Realistic Atlanta Home Sellers Sell Homes
I went to a listing appointment yesterday in a neighborhood over $400,000. In this economy, even the $100,000 houses have to be outstanding because the short sales and foreclosures can beat the prices down – in every neighborhood including your gated, exclusive golf community. This house has been listed twice before by decent agents, but they bought the listing. In other words, they’ve told the sellers whatever they want to hear so they could secure the listing. Why would anyone put themselves through that aggravation when the house will sit? Real estate is a numbers game, list 100 sell any 10.
The main problem is with the ego of the Atlanta home seller which becomes evident as I walk the house with the husband. The house was built with tighter screws, longer nails, thicker glue, better air conditioning filters, and a new Price-Pfister faucet in the kitchen (in the old sink). They’ve been to their neighbors houses – ( the competition). They are all filthy places with children’s handprints everywhere, dog drool, cheap paint. Their house is better all around! They are fed up with it here and they’re going back to their home state where everyone is clean and has better houses. They’ve put tens of thousands into their home. I guess they don’t know that I have access to appraisals and old FMLS listings with photos that are archived and the new “hand kilned Italian” tile they put in the screened-in area at a cost of $15,000 was there when they bought the house from the previous owner. I would have known when the tile was laid because the child living there previously had one small tile in the far corner with her name and date on it. They also said they put the screened in area in themselves. I know this isn’t true because I saw the footers poured for it when I went to the community open house the builder hosted over six years ago.
As I sit with the husband in the kitchen, I ask if his wife will be joining us. She greeted me at the door and scurried to the basement because she works out of the home. He’s not happy. He walks over to the basement door, calls her upstairs and she plops down, frowns, glances at him, smiles, and exhales like a dragon, crossing her wings, I mean arms. I simply need to know their motivation to sell this time. I think fast: should I ask what do they think went wrong when they were listed it last time? NO. If I do that, it may imply they did something wrong. I know they did – they were greedy and worked with an agent who let them set the price – both times they were listed. The answer to that question anyway is: “it was the agent’s fault – both of them.” I look at the wife because she is setting the tone. I stroke her a little with the innocuous question: With as lovely as your home is, disregarding any feedback you may have been given [which was obviously disregarded], how can we get your home sold at a price agreeable to you? This deflects failure from them and they can see I’m trying to help, not antagonize. Nothing surprises me any more at listing appointments, so I’m ready for her tirade. It’s the fault of the world press. She and her husband are doing just fine as are all their friends and co-workers. This whole foreclosure “thing” is nonsense. I explain I understand she is very frustrated and busy so I will get to the heart of the matter. What price are they willing to list their home? Not surprisingly, they want to list at the same price it’s always been listed. I ask if they list at that price, will they be trimming the trees growing up against the house, pressure washing their black, moldy driveway, repairing the mailbox post eaten alive by insects, will they…
I’m stopped dead in my tracks. The wife swears she hears her phone ringing and runs downstairs. The husband rests his hands in his lap, swallows, and looks down. I gather my material, make polite chit-chat as I head to the door. The movie in my head is playing a classic from 1988. It’s the one where I’m attaching a bumper sticker on my fender which reads: “If you bought in ’88, I can’t help you.” One