Lenn makes some great points. Too many agents act like shills for those shows on HGTV without providing all of the options and ramifications. A home needs to be priced for the conditions, the better the condition, the better the price. We need to educate sellers and in such a way that they will be more likely to accept what we say.
Please go comment on Lenn's original if you have something to say, or if you disagree.
THERE ARE MORE WAYS TO SKIN A HOUSE THAN JUST SPENDING MONEY.
HAS THE AGENT COMPLETED A "NET PROCEEDS TO THE SELLER" before giving the seller advice to spend money???
This opinion piece was inspired by a post by Debbie Gartner (MEMBERS ONLY) about a seller who has a house to sell wherein some hardwood floors are warn. I often think when I hear a listing agent recommend that expensive repairs (refinish floors, upgrade kitchen, upgrade baths, replace carpet, etc.) be done prior to listing that, if I were a seller, my comment would be:
"HEY, I DIDN'T CONTACT YOU FOR REDECORATING ADVICE. I CONTACTED YOU TO SELL MY HOUSE".
WAIT! Before listing agents have a conniption, understand that giving such advice to sellers is often necessary when the sellers have the attitude of so many that, "If it's good enough for me. . . . . ". Fine. The seller can sell the house in it's present condition as long as the listing agent can explain that homes are priced for condition as well as the local market pricing.
I'm a firm believer that the direct approach is usually the best approach. Just telling a seller that they "must refinish the hardwood floors" is not usually the answer. Of course, better advice would be, "to get top dollar for your property for sale, the warn hardwood flooring should be refinished". Also, the seller's ability to fund expensive repairs has to be considered.
IMO, PRICE SELLS. Of course, price is only one part of selling a property. It's far more complicated than that.
Price, Terms, Condition and Accessibility
PRICE: Where the house stacks in an MLS "price range search" is critical. To sell faster, a house should be priced at the bottom of a price range search.
TERMS: Any terms such as the dreaded STFHOC contingencies (killer) will discourage showings for folks who are serious buyers in need of a home now.
CONDITION: Price for condition. Or, price at market with the offer of a "Seller's credit to buyer for hardwood floors in dining room". The buyer is compensated for taking the hardwood floors as is. In fact, the brochure could easily include the estimate for refinishing.
ACCESS: Price, terms, condition are meaningless if the house isn't easy for buyer's agents to show. No lockbox? Forget it. Agent must accompany showings?? Forget it.
PRICING A HOME IS COMPLICATED. That's a fact that many sellers do not understand. There is always the belief that their home is "better" than homes for sale in competition or recent closed sales of similar homes.
One thing for sure, home owner/sellers will benefit from the advice of an experienced listing agent who will give them the facts, ALL THE FACTS, without the simplistic advice that "you must refinish the hardwood floors". Fact is, the home will sell if it's priced right and that may just mean "proced for condition".
Courtesy, Lenn Harley, Broker, Homefinders.com, 800-711-7988.
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