Reader and frequent contributor Al Johnson has been blocked out of this site by some software malfunction, so he sent me this comment via email, regarding real estate agents “overpricing” their own homes:
Freakonomics got a lot of attention from that piece, but they missed most of the real reasons. Agents’ houses are almost always in better shape, and better prepared for market, than those of the average seller.
But the biggest factor? Everybody thinks their house is the best out there: after all, you bought it because you loved it. Consequently, everybody thinks their house is more valuable than the competition. Much of an agent’s job in taking a listing is talking the seller down to a realistic price. But when the seller is the agent, who’s going to talk him down? Hence the almost universally overpriced agent-owned listings, and the consequent longer market times. It’s not a conspiracy, just stupidity–