Generally, statistics show that only about 40% of prospective homeowners will interview more than one real estate agent before listing their home. There is a multitude of reasons for this, perhaps they contacted an agent they had used previously, or have a friend or relative who is an agent, or use an agent that was referred to them. If you find yourself in that forty percent who wish to interview more than one agent, read the following scenario that will help you to identify a questionable tactic that unfortunately occurs all to often:
Being a sensible home seller, you schedule appointments with three listing agents whose names you obtained as referrals, or from the phone book, or who’ve been hanging stuff on your front doorknob for years. Each agent comes to your home prepared with a “Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)” with each recommending a specific sales price. Surprisingly, a couple of the agents have come up with prices that are very similar and they back up their recommendations with recent sales data provided from the CMA report of similar homes in your area, but not quite as much as you were anticipating.
When the third agent reveals his figures, they are much more in line with your own anticipated value, and probably even higher. Suddenly, you’re a happy and excited home seller, already counting the money. You’ve found an agent who seems willing to listen to your input and work with you, an agent that cares about putting the most money in your pocket. This is an agent who is willing to list your home at your price and possibly even higher to maximize your profit because after all, you can easily drop the price later if you need to, right? After all, everyone else does it!!!
The truth is that you may have just met an agent engaging in a questionable sales practice called “highballing” and also commonly referred to as “buying a listing.” He “bought” the listing by suggesting you might be able to get a higher sales price than the other agents recommended. He essentially tells you what you want to hear regardless of the fact that the recent sales data does not support the higher sales price and most likely, he is quite doubtful that your home will actually sell at that price. The intention from the beginning is to use this questionable tactic to “win” the listing, get their sign in your front yard, and to eventually talk you into lowering the price later.