I would Love some feedback and/or input from Realtors(R)

As a Professional Home Stager, I find that I can only do so much for my clients to help them sell their home. I do very well at tranforming their home into a neutral, but welcoming and cozy property that should attract maximum attention from buyers. I am also quite talented when it comes to educating the client on what the buyer NEEDS to see in a prospective new home. I also end up providing them with beautiful photographs showcasing their home in the best light possible, and encourage them to use those photos in all of their marketing materials.

All in all, I feel that I end up going above and beyond for each and every one of my clients.

The hiccup I run into is the whole "pricing" issue. I am not a licensed Realtor(R), therefore, I am not technically qualified to dole out any advice in this area. But, it saddens me so much to see that the seller is in possession of a beautiful, appealing property that should sell very quickly, provided the price is right. Yet, they have insisted on ignoring their Realtor's(R) suggestions and the actual appraisal.

I have had a few clients now who have me in to provide them with my services, and then go on to over-price their home by quite a big chunk. And, because I become emotionally invested in how successful their sale is, I end up watching the activity on the sale process. It is quite disheartening to see it listed way above market-value, or so much more than the market will bear.

This is a tough situation because everyone loses. You, the Realtor(R) ends up doing large amounts of ground-work for them, I have gone in and put love and labour into the property. And, the seller sits, seemingly not understanding why their property is not selling.

I suppose I am throwing this out there to see if anyone has some tips, advice, feedback, or words of caution regarding this situation when I encounter it. I would love to construct an effective, powerful, coercive statement to offer to my clients at these times so that everyone benefits in the end. But, I also do not want to overstep my bounds in my area of expertise and Certification.

Thank you in advance for all of your help!

Rhonda Wilson - CCSPTM
Owner/Operator of
Revealing Assets
Home Staging and Decluttering Services
http://www.RevealingAssets.ca
RevealingAssets@shaw.ca
780-913-5589 
We transform properties into highly
sought-after products that sell in half
the time and for 7-10% more money.
Through personal experience, extensive
research and training, and a compassionate
approach, we De-clutter living/work spaces for
up-lifting and positive life changes.

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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Comment balloon 15 commentsRhonda Wilson • January 09 2010 10:52PM

Comments

Rhonda, I don't know the answer.  Personally I think it is best to RUN from overpriced listings.  I took them as a young agent but by the time the price was down where it needed to be the listing would expire and the next agent would sell it because it was now priced where it needed to be. 

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 9 years ago

Overpricing is a big problem that we all face at one time or another. I imagine when the home is all cleaned up and beautifully staged the homeowner may think it's actually worth more than was originally thought. Pricing is one of the most difficult aspects of a realtor's job.

Posted by Margo Currie (Exit 1 Stop Realty) almost 9 years ago

There is nothing you can do if a seller chooses to overprice their home.
Like you said, you would be over-stepping if you offered an opinion on it.  Most listing agents know when a listing is overpriced...it's their choice to agree to it or not. There might be behind the scenes agreements in place that call for periodic price reductions if the activity on the house is low. My advice is to help them the best you can with the staging. It's often needed in a BIG way!

Posted by Lisa Schmitt (Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell) almost 9 years ago

Rhonda, the only thing you can do when it comes to pricing is to always refer back to the REALTOR.

Pricing has always been and issue and will always be for some. Some agents will take almost any listing at any price then end up spinning their wheels and those of the sellers. It takes a competent and strong agent (imho) to get it right from the beginning and not being afraid to pass on a listing at times.

Posted by Lynda Eisenmann, Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co (Preferred Home Brokers) almost 9 years ago

You sell a service.  Pricing is between the seller and the agent.

Posted by Jim Cheney, Rincon Valley Realtor 707.494.1055 (Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA) almost 9 years ago

I think a candid conversation with the agent would be a good step.  Qualify your comments that, you know you are not an agent and you would not discuss this with the clients, but do you feel the home is priced competitively?  If they believe it is, ask them to help you understand.  If they agree that it's overpriced ask what their strategy is.  They may welcome your input, as long as it is polite and away from the seller. 

Posted by Dan Tabit (Keller Williams Bellevue) almost 9 years ago

Rhonda, Although I am certainly not an expert on this topic, I think its fabulous that you take such an interest and invest yourself so much in doing a job that your really proud of.  Unfortunately, it is the responsibility of the RRealtor to ensure his/her client truly understands the market they're in, and what the property is really worth.  The difficult part to this is the Seller is also emotional about their home, and now that it looks like a million dollar listing (even though it's usually far less) they want that million dollar offer!  Sometimes it's easier to list at the clients requested price, then let them see this wasn't in their best interest and drop the price.   People look at their home as an investment, they want the investment to grow, but in this economy they are losing.  It's a really hard pill to swallow when your home hasn't gained the equity you want or think it should have.

Keep making the homes a treasure to find, and keep those pictures for your portfolio!  Don't let this get to you, do the best you can with the staging and encourage the homeowners to listen to their Realtor, use your position to continue and support the Real Estate Community and it will pay off. 

Posted by May Jackson, Looking out for YOU!! (Keller Williams Realty) almost 9 years ago

 In my opinion, pricing is not your concern.  Your concern is the the staging of the house.  You never know  what conversations the Realtor® has already had with the owner. 

