I recently completed a transaction as the buyer’s agent with an agent for Keller Williams. It was a short sale, and yes, it dragged on for months – we got into contract in January, and closed in late April. After all was said and done, the seller’s agent and I agreed to meet for coffee and to exchange some final documents and so I could get the key to pass on to my buyers.
You may not be aware of this, but Keller Williams agents are kind of messianic about their company. They love it over there. A few months back during the Watsonville REO tour that we had, I had met another KW agent, and she spoke in glowing terms of her company, and in particular about this training that they had, which was open to agents from any brokerage, not just Keller Williams.
So when I was sitting down for coffee with the seller’s agent, I started talking to her about Keller Williams and the training that they provide. Not surprisingly, she was very enthusiastic and encouraged me to come on down for the next training session they were putting on. I agreed to do so, and so yesterday I sat through 2.5 hours of training on getting listings, put on by a very able and passionate trainer.
As promised, the training was excellent. Honestly, probably better than any real estate training I have been to. There’s one thing in particular I took away from that training, which I want to share with you. If you are a seller, please sit down, pour yourself a nice tall glass of kool-aid, and listen to this.
Keller Williams has a pretty good pricing strategy. It’s simple, and it goes like this: price your home below “market price.” A good bit below. Like, 10% below. Then, market the heck out of it and wait 21 days before taking offers. The buyers will beat a path to your door so quick it will make the neighbors upset because obviously, you’re having one heck of a party and they didn’t get invited.
A home which is priced clearly below market value will attract multiple offers. There is good example of this every day, with these REO properties. The banks price these things low. They price them to sell. And they do, quickly, and usually with multiple offers. It is very common for these properties to sell for over asking price, often by 10%.
This pricing strategy is an excellent one, especially in a market like today’s. In an appreciating seller’s market, it’s not such a bad thing to over-price your property by 10% – sooner or later, the market will catch up to you, and you’ll probably end up getting that extra 10% if you wait long enough. However, when you are in a declining market, if you do not sell your home quickly, the market will probably pass you right on by.
In a declining market, people don’t want to buy for fair market price, because the market price is dropping, and next month, it’s going to be worth less than it was the month before. You need to list your property under fair market price, attract multiple offers, and sell it for the most the market is willing to pay for at the moment.
That’s a winning strategy, and it’s working spectacularly for the banks selling their foreclosure properties, and it is also working for sellers who price their homes to sell.
I’m going back to Keller Williams on Wednesday for another training. Not sure what it’s about. And yes, I know, it’s all a trap. They want to seduce you into signing up with them by providing world-class training gratis and showing you that there’s a better way to sell Real Estate. I have no intention of leaving Thunderbird Real Estate at the moment – I’ve long thought that my next step after Thunderbird would be to open my own brokerage (I’m a licensed real estate broker, after all). But if one day you see me sportin’ a mustache and talking feverishly about how great KW is, you’ll know how it all began.