So the Commercial Property is Overpriced

When you list and sell commercial property as a real estate agent, you will frequently come across unsold properties where the seller wants too much money. The seller may have had the property on the market for some time with another agent and nothing has happened. The seller will tell you that the agent is no good, but the reality is that the seller has not accepted the market situation.

More often than not the property is overpriced and the seller refuses to accept that fact; they tell you that they will ‘come down in price in a negotiation’ or ‘get me an offer and I will adjust my price then’. Good agents will help the vendor see the market and take the right actions. An overpriced listing today is a waste of time for all concerned.

As you and I both know, buyers are not stupid these days and generally will not put in an offer unless the property is priced correctly in the first place. There are fewer buyers active in this market, so the offers that are available for the average listing will be less. In many situations you may only get one offer to purchase and that offer should be optimised.

This is what I do and tell sellers about their commercial or retail property and its marketing for sale:

  1. Price the property with due regard for other comparable properties in the current market today.
  2. Your property may be special to you, but the buyers will compare and will not want to be an experiment in setting a new higher price in the property market.
  3. The marketing of commercial property today is a specialised process that must reach the target audience.
  4. The first 3 or 4 weeks of the marketing campaign are really important to impressing and attracting the local buyers and getting an offer on the table.
  5. Vendor paid advertising is today the norm and not the exception. A vendor that does not commit to the marketing of their own property is likely not to be genuine.
  6. Choose the right method of sale that works for the buyers. You don’t want to scare them off.
  7. Track your entire enquiry activity so you know what works and what doesn’t. If the enquiry is not coming in, then adjust your marketing in some way.
  8. If you have not attracted reasonable interest in 4 weeks then something is wrong.
  9. If the property has not sold in 3 months, it is better to remove it from the market now and reposition the property for another attempt in 6 months time.
  10. If you find that the vendor is not realistic in a sale or negotiation, you must use 3rd party evidence to prove that your recommendations have real substance.

I know that the market is tough at the moment, but good properties will always sell providing the price is realistic. It just comes down to the efforts and skill of the agent in attracting the enquiry.

If you want some more ideas on commercial agency practice and sales skill development, visit our website at


By John Highman

John Highman is an International Commercial Real Estate Author, Conference Speaker, and Broadcaster living in Australia, who shares property investment ideas and information to online audiences Worldwide.