Over the past month, I’ve seen a lot of sellers playing ‘listing shifting’. Unhappy that their house hasn’t sold, they move the listing to another broker. Almost universally, they blame their broker for their house not selling. In some cases, the blame is well founded. Some agents just aren’t very skilled at marketing or positioning a property. But recently, I’ve seen listings being shifted from some of the best agents in the county.
Sellers need to take some responsibility. The #1 reason a house doesn’t sell (or even get shown) is because its overpriced. Moving an overpriced listing to a new broker isn’t going to solve that problem. I’ve talked to at least a dozen sellers in the last month who have said some version of "I want to tell you about my house, because my [incompetent or some version thereof] agent isn’t even showing it." I ask them to describe the house and then ask the price. Inevitably, even without seeing the house, I can gauge that its vastly overpriced. I don’t care if your beautifully renovated farmhouse has gold faucets – if it sits right on the road, it isn’t going to fetch $500,000.
The Multiple Listing System is a surprisingly efficient ‘market maker’ (even if your individual listing agent isn’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier.) If your listing in the MLS has reasonably good pictures, an accurate description and is priced right, it will get shown — even if your agent isn’t a crack marketer who works their networks to widen your audience.
Sellers, before you blame your agent and decide to move your listing, take a hard look at your property and price, and where it fits on the market. Look back and ask if your agent recommended a lower listing price and you insisted on a higher one. Ask your agent to review recent sales and current listings for houses similar to yours, and what you should be doing to increase the marketability of your property.