It is a given and certainly appreciated and understood that your property is used as a vehicle for monetary gain. However, it is imperative that you "live with the rest of humankind on this planet". Do not expect an agent or real estate brokerage firm to sell an apartment for $500,000 which is worth only half that amount on the market, no matter what article you read in the weekend city paper. The responsibility of the agent is to get you the best price they can, but an agent is simply not capable of raising the real-estate value of your property by one-hundred percent, just because you were told by the aunt of your best-friend's second-cousin, that your specific apartment is one of a kind.
Stay on the planet earth. It is easy to get carried away. We all know how tempting it is to take your property which you and the rest of the world knows is worth only $250K and put it out on the market for $300K hoping to find that lucky break. Stories abound of the lucky “lotto" winner who sold a run-down apartment for $100K over market price. Do not expect to win the “lotto". Pricing yourself out of the market even if you give an agent exclusivity, will just lead to frustration later on. You will be sitting on top of a property you needed to sell six months ago, bemoaning the fact that no one wants to offer you just a few thousand dollars more than its market worth, because you smile nicely.
This rule also applies to renting. Agents field many calls asking us to find a four room apartment in Old Katamon or Bakkah of approximately 100+ square meters with a garden, and in great condition to rent for a budget of $1000 a month. Simply put, finding something like this within the budget is just not going to happen. Whenever a reputable agent receives such a phone call, they will simply try and explain that one must be realistic in expectancies. It does no good to hope you will find some landlord who does not know the worth of his apartment. Some listen, others insist on wasting a month of their precious time, speaking with brokers who promise anything, and walking away frustrated and mumbling at the horrible service brokers in Israel give to them. Try to be realistic. Try to demand something that is possible. And understand that if it is not possible, brokers will be straightforward and tell you so.
In selling, price your property, and make the price realistic. Your neighbor on the first floor may have the exact same apartment as you do, but they will get $15,000 more than you will, because they have six steps to their apartment and you have forty-two. You cannot compare the two apartments even if they look exactly the same - because they are not the same!
The same holds true for those who want to purchase. Don't negotiate with the owners of the bottom apartment telling them that the exact same apartment is available on the top floor for $15,000 less. You must make a decision. Is that $15,000 worth not having to climb forty-two steps every day?
Please save the trips into the outer limits for your next great novel. Don't try and convince a young couple with two small toddlers that walking up 42 steps is just as good as walking up six steps. It just wont work. Praise the good aspects of your property, but don't run away from the possible defects.
Ted W. Gross owns Virgin Earth, a real estate brokerage firm in Jerusalem, Israel. Virgin Earth represents residential and commercial real estate all over Israel. The web site for Virgin Earth is: http://www.virginisrael.com . Virgin Earth also maintains an RSS Feed on its current properties which can be found on most pages in the web site of Virgin Earth. Ted Gross can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org . Ted Gross is also a published author and maintains a web site for his works. This can be found at: http://www.virginisrael.com/twg/iw.html