One of my goals with the blog is to be able to write about topics that help real people make real decisions. In doing so, this can ruffle feathers on occasion but I’m hopeful that putting real information out there will help sellers in the future.
Today I had a phone call from a past seller in the Houston area. She had cancelled her listing with our firm in early June b/c she had been convinced by a friend of hers that she had to use a traditional full service Realtor to sell her home. At that time, our seller did not have much traffic on her property and she believed the sales pitch from her “friend”. What was that sales pitch? Her friend informed her that she wasn’t getting traffic b/c it was listed through a flat fee brokerage and that her full service firm could sell the home, etc…
So why did the seller call me today? She was kind enough to let us know that her friend couldn’t sell the home and was interested in re-listing the property with our firm. So what happened? The other Realtor secured the listing and priced the property at the same price she had it listed with our firm. 2 weeks went by and the Realtor pressured the seller to drop the price… 2 more weeks went by and… you see where this is going… The Realtor(R) took the listing that she knew was overpriced and knew that was the reason it wasn’t getting action… but did so with the intent of slowly but surely forcing the seller the to drop the price. To the seller’s credit, she figured it out and called her friend/Realtor out on it….
So how often does this happen? All of the time unfortunately. B/c of this phone call today, I went back and tracked our recent Houston cancellations over the last 5 months. What I was looking for was simple… If a seller cancelled with Congress Realty, did they re list it with a traditional Realtor? And if so, did they list it at the same price they had it listed at with Congress Realty… From there. Who sold their homes and at what price? Pretty simple stuff right? If I am to believe the traditional Realtor sales pitch, then we should be able to find some examples of cancelled Congress Realty listings that eventually sold with traditional Realtors. Again, pretty simple stuff and easy to track b/c of the MLS data being available to all members.
We have the parameters… so let’s look at the data. How many cancelled listings in the last 5 months in the Houston area did Congress Realty have? 6 total. Of these, how many listed with traditional Realtors? 5 of the 6. How many are either under contract or sold? 1 out of these 5 that were re-listed.
So 1 out of the 5 sold with a traditional Realtor… but here’s the catch… That 1 property that sold… the seller dropped the price according to the MLS by over $65,000 in order to sell it.
Where am I going with this…. The MLS is the MLS. A traditional Realtor rarely gives a seller a better chance of selling. Price and location are what matters. The data supports this. Don’t get tricked by friends and other Realtors(R) into believing they have a magic way to sell your home. They don’t. The data proves this.
Would this hold true in other markets? Over the next few weeks I will post a similar comparison in other markets like Phoenix and Las Vegas.