Christmas lights, a chill in the air, bustling traffic (as I’m driving) are all reminders of the holidays in our very near future. Holidays always make me think of cooking. Holiday cooking means pies. Pecan, coconut cream, friendship, and chocolate silk! Yum.
Recipes wander around in my head, (I’m still driving) en route to preview a few homes. Driving requires entertainment. I entertain myself by trying to remember specific recipes for pies. Pecan is no problem. I don’t mind saying I make the best pecan pie in my extended family. They agree. Pumpkin is no problem because I don’t make it – my baby sister probably has the winning recipe for that…and Texas sheet cake. Middle Sister does a turkey dressing that makes you want to slap somebody.
Anyway, as these recipes continue to run through my mind, I drive along. When I suddenly think of Pi. Stay with me, I have a point to make. We’re all familiar with Pi, that number that goes on and on, with no end or solution, kind of like a dog chasing his tail. We just know it as 3.14.
Of course, there’s a lot more to it…for instance, it’s a constant ratio in circles. And, it’s an irrational number, but for most of us, just knowing the 3.14 part is good enough. There’s no need to think about it beyond that. Pi probably isn’t going to affect you or me one way or another in life…
But that part about Pi being a constant and irrational number, that makes me think of (you guessed it) real estate, and that does affect us. Realtors discover it the day a client lists their home for sale.
Pi reminds me of the listing price of a home…
It’s a constant in the sense that we (constantly) want our home’s listing price to be a much bigger number than the market deems realistic. And it’s a constant thing that Realtors work to help clients understand and accept.
When homeowners disregard an agent’s advice (based, of course, on a sound market analysis) and list their home for an irrational number (more than the market will bear), this creates a problem that seems unsolvable, like PI. An overpriced home can sit, waiting for the price to be adjusted, or for the market to shift favorably. Imagine the circle of PI…constant yet irrational.
The problem solves itself. Eventually. Sometimes too late for a truly happy ending. You see, listing a home for an inflated price typically makes the process of selling a home go on, and on, and on, wasting selling time, accumulating days on the market, much as my favorite black dress accumulates lint. It seems never-ending, alas, much like Pi.
But, unlike irrational Pi, a realistic listing price can be found. There’s a scientific method for getting to the worth of a home. It isn’t necessarily easy, but it doesn’t require the genius of Einstein. The most difficult part of the process isn’t finding the data, or correcting the comparable properties. The difficult part for an agent is finding a way to convey unpopular information without being offensive.
I want you to get the best and highest price for your house. It’s good for you and it’s good for me. But I don’t want to give you false hope or unrealistic information, only for you to be angry when the house doesn’t sell in 60-90 days. I don’t want you to be offended either, but, I’d rather have you be offended and know I’ve been honest with you. Even if you choose not to list your home with me. That would make me very sad. But I’d rather be sad than mislead you.
You’re the decision maker when it comes to setting your home’s list price. I’m a partner. I provide you with a report of value and the best advice possible given the state of our market. I prepare a marketing plan. I generate activity. I analyze offers and present them for consideration. I make suggestions and gather information to help foresee any snags that might stand between you and the closing table. Easy as Pi? Certainly.
Now, I’ve decided on coconut cream and pecan. Pies, that is. I’ve got a plan. I’ve got the recipe and the ingredients. I know how to do this. Everything will be perfect as long as the electricity stays on – I have an electric oven, you see. But, that’s beyond my control. Kind of like the real estate market. I have to be okay with that.
By the way, here’s my pecan pie recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 1 Cup light brown sugar
- 1 Cup Karo (I use white but I think that’s a matter of personal preference)
- 3 large eggs (beaten)
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 Cup melted butter
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Cup chopped pecans
- 1 unbaked pie crust (9 inch)
Combine the first 6 ingredients. Stir in pecans. Pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour. I like to check it every 5 minutes or so after 45 minutes are up. I don’t want it jiggly but I do like more of a custard texture. I consider it done when I press the center and it’s just firm to touch.
Remove, cool, add whipped cream or vanilla Blue Bell. Grab a cup of coffee and a good friend. Nirvana! By the way, if your good friend isn’t available, you can store this in the fridge for 3 days or so. Wrap it tightly in foil, stick it in the freezer and your friend can enjoy a 3 month sabbatical, knowing that upon return to the warmth of your hearth, pie and coffee will be waiting.
Pie isn’t irrational.