Eliminate fixed asking prices?

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

The Brits and their former colonies, except us, advertise their houses as “inviting offers between ….. and ……”. These days, when no one seems to know what a realistic asking price is, perhaps we in Greenwich might adopt that approach. I stopped by that new construction of Byfield the other day to see if the listing agent could explain how its price dropped from $9 million to $5.1 million and back up to $5.9 million. He basically shrugged and said, “who knows what it’s worth?” I refrained from giving him my guess but he has a point. An ad that said, “entertaining offers from $4,750,000  to $5,350,000″ (just to pluck some numbers from the air) might not elicit any offers, but it would send a strong signal that the seller was willing to negotiate, provide some sort of floor defining what, at the present time, a seller considered a low ball offer too low to consider, and would spare him the embarrassment of looking  as foolish as he does when he’s yo-yoing the price up and down.

Just a thought.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Eliminate fixed asking prices?

  1. Retired IB'er

    As a buyer, I would ignore the upper end of the range completely and consider the lower end of the range as the starting point for applying discounts.

    So as a seller, I’m not sure what the advantage would be to a range.

    Seems to me the best advice would be to realistically price the house from the start (looking at 02 to 03 pricing) and then seriously assess each and every offer. If not getting any offers (within a certain timeframe) lower the price and repeat until sold.

    • christopherfountain

      The buyer’s response (bid the lowest ask) was always my response when I perused the prices of used castles in Country Life when I was a kid (planning my empire, I suppose). Why not price it right to begin with? But if a market was strong, it would be a way to avoid what we do here: price it low, hope for a bidding war and anger a bunch of frustrated losing bidders.
      I’m just tossing the idea out there, a thought triggered by that agent’s confusion as to what a “good” price was in today’s market. Hey -it’s a quiet Sunday, football doesn’t start for an hour, what else am I going to do?

  2. PrimeTimeMom

    In San Diego, CA it is a common practice to list a house with a price range. The reasoning is that the house will be seen by more people when they pull up a list of available houses in their price range as it may be in the low range or the high range of the listing price.