Price is Important, But Not Everything in Real Estate

avatar.jpgAs I mentioned earlier, last week I attended the rollout meeting for Century 21’s Power Play Initiative here in the Phoenix area. The highlight, at least for me, was a presentation by Jim Droz, at one time the top-producing agent in Century 21 International’s real estate system.

Jim briefly discussed expired listings and narrowed the reasons why I home may not sell to a basic six categories. Only five of the six stuck in my head (unlike my office trainer, who will take copious notes on the soup d’jour, I usually roll with whatever strikes me as the most important or otherwise strikes a chord.

(Simply regurgitating what one hears in such a session is useless unless it builds upon the knowledge of the listener, or at least is aligned closely enough with a listener’s believe to allow him or her to explain the theory in the future. Put another way, I’ve said what he has said but he said it better than I had.)

The five basic categories – price, location, condition, market conditions and marketing by the real estate agent hired to sell the home. Too often, real estate agents as a group (and particularly those of us who routinely speak to owners of expired listings) focus either on price or marketing as the cause for a home not to sell. To me, that’s an overly simplistic view of the situation.

Equally simplistic is the widely-spouted notion that price can compensate for location, condition and market condition. Price is a panacea for many ills, but not all.

Take as a case study the home I listed this afternoon, effective once the homeowners’ current listing expires in a few days. (The homeowners contacted me first; by doing so, they opened the door for me to take over once the original listing expires.)

The home is in excellent condition in general, though a few minor modifications ultimately should help its saleability. Location on a neighborhood level is excellent, though the home also backs to a development of manufactured homes, which could become a challenge. Our current market, in a word, sucks for sellers. We’ll set aside marketing, as I can’t really go into details. And the price seems right for the area – on the bleeding edge of the market, though in a band that has moved more slowly over the past several months.

My good friend Athol would say the price needs to be lowered – if you don’t have a listing within two weeks, clearly the price is wrong. I disagree, not because I believe his theory is wrong but because I believe his theory isn’t always right. A home can look less appealing to prospective buyers if it’s priced too low when compared to the local real estate market.

This home already was priced lower than comparable homes and comparable sales – going even further below the market probably isn’t the answer, at least not at this stage.

So where do we go from here? For the short term, at least, nowhere … I need to wait for the current listing to expire. And if the home sells during the interregnum, all the better. The sellers will be happy, which is the ultimate goal. And while I won’t have sold the house, I’d like to think I’d be in position to receive future referrals based on the marketing plan I presented. (Especially now that they are the stars of their own blog post … as they knew they would be before I left the house.)

What am I going to do to get this house sold? Stay tuned …

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Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at


  • Athol Kay 11 years ago

    Thanks for the link love.

    One possiblity is having the orginal agent refer them to you. That way they get out of the contract, you get them as a client straight away, and the other agent still gets something.

    I’d agree that if the price was already lower than all the comps including solds, then something else is going on as well.

  • Jonathan Dalton 11 years ago

    As my daughter said endlessly upon turning two, But Why?

    In this case, it’s already a Lending Tree client so I’m already paying out a referral. But if I’m getting the listing shortly anyway …

    We’ve talked in our office of switching off listings … clients get to have a fresh approach, original listing agent still gets something if it sells. Haven’t put it into action yet but that time may come.

    Listings build momentum in this business, there’s no doubt.