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Why Realtors turn down listings

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Dear Phyllis,

My husband and I were married five years before he passed away. We both had previous marriages but no children. As the home was solely in his name and he didn’t have a living trust, the home will be sold through probate.  I don’t yet have the authority to list but I have been talking with local Realtors to get an idea as to how much I can sell for. My home, built on a large lot, by a noted architect, needs some work.I want to sell for $5,000,000. Both Realtors told me they thought my home would sell nearer $3,000,000. Subsequently, they each told me they don’t want my listing. I am hoping you can help me understand why a Realtor would not want a $5,000,000 listing.


Dear Perplexed,

I am sorry for your loss. It is unfortunate that your husband didn’t have a living trust and you need to go thorough the extra burden and expense of probate.

Most likely the real estate agents are turning down the opportunity to list the home because they feel the price is too high. Depending on the caliber of real estate agent you hire, there are numerous out of pocket expenses a Realtor might incur when marketing a home of your caliber. There are two primary reasons Realtors turn down listings – time and money.

Some of the out of pocket marketing expenses might include:

1) Home Biography: This is a popular listing tool, when a home has a pedigree of some sort (notable owners and/or architects)

2) Professional Floorplan: As you indicate your home needs work, a floorplan will enable potential buyers to easily visualize how they can remodel and possibly rework your floorplan.

3) Professional Photos: Always a must. Your first showings are online.

4) Site Plan: Being located on a large lot, a professional site plan is also an excellent marketing tool, to show the potential of the grounds.

This is not taking into account your Realtor’s time and effort in helping you prepare the home for sale. Your real estate agent will be meeting potential clients for home tours. These take time to set up and complete.

Possibly both real estate agents are taking into account that probate listings can only be for a ninety day duration. However, they can be renewed for additional ninety-day periods. But I think you can understand that because of a Realtor’s initial cash outlay and time invested; they are reluctant to take on an overpriced listing for just ninety days. Keep in mind that Realtors go unpaid until we close escrow.

I wish you success selling your home and starting the next chapter of your life.

Related Post: Co-listings

One thought on “Why Realtors turn down listings

  1. Linda says:

    Perhaps that don’t want a client with unrealistic expectations

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