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Price it Right!/Users/adamp/Desktop/Oct_Mag_pics/mailbox

There are many theories on how to tell if you have an overpriced listing. I keep it simple. First, I ask sellers if they really have to sell the home. Then I offer to help them come up with a price. If they think my suggestions are too low, I explain that I don’t take overpriced listings.

I look at properties that sold over the past six months (and even longer sometimes in this market) and find the average price-per-living-square-foot of similar homes in the county. Then, I look at homes on the market and [number of] days on the market, original list price at the start date and current price. I plug in average price-per-living-square-foot (usually lower than the homes that sold in the past) and multiply it by the [number of square feet] of the subject home. This will give me a good starting price, but I know it will sell lower than that price.

And the key is: If I don’t get calls after 21 days, we must lower the price and keep on rethinking that price every month thereafter.

David Heroux
Tropic Shores Realty
Spring Hill

Tell the Truth
Despite the challenges we face in this real estate market, we aren’t facing many of the real-life challenges this market has brought to the sellers.

How do we best help our sellers now? It’s simple: Tell them the truth.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter one bit what they could have gotten for their home two or three years ago. It doesn’t matter how many TV shows they watched about flipping property. It doesn’t matter that they really need to sell this property in order to join their spouse who has already moved to the new job. It doesn’t matter that they raised their children in this house and that it’s full of sweet memories. What matters is how well it’s priced, how easy it is to show, how well it’s been maintained and how flexible they can be during negotiations. It’s simply a matter of, “Do you want to stay, or do you want to go?” If a seller is ready to go, then they must listen to the market.

Real estate sales associates don’t set the price people will pay—buyers do. And there is a price point at which any property will sell.

So, this year I resolve not to tell sellers what they want to hear. I will tell them what they need to hear instead.

Patti Ketcham
Ketcham Realty Group Inc.

Good Job!
I’ve been a Florida Realtor® for more than 30 years. The February 2008 edition [of Florida Realtor magazine] may be your best effort to date. It’s timely, fresh, young and power-packed with real world suggestions that we can use … today.

Bill Mancinik
Bill Mancinik, Realtor®

Clarification: In the March 2008 issue’s Know the Law article, “Property Management Matters” (page 11), the first sentence of the second paragraph under the heading “License Requirements” should read: “Based on this definition, anyone who wants to advertise or offer for lease, negotiate the lease, and engage in the business of leasing must have a real estate license unless one of the exemptions outlined in Section 475.011, Florida Statutes, applies.” 

Submit letters to “Editor” via e-mail to, mail to P.O. Box 725025, Orlando FL 32872-5025, or fax to (407) 438-1411.
Letters are edited for space and clarity. Publication of a letter does not constitute an endorsement of the writer’s views by the Florida Association of Realtors®.