Where Have the Prices Gone on Listings?

Have you noticed over the last 2 years that prices have been disappearing off the listings on the real estate websites?

As agents, we are not allowed to misrepresent a price on a property or we risk fines or having our licence cancelled. For example, we cannot list a property with a price of $600,000 fully knowing the house will sell for $800,000. It is part of our job to know how the market is performing and what price we think your property will fetch.

Having said that, Covid caught nearly everyone off-guard with houses selling for outstanding prices; prices above and beyond what we thought they would ever have achieved in a normal market.

This made our job quite hard. How do we put a price on a property when they are selling at unprecedented prices?

How do we put a price on a property knowing that if it’s marketed too low, we could receive a fine?

Easy, you don’t put a price on it, you use words like “New Listing” or “For Sale” or “Contact Agent” … something that is really annoying for buyers!

We try rarely to list a property without a price unless the owners’ specifically request the price not be disclosed, or other specific reasons.

It was always understood that a property listed with a price of:

  • “$800,000” – The owner would look at any offers around this price.
  • “Offers Over $800,000” – The owners would look at offers as long as they are above $800,000.
  • “Serious Offers Over $800,000” – Any offer would have to be significantly over $800,000 for the seller to consider it.

However, we have recently been warned by one of the websites for having a price of “Serious offers over…..”.  When asked why we received this warning (and threat of having the listing removed), we were told the only acceptable wording is below:

  • For sale
  • For sale – Contact Agent
  • Contact Agent
  • Expression of Interest
  • Auction
  • Forthcoming Auction
  • Under Offer
  • Under Contract

Now, think about this from a buyer’s point of view. One of the most important parts of a listing for a buyer is the price. There is no point inspecting a property that is well out of your price bracket, what a complete waste of both your’s and the seller’s time.

How frustrating it must be as a current buyer with the majority of listing having no price guide anymore! This means you are forced to contact the listing agent, which increases the number of enquiries on a property, which looks great for the websites because they are generating a large amount of enquiry…food for thought.

As always, remember if you need any help or advice, we are just a phone call away.

All the best, Simon.

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