The market always has the right answer; you just need to know how to ask the right question. Auction?
This past April a friend contacted me about selling his 100-acre horse ranch. He and his wife were going through a divorce and the court was appointing a receiver to sell the property. The auction method was a perfect solution – achieving market value and reducing holding costs and time. Time was important because each party was responsible for this property as well as their own, separate household. Reducing the marketing time would increase their net from the property and complete the divorce proceedings.
As we do with all real estate auction properties we conducted a thorough price expectation evaluation. After completing our evaluation, we set an auction expectation of $700,000 to $800,000. The estimated expectation did not set well with either party as they wanted over $1,000,000. The couple’s expectation of price was one of the few areas of agreement. Enter the traditional broker with a suggested list price of well over $1,000,000. Husband and wife, eager for the highest return agree that the broker should list the property and thus the broker was appointed the receiver and ordered to sell the property.
Several price decreases and 10 months later the property closed! Sales price? A whopping 54% of the original list price! Originally listed for $1.2 million the property closed for $650,000, much to the disappointment of both husband and wife. I wonder how the parties would have taken it last May if the broker said “I’m going to list it for $1.2 Million but I’m going to actually sell it for $650,000.” I reckon the auction method would have been a much more acceptable option.
Overpricing is bad for the real estate professional.
The practice of overpricing by this broker to get the listing cost this couple an easy $100,000 in additional and unnecessary holding costs and sale expenses. Auctions are truth serums. As experienced real estate auctioneers, we know that our papers will be graded by the market within 60 days of discussing price expectations with the sellers. Our rigorous method of evaluating price is time tested and proven. However, it is not always welcomed news for sellers to hear.
The professional real estate industry will continue to suffer until we, as an industry, deter the practice of overpricing. What if sellers told listing agents “If my property sells for 85% or less of your suggested price I don’t pay you any commission”? I suspect we would stop pulling list prices out of the clouds and get a bit closer to market value.
We at Alliance Auctioneers will give you an honest assessment of your property – every time. We will get up every day and keep working to change the perception of the oldest, most proven marketing method on earth. Auctions work!