Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Jennifer Dardano.
As a listing agent, the biggest service that you provide to your sellers is determining the appropriate price for their property. Pricing too high may result in a listing becoming stale and may eventually require an unpleasant discussion with sellers about a price reduction. Listing too low may also be problematic as sellers almost always feel that their property is worth more than the market may suggest. Understanding how to have an open dialogue with your sellers, while managing their expectations and still ensuring their confidence that you are the best agent to sell their property takes some panache.
1. Always do your homework – Visit comparable listings and be sure that you completely understand the list price per foot as well as the days on market. Ensure that you have photos of any especially unique and/or desirable features which comparable listings have to present to your sellers and clearly explain the possible reasons of each comparable days on market.
2. Study comparable listings – Dig deeper than what you see as the sold price per foot. The numbers on paper only tell part of the story. If a closed sale looks to be very similar to your pending listing and it was particularly recent, contact the listing agent and find out as much as you can about the transaction. If you know the ins and outs of that deal you will be ahead of the game when it comes to price.
3. Understand your client’s needs – Most importantly, set realistic expectations with your sellers and have an open dialogue about their reason(s) for selling, their goals and how quickly they hope to have their property under contract. You never want to overpromise just to win the listing as that is doing a disservice to the sellers and to yourself as an agent. Taking a listing takes your time, energy and money so no matter how tempting it might be to have that “trophy listing” in your collection, do not be afraid to walk away from unrealistic sellers. Chances are, if they list with another agent who promised them the moon and the home does not sell they will remember your candor and want to work with you in the future. If you do decide to take the listing at a slightly higher price than recommended, explain to your sellers that this may increase the length of time that it takes to sell the property. As long as everyone is in agreement and understands then you will have much happier sellers and better future referrals.
Good luck and happy selling!
Jennifer Dardano is a seasoned professional whose experience benefits her clients in seemingly countless ways. Originally from Newport Beach, Calif., Dardano relocated to the South Florida area after graduation from the University of Southern California, and embraced the dynamic South Florida luxury real estate market. Her marketing background, coupled with sales and advertising experience, as well as a love of the area, gives her both an appreciation for and thorough understanding of the local marketplace.