It’s often said that real estate agents don’t die they just become listless. That old saw has an element of truth. Real estate agents who continually do a great job listing property tend to stay in business for a very long time and earn a ton of money.
That doesn’t mean you should take every listing that comes your way. Here are six reasons you probably don’t want to list a property.
- The property is awful – Occasionally you’ll run into a property that for one reason or another is just awful. You know in your heart it will be terribly difficult to sell for any number of reasons. I remember a house on a corner lot that was literally rotting. We couldn’t get the estate to lower the price to make it worthwhile to offer to an investor. So we passed. We watched as several brokerage for sale signs came and went. After about six months we called the bank that was trying to sell the property and this time they were happy to bring the price down to something reasonable. It wasn’t long before we had it sold and the investor was tearing down the house. We were glad we finally got the sale and also glad we hadn’t spent six months spinning our wheels.
- The property is overpriced – Sometimes properties are simply overpriced. If it is way overpriced and the seller won’t listen to reason it’s best to simply walk away and let somebody else bring them into reality. While some would recommend taking a listing even when it’s overpriced, I disagree unless it’s only five or ten percent above market. Even this judgment call. When a buyer when a seller insists that his property is worth way more than the market indicates, it’s often better not to argue but just move on.
- The property owner seems uninterested in selling – Once in a while you’ll run into someone is willing to sign listing but they seem utterly uninterested in whether the property cells are not. If you ask them why they seem so uninterested they will give you an answer that doesn’t really answer the question. Often you’ll find this person is being pressured by someone else to put the property on the market; if you get to the offer stage they are apt to find all sorts of reasons not to actually sell. If the seller is really uninterested in selling you can probably find another listing client that are easy to deal with.
- The property owner is rude and difficult to deal with – Just because you’re in a service industry doesn’t mean you have to put up with being treated poorly. When the seller is rude to you, he will probably be rude to potential buyers. I usually postponed this decision until the second time I met with the seller on the theory he might have gotten up on the wrong side of bed the first time we met. But if he was awful the second time I just told him I’d didn’t think the relationship would work and walked away. You you can do the same.
- The property is overbuilt for its neighbors neighborhood – When the property is way overbuilt for its neighborhood it’s really hard to sell. The seller probably loves what they did in the remodel and thinks they can recoup all or at least most of their investment. Buyers, on the other hand recognize that it is really too much house for where it is and will not want to buy it. Unless the seller is willing to come down in in price so that the price matches the neighborhood there’s almost no point in trying to sell a property like this.
- You can’t determine who has the right to sell the property – Normally we tend to think the person who is talking to about selling his home has the right to sell it. That’s not always true. It can be hard to determine without a title search, but if you pick up intimations that there may be something like a scam going on it’s up to you to either determine they have the right to sell it or to walk away from the deal. There certainly is no point in listing of property unless the person signing listing has a right to sell the property. By the way, it doesn’t hurt to ask directly. Saying something like “you do have the right to sell this property don’t you?” may surface problem you wouldn’t have otherwise suspected.
Even in tight markets you can often make more money on the long term by skipping properties that for one reason or another going to be terribly difficult to sell.