When you are selling your house, a lot of things are outside of your control. Who is (and how many are!) in the market to buy, interest rates, consumer sentiment. If you really need to sell it can be discouraging hearing all the bad news out there.
There are things you can control and that can help you unload your white elephant. Some will make more of a difference than others. