How Low Should You Go?

By Melanie Robitaille, Sr. Staff Writer & Graphic Designer

Pricing is a skill set built on experiencing shifts in the industry, but most new agents are finding themselves in uncharted territory these days.

“REALTORS® face a never-ending challenge to price homes for sale in their individual markets,” explained Lana Barnes, a veteran agent and past owner in eastern Ontario. “The market in our area has switched in the last several months where we’re seeing houses on the market longer and we’re experiencing more price adjustments.”

This is a definite change of pace for real estate agents after enjoying a bustling market, however the real shock is yet to be felt by the thousands of professionals who’ve come onboard over the last several years, who have yet to experience a true market, let alone a shifting one.

“New agents are having to learn new skills for situations that didn’t exist in their careers, and many are looking to the more seasoned agents for assistance,” she said, pointing out that the mentoring-first environment at EXIT is of great benefit.

According to a Bloomberg.com article, an “abrupt rise in borrowing costs has had an immediate impact, prompting benchmark home prices to fall for six straight months” in Canada. A recent Realtor.com article showed price adjustments in listing data in the U.S. as well. Agents are more acutely aware of these shifts than most clients, which is often the hardest aspect of price reductions. If a client wishes to list higher than a suggested price, Lana lets “the market speak” for itself because the longer a property sits, the more buyers question it, or worse still, skim over it during searches. Knowing the amount to reduce largely depends on how much attention you want to draw to it, super low and you get a bidding war and all that comes with it; not low enough and you may have to reduce repeatedly.

“Of course, every market is different,” Lana reminded, as is every client’s circumstance. “I explain to clients that you have to consider what’s happening locally and not be influenced by what’s happening elsewhere.”

A part of the Tanya Myre Team, Lana relies on EXIT’s Personality Profiles training in the DISC method, and a two-step approach to meeting with clients, to hone presentations, achieve successful outcomes, and build relationships. During the initial meet, a client’s personality style is assessed, information is gathered, and an in-depth Comparable Market Analysis is completed. During the second, pricing and marketing is discussed.

Buffini & Company also recommends staying in touch with clients on a weekly basis and using the right language to help with common conversations surrounding price adjustments. Real estate as they refer to it is “a contact sport” and Lana agrees.

After 23 years in the business, being real with clients has never failed her saying, “It’s all about communication. Clients appreciate honesty and that has always held my reputation in good stead.”

For more tips and articles on navigating the shifting market check out the latest edition of The EXIT Achiever, or text ACHIEVER to 85377.

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