Posted by Chad Baird (Re/Max Spirit) almost 9 years ago

Rhonda,

I'm with the others. You're selling your service. Realtors encounter the over-pricing thing all the time.

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) almost 9 years ago

Rhonda ~ I think we all struggle with this issue.  Here is one analogy I use with my sellers:  "Your home is in a beauty contest and a price war, and you can't afford to lose either!"  Unfortunately, they don't always listen.  I humbly decline a listing when the seller is unreasonable about the asking price from the get go!

Posted by Melinda (Mel) Peterson, Curator of Happy Endings (Real Estate Cafe LLC) almost 9 years ago

Rhonda,

I know you get vested emotionally if a house doesn't sell...but you still get paid. The Realtor doesn't so believe me, they are doing everything in their power to have it priced correctly.

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

I tend to agree with Chad, Jim and Co.  Pricing is never the concern of the Stager and a dangerous area to venture into.

As a Professional Home Stager - I have seen one house we completed priced at $25K over what is was worth in order for the clients to achieve what they wanted (asking price less $25K) and I had another house priced below market and sold for $117K over ask.  Realtors work a number of strategies with their clients to sell the property.  

Posted by unknown person almost 9 years ago

Rhonda - oh my have we not ALL been faced with this one!  It is a conversation that you should have with the agent as you and they are a team trying to get that house sold.  I feel for you and i realize that you want to jump out of your skin and say something to the seller but hold tight and reserve the conversation for the agent.

Posted by Leesa Finley, RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate (RED Properties) almost 9 years ago

Rhonda,

Staging is of value to a seller who wants top dollar. They have to be realistic about price.

At the bottom end, if they just do some decluttering and painting, that will help to bring it up to move in condition.

After that, they should have a professional stager. So, not every house and not every seller qualifies.

Brian

Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) almost 9 years ago

Thank you so much, to all 14 of you who took the time out of your busy days to read my post, and offer your genuine thoughts and suggestions.

This truly means a lot to me, as I do not ever want to find myself in a situation where I have stepped on a Realtor's(R) toes in any way. The reason for this is that Home Stagers and Realtors(R) are all part of the same team. What we do as Stagers essentially determines the level of success for the Realtor(R). And, of course, Stagers HAVE to be very mindful of this fact, because what we do for the client could also very easily determine the general LACK of success of a listing.

My goal is to ALWAYS provide an exemplary service to the client, leaving everyone in awe of the property's transformation. My aim is to leave the relationship with the complete satisfaction that the home could not be showing any better. Because, and I have stated this before, when I achieve just this, EVERYONE (and, yes, you too, the Realtor(R)), succeeds!

When Revealing Assets leaves a client's property, we are fully confident that this listing will attract the most buyers possible. We also know that when the buyers actually view the property in person, they will be seeing the exact same product that they first saw in the promotional material, and be impressed. They will immediately be able to envision theirselves moving right in, and be motivated to make an impressive offer based on the impact and impressions made on them by the property.

How do all parties involved "win", you ask?

The client is overjoyed because their home sells in half the time, and for 7-10% more money. This makes it possible for them to realize their goals quicker, and move on to the next chapter in their lives with less headache.

You, the Realtor(R), is more than pleased because the listing sold quicker (less leg-work and marketing), and ultimately sold for maximum value (more money in your pocket). Is this not the "Best-Case-Scenario"?

Finally, I, the Professional Home Stager, is elated because my efforts created the ultimate success for both the seller, and you, the Realtor(R). Also, the buyer was happy to view their "new Home" with no guess-work involved. They were able to walk in and effortlessly determine whether or not the property suited their wants, needs, and desires.

So, I have successfully done my job. I have achieved the very outcome that I live and breathe for. I entered into this line of work simply for the overwhelming value my services bring to all parties involved. Isn't this what all of the motivational books tell us? In your perfect career, you will work within your passions and genuine interests. You will provide a service for people that rewards them with value that is much greater than their financial investment with you. PERFECT. The ROI on my services are enormous! But, that is just the surface benefits, of course. Our services alleviate stress, save time, and help stamp out emotional duress.

I "win" too! I have now made all parties happy. Let's think about it. What have we been taught when it comes to THE most effective form of marketing/advertising? Yes, WORD OF MOUTH!! I equate this to that age-old children's game of "Telephone". When people talk, the buzz grows exponentially, and rapidly! When people are satisfied, this is a good thing. We need to always be mindful of the fact that if we provide less than stellar service, WORD OF MOUTH can essentially be the death of our business. We all know that.

In closing, I do want to thank all of you for your comments, your candour, and your assistance.

I am so impressed with Active Rain as a vehicle for all Real Estate Professionals to network and share. Thus far, it has been absolutely invaluable to me, and I appreciate all of you.

To, Rich (Richard Iarossi), yes, in the end, I DO still get paid. But, for me, in that situation, it is all for not, and does not sit right with me. This is not why I am in this business. After I have Staged a property, I then obsessively watch the progress of that listing. I am emotionally invested in the success of the listing. So, this was the exact reason for me asking the "pricing" question.

Take care everyone, and thank you again. You have given me much food for thought that will help greatly with my clients.

Abundance and Success to Everyone! 2010 is going to be an Incredibly Successful Year for All of Us!

Posted by Rhonda Wilson (Revealing Assets - Home Staging Services) almost 9 years ago

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