Some agents, fearing they won't get the listing, will go with the higher price the client wants, Gardner said. In this case, he recommends the agent include a caveat: "I'll list it at your price, but if we don't have any offers in 30 days I'll be asking for a price reduction."
These types of sellers, he said, "want to test the water."
But this is a trickier proposition in a market in which values are falling, said Darryl Davis, a real estate agent in Wading River, N.Y., who trains agents across the nation. "You need to price ahead of the market instead of lowering the price every 30 days," he said.
It's one thing for an agent to take an overpriced listing when prices are rising. "It's possible the market will catch up with the price eventually," Davis said. "But the reverse is happening. To take an overpriced listing now is pointless for the agent and the homeowner."
Jack Cotton Jr., who specializes in the Cape Cod luxury market at Sotheby's International Realty in Osterville, Maine, says no to sellers who won't price realistically. He turned down the listing of an 11-acre property overlooking the water that the seller wanted to price at $4 million.