Why do sellers in Cyprus lower their prices and not tell all agents simultaneously? The question of why sellers price their homes way over what they are willing to accept seems obvious and I won’t go into that now! As an agent in Paphos, who charges a very low and competitive rate, I would assume that my sellers would want to ensure that their home is listed with me at the same price as all other agents that have their home listed and surely not higher. I say this because some agents charge up to a whopping 10% and I only charge from 2.95% – 4.5% so the customer would save money if I was the one to sell their home. However, and this is where my problem is – my buyers lower their prices and don’t tell me! The reasons why I NEED them to inform me is that:
1. It makes me appear to be trying to rob people by having an inflated price
2. They lose money by giving other agents the advantage to sell by having a lower price than me, potentially costing them many thousands of Euros.
3. It creates a lot of extra work for me to explain myself to prospects who ask me about the differentiation in price when they find it listed on 3 sites for 3 prices and if my price is higher no matter what I say I can’t sell the home – the lowest priced listing agent will.
4. I do a lot of work for nothing as I advertise a home without even the potential to sell it.
Cyprus is a small market and the web advertising of properties is even smaller. Customers do their homework and easily find the same home on various sites. I had a home listed on my site for 365,000 CYP but it was listed for 339, 000CYP by another agent. When I called the customer he said to go ahead and list it for 300, 000 CYP now. Not only was this home way over-priced but a big difference in listing price between agents. Many agents work together and each will eventually find out about price differences but only after possibly losing many potential buyers if you have a higher price. When sellers are not honest it is harder for me to make a sale as the truth of matters comes out later as buyers always seem to think I am in cahoots with the sellers.
As agents, we are hired to make sales and we do work hard for that money and spend money to promote the homes. Once the sale is made then much more time is needed to complete the sale, get utilities sorted out, loans processed and lawyers dealt with. In Cyprus, there is no central system to find all homes for sale on one site or 1,2,3 process of completing a transaction of sale so we would appreciate sellers being as straightforward with us as possible and keep all agents updated of any price changes or any changes made to the status of the home – like if you rent it out – that is a whole other story!!
I also understand that many sellers will list their homes with so many agents that they may forget who they have it listed with in the first place. I have been told on many occasions how terrible a job so-and-so agent is because he didn’t bring anyone around to see their home. The truth of the matter is most buyers today are informed shoppers and why will they go look at an obviously over-priced property? In many cases we as agents are having to justify the sellers decisions and make excuses. I tell my sellers that if you are serious about selling, then you will decide what is the lowest you will accept for your home, add my commission on top of this and allow a very small extra for negotiating and that is the price we should list it for. Unfortunately, that message is not getting through. I also believe that you really don’t have to list with so many agents because buyers are doing serious searches and they will have to go beyond the first search page of google to seek that perfect property. I know buyers that seem to have taken the sale of their property as a full-time job, dealing with so many agents and only selling when the price finally reaches the point it should have been in the first place.
Of course, there is a fool out there who may pay the crazy price that someone is asking without doing their homework, but if that’s what you are looking for. you should buy a lottery ticket, it probably has the same odds!
If you have any opinions about this, have had a similar experience or are a seller please feel free to make a comment.