Dear Clients, Friends and Fellow Associates~

I once heard that one of the reasons a property may not sell is because “The seller is the highest bidder”.  Of course, sellers do control the pricing of their property and as their REALTOR we control the marketing for the property.  However, one of the services we provide every seller is value counseling throughout the listing.  This means if we see a trend up or down, we will suggest a value to a seller for consideration.  Most of the time our counsel is accepted, but there are times where we may wait literally months before a seller decides to go to that price.  Often however it is too late by then.  Here are two sellers, both of equal value homes.  One sold their home in 5 months, the other sold in 3 years. 

Seller One – Trusts the Expert on Hilton Head Island

I met Mr. and Mrs. “Geterdone” in a listing interview.  They had invited three agents that were known to sell in the neighborhood to sit down with them and make a presentation.  These sellers had purchased a new home that was being built and had several months before they needed to close.  As in every interview we went through the checklist of our double top secret marketing programs that produce results for our seller and reviewed our raving fans worksheet.

The seller hired us to sell his home.  In our conversations with the seller we explained our role and theirs.  We explained that our job was to get agents and buyers interested in his home by marketing, their job was to make the home accessible, presentable and decide on prices based on market facts.  We also explained that we would advise them on value changes in the market throughout the listing period and make suggestions for them based on the market.

We listed the home at a value chosen as competitive in the market.  Within 30 days after the first agent tour, we saw few showings and low general interest and we had completed several marketing programs that should have driven more buyers into the home.  I called the seller and told them that something was wrong and suggested they tweak the value to see if it was price.   The seller did not flinch and asked what I would suggest and I told home to adjust it 1%.  The seller immediately said “Let’s do it”

Unfortunately, we did not see an increase of activity.  This time we reviewed the market, the marketing, the accessibility, the condition and location and found nothing wrong.  We also determined that it was not the economy(because other properties were selling), the inventory or the current interest rates.  It had to be the value.  This time we suggested a much larger adjustment.  The seller immediately said “Whatever it will take, we trust you”.

The price change increased interest and showings but we went another two weeks without an offer. I called the seller and said we are close, but need to tweak the value again to cause the sale.  Without any hesitation they said “Go for it”.  Keep in mind we were still 4 months away from when they had to sell.  Within 1 week of this adjustment we received an offer that was within 2% of the asking price and only 9% off their original asking price.  Today they can honestly look back and say they saved money by trusting their agent.  

Seller Two – Is the Highest Bidder on Hilton Head

I met Mr. and Mrs. “Tinkaboutit” in a listing interview too!  They had invited two agents to review the market and help them sell their home.  This time we did not get the listing in the first go round, however we did get the call to list the home after it did not sell with the other agent.  We set our marketing into place and positioned this home in the tours.  We received very little traffic and we called the seller to review everything and determine what could be corrected.  This home was drop dead gorgeous in a great neighborhood and we should have had more interest than we had.

No activity took place in the first thirty days.  We called the seller and arranged a meeting to discuss the market, the marketing, the economy, and the sales we had had since we had listed it.  We suggested based on trends a value correction.  The seller said he would think about it.  I called several more times as we really were seeing little to no traffic and I explained that buyers remained stealth until they saw value on thier computer screens back home.  We were told that the home was worth what we were asking and it was simply a function of market.

Christmas came and the seller asked to take the home off the market through the holidays.  The problem I explained in doing this is that the Island gets busy during the holidays as owners and visitors travel to the warmer climate.  Sales take place and I did not want them to miss a single buyer.  They took it off the market anyway.

Spring came around we were contacted by this seller to  the re-list this home again.  This time we suggested a value that would sell this home in 30 days.  Needless to say the seller told us they would think about it and get back to us.  The seller chose a price 10% higher than our suggested sale price.  We moved from no chance to little chance and did not get a single offer for the rest of this entire year.

Christmas approached and the seller called and took the property off the market again!  We reminded them again about not missing a single buyer.  They did it anyway.

In the spring they contacted us to list the home and asked us what we thought the value should be.  The value we gave them was an additional 10% less than our previous suggested selling price.  This time however the seller said “Let’s do it!”  Long story cut short…we sold the home within 60 days only 2% off their new asking price.  In total this home sold for 27% less than the original asking price in just over 3 years.  This seller had chased the market thinking about their value corrections and not selling until they took action. 

In today’s rapidly changing real estate market, your real estate agent can counsel you on price trends and you should trust their recommendation.  If you would like for us to give you a valuation, please do not hesitate to call.  We have been designing selling strategies for sellers for now 24 years on Hilton Head Island and can help you.

From a market and Island that we know~~

We are respectfully,

Robbie Bunting & Jane Hyers