Beware of What You Want To Hear

One of the toughest things about my job is telling people what they “may not want to hear” when it comes to the price of their home. I walk into people’s living rooms every week and try to give them an honest evaluation of what I think their homes should sell for. In the last several years, that job has become more and more difficult as homeowners begin to understand the loss of value in their homes. I find myself being the bearer of bad news, and it is not a role I enjoy. I would love to be able to tell you that your home was worth more than you expected, but these days, it’s not very realistic. I cannot ignore good, verifiable data and I don’t want to lie to you just to get your listing.

I tell people all the time, “I am not a pie in the sky type of guy.” I am going to tell you the honest truth. As such, I sometimes don’t get the listings. I do warn homeowners to “beware of what you want to hear!” I see potential sellers scheduling two, three, or four appointments with Realtors in hopes of hearing the dollar amount they have in mind for their home. I tell consumers that I am sure you can find a Realtor to tell you the number you are looking for, but in the end, I am afraid that it will hurt you more than help you.

One thing everyone needs to be cautious about is overpricing his or her home from the start. The best chance you have to sell your home is in the first 30-45 days. If your home is overpriced, buyers will sniff that out in a minute and you may have lost your best opportunity. If your home does start out too high, chances are, it will sit on the market for a long time. The more days it’s on the market, the more it hurts your chances to sell it. People start wondering what’s wrong with the house, and why hasn’t it sold. You inevitably start making a series of price drops. This leads to you chasing down the market, losing money, and coming off looking desperate to sell. All of this can and should be avoided.

The next time you are getting ready to sell, don’t be so quick to throw out the guy or gal that gave you the lower number on the price of your home. He or she may actually save you money.

Dan Polimino is a Realtor with Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty. He can be reached at and

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