What's better to a broker, a dozen percolating sales at $300,000 each or four potential $900K deals? You might suppose that fewer transactions would be sweeter—less paperwork, after all—but since any given sale can fall apart, most salespeople prefer volume to price.
And so, while many agents are serious in their promise to get you the top payoff possible, it is not necessarily in their interest to wait for the very best offer. "When listing agents are competing for your business, they will talk about your lovely house and the high price they can get," says Florida lawyer Ansbacher. "Once they have you signed, that's when they mention the old roof and tell you to drop your price for a quicker sale." Here again, paying for an independent appraisal is money well spent. Set a solid asking price and tell your broker you'll sit tight.