1. Think Like A Buyer!
In any kind of sales, products do not sell just because someone had a great idea, or because someone wants to make a lot of money. Products sell because someone figured out what buyers want; how to provide it, package it, and present it. Prices change frequently because someone is keeping tabs on what buyers are willing to pay. They adjust to the competition so that their product is selected and sold. Selling your home is really no different. When considering a sale, ask yourself these questions:
- Why did you buy your house? This is likely the same reason others will buy it. Make the most of that!
- What bothered (or bothers) you about your house? It could also be an obstacle for buyers. Can you remedy the issue (i.e. cosmetic fixes) or is it something unavoidable (i.e. easements, gravel road, or the way the home sits on the lot)? If it is the former, consider improving it prior to listing (see the sections entitled “Presentation is Powerful,” parts one and three).
- How do you judge other homes when you go to Open Houses or tour homes with your Realtor®? Buyers will judge yours similarly. Can you anticipate some objections that may arise? How can they be minimized?
Buyers today are savvy! They have more information, literally at their fingertips, than anytime in history. They know true value and are unlikely to be fooled by any seller. Do you know as much as they do?
We can help. We work with all kinds of buyers and have for years. We know how they think and react, and what they want; let us give you the value of our experience!
2. Understand the Market
We live in a market economy. The real estate marketplace is not fictitious nor a fabrication. It is an indisputable and powerful economic force with which to contend. It is more science than art; more objective than subjective. If you understand it, you can prosper. If you do not, it has the proverbial upper hand on you. Uneducated decisions inevitably cost more than just money; in a constantly changing market, lost opportunity and wasted time can have far greater consequences.
Realtors® live everyday in this particular marketplace; it is our job to understand the market we work in. Trust us to help give you informed advice. It is in both our best interests to get your property sold for the best price in the shortest amount of time (see our article about Commissions).
3. Price, Price, Price!
You’ve heard the real estate battle cry, “Location, Location, Location.” That is the cry of a buyer. As a seller you have no control over this! As a seller the power you have to wield is, “Price, Price, Price.” This is your mantra!
An opportunity to get the quickest sale at the highest price is at the very beginning of a listing. This is when you will have the most showings and genuinely interested buyers. It is also the time you have the most leverage. But if you price your home unrealistically up front, you run the risk of turning off a lot of very good potential purchasers. Later, you will chronically wrestle to achieve a strong price and presence. Too often opportunities are squandered because of over-pricing.
If you did your best to prepare your property for sale, present your property in its best light, expose it widely in the marketplace, and had a reasonable amount of showings, then the only other issue (that is within your immediate control) is the pricing. The market will speak and is speaking clearly: competitively price your home. A good value sells. This does not mean that an over-priced property will not sell, but statistics show that it will likely be at a deflated price after a longer period of time.
We will keep you fully informed about feedback and changes in the marketplace. We can help you with creative ways to improve your competitive advantage and your value proposition.
4. Patience is a Necessary Virtue
Nobody sells a home for the joy of the experience! The process can be intrusive, unpredictable, turbulent, and frustrating. It is, at times, fraught with personal offenses, anxiety, fear, and disappointment. As Realtors® with extensive background in customer service, it is our desire to minimize these negative experiences for you. Though we cannot control the market, the timing, or the offers which come in, we can and will work wisely for the best results for you.
We have learned to be patient and tolerant with all parties in a transaction (including, but not limited to, other Realtors® and brokerages, other clients, inspectors, lenders, title and escrow officers, etc), yet we will be unrelenting and persistent specifically for your interests. We will not give-up until the job is done nor will we compromise our promises to you. If at any point during the listing we find that we cannot do the best job for you, we will resign our services and set you free to pursue a better alternative.
5. Gambling with Your Biggest Investment
Having endured through the negotiations of hundreds of transactions (each one seemingly unique with challenges and threats), I am a true believer in real estate representation. In my past, I chose to sell ‘For Sale By Owner’ two times. Once I was successful (but settled for detrimental terms and conditions), and once I failed (and lost two years of opportunity on a very valuable property).
At 60 years old, I have finally learned that it is better to trust trail guides, consult travel agents, hire an attorney, respect teachers, follow proven models, listen to those who are experienced in their field, and utilize the expertise and resources of those who know more than I do. Selling a home is one area in which people sometimes underestimate the value of hiring a professional in the field. The industry is constantly changing. Realtors® are required to keep up with the changes. Contracts are long and complicated. Disclosures are there for your protection. The absence of any number of these things could mean money lost (trust me, I’ve been there twice!) and increased risk for legal exposure.
Don’t gamble on your biggest investment. Let us guide you from start to finish, marking the milestones, minimizing risks, and solving the problems.
We trust that you will find the information provided here helpful as you consider selling your home. These are only a few of the many questions that a seller may have, so if your questions weren’t answered here, please feel free to contact us any time.