Last week I attended a real estate agent training class. These are almost always a disappointment and this one was no exception. It’s no wonder that there are so many poor agents out there. The only reason I attend these is to stay in touch with what the traditional approach to real estate is.
In this class the subject of homes that don’t sell came up. The instructor’s handouts listed only 3 reasons a home might not sell:
- Lack of marketing
- Price is too high
- Terms are too restrictive
However, based upon the instructor’s class discussions you would think that price was the only reason on the list since everything always came down to price. He spent no time talking about items 1 or 3. When explaining why we needed to provide ongoing feedback to sellers he said “so you can have the pricing discussion with them.” And he encouraged us to feed lots of data to sellers so that we could get them to lower the price. And he told us how to have the pricing discussion with sellers.
Granted, pricing is a big issue. There are many homes on the market that are over-priced and 9 times out of 10 that’s the reason a home won’t sell. In theory, pricing should solve any problem. However, if an agent isn’t doing their job then replace the agent. Or if something needs to be fixed (I guess that would include an agent that’s not doing their job) then fix the problem.
The problem is that many Realtors tend to accept problems as givens when in reality they’re not always. For example, suppose the next door neighbor is raising chinchillas in their back yard. Well…you can report them to the city. Or if the front porch is falling down you probably should get that fixed since it’s going to create one heck of a first impression.
As long as the expected benefit from the improvement is going to exceed the cost you might as well deal with it. And you should deal with it before any buyers notice it. A good Realtor should be on the lookout for problems that are almost certainly going to come up upon further examination by a buyer.