fox Cities Real Estate Hotline, SFR- Appleton, WI (Coldwell Banker- The Real Estate Group, Inc.) over 12 years ago

Even though there is so much to talk about in a listing presentation, I think this concept slides in easily when you're talking about pricing...

When I met with my sellers with the multiple offers, the first thing I asked was "Are you okay with this?" to get any angst they were feeling about the quick sale ON THE TABLE as soon as possible. I didn't want them sitting there stewing (they weren't, but I wanted to know for sure). They're really happy. 

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago
Jennifer, great post.  I love these kinds of posts.  I learn so much from them.  Not only the post, but the following comments and remarks.  Always so helpful.  Congrats on the multiple offers.
Posted by Bob Cumiskey, US Army Retired, Your Sun City Center, Florida ~ Realtor (A1 Connection Realty, Inc.) over 12 years ago
I've always felt that "30" is the magic number.   If we are involved in the sale of a home that has been on the market less than 30 days then we didn't price it correctly in the sellers opinion.  If the home goes over 30 days on the market then we've done something wrong in their opinion.  
Posted by Kris Wales, Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI (Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center) over 12 years ago

Kris - I agree about "30" being the magic number - I talk with my sellers about the "30-day sale" and that we need to price to sell in 30 days to avoid getting stale!

Bob - thank you - we're a smart bunch, eh? 

Posted by Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul) over 12 years ago

Jennifer- I think in this market sellers would love to have the type 1 regret vs. type 2! The challenge for me is getting the sellers to listen to the facts and figures. Too many sellers have a inflated opinion of their property vs. the competition on the market.



Posted by Scott Cowan (RE/MAX Professionals) over 12 years ago

Jennifer, good post and so true. I would still prefer to have the offer quick and go through the exercise with the seller that we did the right thing instead of having to figure out how to move a stale listing.


Posted by The Dave Ruwe Homes Team, Realtors (Re/Max Lakeshore) over 12 years ago


Good points about the seller regrets.  We hear about buyer regrets, but many times I think sellers have regrets too.  Unfortunately, most of the time it is the agent's fault.

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

It is tough to be a listing agent! We just closed on a listing today and thankfully, our sellers were pleased!

Posted by Donna Foerster, Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant (HomeSmart Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Definitely tough to be a listing agent!  I listed one last week for a seller for whom we purchased at the top of the FMV scale with the expectation that it would take a while to sell.  This particular house had been a tough sell when they chose it only 11 months ago.

Sold in one day at full-price!  Now I had to explain that we did NOT underprice the house, we simply had the right buyer at the right time at a price they could afford.  We still have to get through the appraisal which we also discussed as a potential issue when we chose the listing price.

On the same day the buyers were looking at this house, I was showing another one to my sellers.  We wrote an offer on that one that was also accepted and now we are working on concurrent closes.

My philosphy is that transactions come together exactly the way they are supposed to.

Posted by Sally Lawrence, Broker, CHS, e-Pro, SFR, REALTOR® (Advantage Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Jennifer, you make a great point about sellers either regretting that the home sold for less than it should have, or it didn't sell fast enough, and for a high enough price. In the case of the home selling fast, I would hope that multiple offers would at least bump up the list price a little due to the competition. In the case of a home taking too long to sell, it is typically because the seller did not listen to their realtor and make all the adjustments they needed to in order for the home to sell fast and get top dollar.

Posted by Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807, Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor (Good Company Real Estate over 6 years ago

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