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Show Me a Five Dollar Bill, and I’ll Show You Why Your Listing Expired September 29, 2006

Posted by Participant in Uncategorized.

John Lockwood is a California Real Estate Broker and author of http://www.sacramento-home.com. Visit his site for the latest area news and real estate listings. Article Copyright, 2005, John Lockwood. Published by permission under John’s Free Content License.

Sometimes it’s hard for sellers to understand why their listing expired. Sellers typically enjoy many fine years in their home, so they sometimes price their homes subjectively.

To understand why listings expire, it helps to imagine a listing expiring on something we understand has an objective price. So let’s imagine for a minute that you had a five dollar bill, but — perhaps for some twilight zone reason — five dollar bills were suddenly more difficult to sell. Because of this, you give a bill-salesman a 90-day listing on your five dollar bill, but it doesn’t sell, and the listing expires.

Now let’s imagine I’m there with you and you show me your five dollar bill and say, “John, why did my listing expire”? Here are some possible reasons based on my experience.

  • You wanted six dollars for the bill. One of the bill salespeople told you it was worth five, another told you she could get you six because she “sells so many bills every year”. You hired the salesperson who told you she could get you six dollars.
  • You listed the bill for five dollars, but insisted that your bill seller not show the bill to anyone unless you were there.
  • You listed the bill for five dollars, but told your bill seller not to put a sign up on the bill, because you didn’t want the other five dollar owners to know anything about your business and chat about you in the neighborhood.
  • The bill was torn in half and had maple syrup on it. Your bill seller suggested $4.75 but you knew other bills sold for $5.50, so you agreed to list it for $5.25.
  • You owed $4.00 to a lender for the bill, and wanted to buy a bill for $7.00, so you felt you needed to get $6.00 for it. With this in mind, you instructed your bill seller to list it for $6.00.
  • Someone down the street got $10.00 for a “similar” bill with Alexander Hamilton on it. Based on that, you figured your bill should be worth at least $8.00.
  • You paid $20.00 for a wallet for the bill.
  • Eight months ago, people were getting six dollars for such bills. Your bill person told you that the most recent sales of such bills were for five dollars. You listed your bill for six dollars.
  • You list the bill for $5.00. Your bill salesman doesn’t enter any marketing data in the MLS, and puts up a sign in the yard and a flier box with no fliers in it. You get an offer at $4.95 and want to accept it, but your bill salesman writes a counter-offer asking for a different title company, and the transaction falls apart.
  • You wanted eight dollars for the bill. You don’t really need to buy another bill. You told your bill salesman to list it for $9.00 to “see what happens”.
  • Your bill salesman lives 300 miles away from the bill, so they can’t be there readily to let buyers in or help answer questions from other agents.
  • Your bill salesman is a family member, who’s going to not only give you a break on the commission, he’s going to list the bill for $6.50 for you.
  • You know bill salesmen get too much money for what they do, so even though many bill salesman are getting 5% and 6% to list bills, you save money by hiring Help-You-Sell-Your-Bill. You agree to pay them 3% total. They offer 2% to the bill-buyer’s agent, who won’t show your bill because they can get 2.5% and 3% to show other bills. Nevertheless, a buyer is interested and is ready to see your home, but you hired Help-You-Sell-Your-Bill, so your agent doesn’t show it for you, you have to show it yourself. You make an appointment to show the interested buyer your bill on Saturday. On Thursday they see another bill they like better, call the agent on the sign and see the bill that day, write the offer, and they’re in escrow on Friday. They don’t call to cancel the Saturday appointment, but when you call to ask why they’re not there they tell you how excited they are about the bill they bought. Aren’t you excited for them?
  • You wanted eight dollars for the bill. Your bill salesman suggested selling it for five. You listed it for $7.50 and told your bill salesperson that if someone wants it they could “make you an offer”. No one makes an offer.
  • You wanted eight dollars for the bill. Your bill salesman suggested selling it for five. You listed it for $7.50 and told your bill salesperson that if someone wants it they could “make you an offer”. Someone offers you $5.00 and you’re insulted by this “lowball” offer, so you reject it. Two months later you ask your bill seller if that buyer is still interested, but meantime they’ve purchased another bill for $4.90.


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