Get a full-price offer on your flat fee MLS listings using the advice from “pricing coach” Keith Gordon

Monday, August 24, 2009, 1:28PM

By: Keith Gordon

In a buyer's market, your list price is as important as the company that you choose to flat fee MLS list your home. What worked in 2007 changed in 2008, and now things are completely different in the third quarter of 2009.

As one of the founders of the ADDvantage® Real Estate Network and a pricing coach for hundreds of flat fee MLS sellers, I recommend a combination of 4 pricing strategies:

  1. To form a basis for pricing your home, search for homes in your neighborhood that are comparable to yours.
  2. While I am not advocating wasting a Realtor's® time, I would talk with a few local full-service Realtors® and have them prepare a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for you. This CMA value will have a range that they will use to suggest a listing price. In a buyer's market, their suggestion is a catch-22 in that they will likely suggest listing at the lower end of the price range which will help sell faster but will also earn them their goal of a fast commission. Because you have the option of flat fee MLS listing your home, you can pass this 3% savings onto the buyer which will help you price your home at the lower end of the CMA range. Another reason to price as low as possible is that as many as 20% of all sales fall through today because short sales and bank owed (REO) properties have moved the price of available “closed sale” comparables to a level that will not support some sales contracts. Therefore, pricing your home for a successful appraisal is a consideration. Another factor is time which is not typically on the side of a seller in a buyer's market because prices have been lower every month for the past 4 years in most areas of the US. But, the good news is this trend appears to be changing.
  3. Next, test your listing price for reaction. Wait to see what the Realtors® and buyers do. The first gauge will be the amount of showings and the second will be the quality of offers. When you list you home with the ADDvantage® Real Estate Network, our system sends each Realtor® an email the day after they show your property requesting feedback. Use this feedback to fine tune your price.
  4. Next, consider my Buyer's Market Pricing Theory that is working well in cities throughout the US including Miami, Orlando, Naples, Fort Myers, Springfield, Denver, Raleigh, and other cities. I call my theory “How to Win the Sale and Not Give Your Home Away.” Here are my thoughts…

You have made an excellent choice by listing flat fee in the MLS and saving 3% in real estate commissions. Now you can pass this savings onto the buyer.

Next, appeal the competitive nature of the Realtors® by listing your home at a price where Realtors® scramble to be the first one to sell it and earn the offered commission.

I know my price theory works because I have thoroughly researched Realtors® and their motivations. I have also negotiated for 100's of by owner MLS flat fee sellers that have chosen to use our hybrid flat fee MLS plan ADDvantage PLUS™.

Buyers are only willing to pay market prices and at times slightly less than market prices to compensate them for the possibility of lower prices in the nearby future. In contrast, sellers are only willing to sell if they receive a price that they feel is not giving their property away. Sellers may have other restraints such as mortgage balances.

Now, create a situation where there is excitement about your listing by listing your home at your bottom line price! This strategy gives buyers hope that you'll negotiate lower with them into their comfort zones. That is why they will make you an offer. Eventually, there will be some buyer or Realtor® that likes your price and is willing to offer full-price.