“I Don’t Really Have to Sell”

by George R. Harvey, Jr.
2011 Vice Chair, NAR Resort and Second Home Real Estate Committee

Quite often when I go on a listing presentation, the seller tells me at the end of the presentation, “Well, I really don’t have to sell”.  This is after giving them a thorough market analysis, showing them how many properties compete with their property and how many sales have happened in the last 12 to 15 months in their category.  Sometimes I’ll take them out to look at several of the most similar properties to their property in order to give them an idea of what their competition is.  Many times, of course, they say, “My property is better.”  As you might guess, most sellers take that position.  When I give the seller the market analysis, the same exact analysis that every buyer/broker is going to give their buyers and that seller says, “I really don’t have to sell,” the first question that enters my mind is, “So why are you putting your property on the market”?  It takes a terrific amount of effort on the listing broker’s part for showing appointments, marketing materials, and advertising expense to have a successful sale.  And then the seller is going to say, “If I can get my price I might sell my house.”  Let me translate what that means.  If we get a really wealthy person that will pay cash, close quickly, doesn’t do any market research, and is really stupid, and will just pay whatever the asking price is, I’ll sell my house.  What an incredible burden this creates for the listing agent and a setup for disappointment for all parties engaged.

One of the biggest problems that we have in the Telluride market as well as other markets in the resort and second home niche, is sellers still pricing to the peak of 2006, ’07, and ‘08 markets.

​Buyers in general are well informed and have done their homework on the internet and always ask for all the market comps.  Sellers often ​say, “Well my property is special or unique or here’s why I bought it”.  All those wonderful things are good points for potential buyers in the future, but every buyer has their own list of dreams and desires and they’re all watching Bloomberg.

​Not only does a property in this market have to be priced competitively, but it needs to be one or two best values in its market category to even get on the show list.  It also has to be in great condition, because buyers are now looking for every flaw possible and are making objections for the smallest of items.  The end result for sellers that don’t price to the market is following the market all the way down and always being just behind the selling price range rather than just in front of it where they should be.  If you are a property owner in a resort or second home market and truly want to sell, ask you listing broker to do a very thorough market analysis and what it will take to be the first one or two properties shown in that market niche.  It will greatly improve your odds of making a sale and won’t waste your time and your listing agent’s.

You may contact George Harvey at 970-729-0111 or

  1. So tryue George, and applies the same in our resort market in the Laurel Highlands. OK to repost on our blog? Thanks, see you at NAR.

  2. George–Great post! You are right on and those are listings no one needs to take in this market.

  3. Carol

    I’m n the Palm Springs area, and our problems are the same. However, I do find that even if they state they don’t have to sell, they really may need to and they are not being honest, yet.

  4. The WORST is when you take a listing and they won’t let you put a realtor lock box on the door…. HOW DO YOU EXPECT ME TO SHOW IT?!?!

  5. Lisa Remington-Smith

    Thanks George! Great post! Prices in the Williamsburg market must not only be comparative and competitive but compelling

  6. OMG on nearly every single listing appointment I have been on I hear that comment “I don’t have to sell.” For those customer’s that choose to ask me to list at some ridiculously high price and not only that but ask me to lower my commission – I walk away. I may go back to them later after the listing expires, because some novice real estate agent comes along and accepts all of their demands just to get the listing. For every single listing I have taken where the homeowner values and takes my advice, we have had a smooth and quick sale. We are the professionals and should not let the homeowner make us go against our better judgment. Your article is well written, timely and hit the nail right on the head.

  7. Pat

    So the realtors want you to make the house perfect and take the lowest price, no wonder owners are renting and holding. The realtors may be creating a market that is decreasing the pricing, maybe they don’t want to work that hard to make the sale. Location, location, location and how many units are available in the same location, buyers are going to make the house thier own anyway. I always expected to paint and do work on whatever house I bought. What happened to people that sell because they don’t want to do anymore work to the house and just want to move on, and buyers that don’t mind working on their new purchase. Realtors need to get back to selling property, not just showing it.
    ie. explain how much carpeting/paint and a new kitchen would be in comparison to buying a higer priced home that they may not be able to afford. Do the work themselves or allocate monies for it in the settlement. Do things a little at a time and be patient, the good old fashioned way, sweat equity. Get up off your butt and do some physical work, learn something new, be creative. I see a trend of people starting to appreciate old things, and hope it translate into existing older homes. The quality is there, and if a storm hits, the olds ones are still standing and the new houses are debris. Have you ever looked at “new construction stucco”, ten years later, mold and mildew, yuk

  8. Thanks so much for the work you have put into this post. I have this post bookmarked in Delicious and will refer back frequently over the next several day.

  9. Pat, That would be great if the buyer of today didn’t expect it to all be done. It is sad to say but today’s buyer is/was SPOILED all their life and they have no idea what it means to put some work into their home.

    That being said seller who have bought in the last 10 years and who have done NOTHING to their homes aren’t going to get what they paid….and I would discourage them from trying to “fix it” to fit a buyers needs…..better to take the blow and give up some on the price, unless you can do it yourself and do a good job.