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Real Estate Suckers Wanted!Sometimes it is said that the current owners of the home are the highest bidders on their own property. What does that mean? In a nutshell, it refers to the fact that no one else is going to pay the price that the seller or landlord is asking for that house or condo, so he or she “wins” the opportunity to continue to live there or have possession of it.   Translation: the house did not sell (or get rented out).

In every market, even a red hot seller’s market as we now have in Silicon Valley, there are overpriced homes for sale and for rent.  Some of them may never sell – or take years and multiple listing agents and multiple price reductions before a property changes hands or gets a new tenant.

How do you know if a home is overpriced?

In San Jose right now, the average days on market is 24. In Santa Clara County, it’s 23. If your home has been for sale for 4 weeks and it’s not sold, you’ve probably overpriced it.  Same with rental properties, which are also getting scooped up fast!

Kick MeOnce in awhile, there’s a cause besides pricing behind a property not getting sold or leased.  It could be odors in the home, difficulty scheduling showings (unreasonable restrictions on access to the house), bad neighborhood conditions (eyesores, nuisances, loud music), poor photos on the MLS and marketing, or other marketing problems.  But a good, solid 90-95% of the time, it’s the price.

Every now and then, an upset home owner who wants to sell or lease will call me and other local real estate agents when their property sits untaken, though listed and marketed on the mls.  What do they expect me to do?  They have a listing agent, and I’m not it!  But they personally phone me to see if I have any buyers or renters for their house.  If I did have someone for it, we’d have seen it on the multiple listing service.  If it were a match (meaning also priced appropriately), I’d have shown it.

There are about 15,000 members of our local MLS, and they can all access the listed properties easily.  Are these desperate home sellers going to phone all 15,000 of them in hopes of finding the next occupant for their property?

The thing is, that they are chasing the wrong solution to their problem (and wasting my time or that of any other agent they phone).  Phoning or emailing the members of the real estate community is about as useful as flying a large blimp overhead with an enormous banner about the townhouse or home.  Yes, you will get someone’s attention, but it will be ineffective for moving your property.  You can spend thousands of dollars on marketing, or make phoning Realtors your full time job, but if the price is wrong, it’s all for nothing.

What they need to do, in most cases, is lower the price to where the buyers will be interested.

Otherwise, they’re just fishing for a sucker.  And there aren’t many of those around.

Author

  • Silicon Valley Realtor, selling homes in Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Jose, Silicon Valley, and nearby since 1993. Prolific blogger with a network of sites.