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September 5, 2013


Mastermind for Sept 4th. Lost The Listing. Now It’s Listed For Less.

by mark mclean

mastermind for sept 4
If there is any doubt that agents are back to work after a very short break in August, one only needed to attend my Mastermind session today for proof. The room was packed. We had some great discussions on everything from agents putting wrong information on data sheets to troublesome landlords to fussy neighbours but the hot topic of the day was about losing listings to other companies at lower list prices.
If you have been in the business for any length of time it is probably happened to you. You have taken a listing and worked like a dog to get it sold. You’ve done videos, flyers, floor plans, spent money on newspaper ads, held numerous open houses and promoted the hell out of it on social media but for whatever reason the property is not selling. You know the price is a bit on the high side and you have spoken to every agent with encouraging words to bring in something….anything. You have even pleaded your case with the Sellers for a price reduction. You have shown the comparables and discussed the showing feedback with the Sellers. But alas, they won’t budge. Eventually the listing expires and the property is immediately listed at a price lower price and you scream out “I can’t believe that Seller, I couldn’t get them down $10K and they just listed for $30K less! WTF??!” To make matters worse, the property sells in a week. Rub salt in your wound and pour lemon juice on that cut. Take heart young Grasshopper. It has happened to the best of us. The best revenge, as my Facebook friends tell me, is to not let it get to you.
So here’s the thing. The Seller knew you were right all along but to reduce the price on your watch would be like admitting defeat. The Seller has to list with someone else to make this important leap down. This is clearly a case of “it’s not you…it’s them”. If there is any Devine retribution in this it is that the Seller probably netted less with the new listing agent. As we all know, getting the price right AND quickly is the best way for a Seller to net the most on a sale.
Recently a similar situation happened to an agent in our office with a condo for sale. Ok, it was listed a little high from the get go but there was some logic to the pricing that made sense. The building was a slow mover and nothing had been sold in a while on top of everything else it was listed in the middle of the summer. A tough time to be selling a condo in any market. Despite all this the agent managed to squeak out one minor price reduction and generated two pretty decent offers both of which were rejected by the Seller. The listing expired and relisted the next day for nearly $50K less. Boom! Sold in a week. Important to note that the new list price was substantially below the two previous offers.
I suppose the lesson here is that nailing that list price is crucial…right off the bat, but don’t go squirrelly if it doesn’t work out for you. When you are in this business long enough and act in a professional way the odds will always work out in your favour.
In a buyer’s market it is often more worthwhile to impress the hell out of the Seller but have the conviction to pass on the listing because you know, even with your best efforts, it won’t sell. Most Sellers will appreciate your honesty and you’ll pick up the listing the next time around. It reminds me of the old saying, something like….it’s better to be the first love, the second marriage and the third Realtor.
mark mclean

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Randall P. Jones
    Oct 10 2013


    I’m surprised you’d post such an article (as a realtor yourself). You’re only further creating the situations you’ve just complained about (us vs. them). To talk about thoughtful ‘revenge’ to a client who moved on bc of an inability to move a property with their former agent, I think is insulting. You have no idea the circumstances (on average).. Maybe they promised a number just to get the listing.. Perhaps they wouldn’t budge on their listing fees.. So before you giggle to yourself that the seller has sold their home for less, stop and think for a second that perhaps they came out on top, instead. I’m sure you can do the math on that one. In a time where competition has never been greater among agents (meaning everyone under the sun seems to have their licence) I’d choose my words more carefully if I were you.

    • Oct 11 2013

      Thanks for the comment although I have to say that I dissagree with you. Ultimately this is a discussion on pricing, a topic that I’m very familiar with. The situation that I described is pretty common. More to the point, I am qualified to comment because I’ve been on the other side too. The reality is that sellers need to understand that a good agent helps determine the price range based on a number of criteria. Then there is some further strategy used to list at a price that will attract the most buyers. Often the seller has his own perspective of price, one that is higher, but ultimately it is the market that determines if they are too high. Rather than accept “defeat” if you want to call it that, a seller opts to relist with a diferent agent at a lower price than the one originally suggested and more often than not is forced to accept a lower offer. Sure there are other factors involved.


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