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12 August 2008

The Two Faces of Eve – A.K.A. Agent Owner/Listing Agent

I am very fortunate to have enjoyed being part of the real estate industry for more than 20 years.  During the mid 1990’s, in a market similar to the one we are currently experiencing, I faced a life change that required selling my home. Of course, my decision was to act as my own agent. After all, I was the manager of the No. 1 office in town. I knew the market and had the best team of agents working on my side to get it sold. What I didn’t know was that I would experience a transformation that would take me from the being the logical, emotionally removed third party in a transaction to a highly emotionally charged seller. I heard myself say things like, “the market hasn’t gone down that much,” and the dreaded, “I’m not going to give my house away.” Nearly two years later, it finally sold at an $80,000 loss.

I learned some hard lessons from that experience:

  • I always hire a listing agent whenever I have a house to sell (a.k.a. an emotionally removed third party).
    • My experience was a great “feel, felt, found” when talking with FSBO prospects.  You may have a similar experience to share.
  • I keep the market in perspective
  • I recognize that emotional price and market price never equate in the seller’s mind.  Even in the best of markets, the seller’s perceived value is most often higher than what the market will bear.

Well here it is, 2008, and it’s happening again.  Yes, we did hire a listing agent. We researched hard and interviewed several agents before making our choice.  And was it difficult to set a listing price lower than the original purchase price?  No, not really … for me. The difficult part was explaining the rationale to my significant other and co-owner of the property. I left that to our agent!

How are you helping sellers to face the realities of today’s market?

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