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Why might a Realtor turn down a listing?

Dear Phyllis,
Fifteen years ago, I purchased a major fixer. It is a one-of-a-kind home on a large, sloped lot with a new four-car garage and a two-bedroom guest house. Although the main home is just under 1,500 square feet, it was built in the 1930s and is very charming. I contacted the Realtor who sold it to me, and he told me that he thought it would sell for $500,000 less than what I needed. My Realtor believes the size of the main home, the location on a busy street, and the neighbor’s two-story house negating privacy in my yard are negatives. I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars improving and repairing this property and now want to cash out and retire. To retire, I need a certain amount of money to do so. He acted as if he didn’t want to try at my price. I don’t understand why any Realtor might turn down a listing. Do you think it’s because he is simply afraid of hard work? CG

Dear CG,
As a Realtor who has listed many homes in our most recent boom, it has been much easier than in years past. We typically prepare the home for sale, formulate a marketing strategy, have a couple of open houses, and then collect offers. This is no longer the case. In the 1990s I was selling real estate when it sometimes took up to a year to sell a home.

There are many reasons a Realtor might turn down a listing. I don’t believe it’s a matter of your Realtor not wanting to work. I think it’s more that he doesn’t want to waste his time or yours. It’s not easy keeping your home in show condition. Apparently, he believes that your home will not sell quickly, or if at all, for the price you need to retire and move. Therefore, he will have spent much time and money marketing your home without compensation. In addition, when a home seller has unrealistic expectations, they sometimes blame their real estate agent. He may not want to jeopardize your relationship.
If you look at this example, you can understand why fewer buyers exist. Let’s assume a $1,000,000 purchase price with a 20% down payment of $200,000.
• Interest Rate: 3%
• Mortgage Payment: $3,373
• LA County Property Taxes:  $1,042
• Estimated Insurance:  $150
• Total monthly payment: $4565
Now let’s assume where we have more recently hovered.
• Interest Rate: 5.875%
• Mortgage Payment: Principal and Interest: $4,732
• LA County Property Taxes:  $1,042
• Estimated Insurance:  $150
• Total monthly payment: $5,924

Unfortunately for home sellers, the market has shifted due to the rapid increase in interest rates. Therefore, many buyers are now priced out of the market. The value of your home is simply what a buyer will pay. It has nothing to do with how much you need or have spent.
I wish you success on your move and your retirement.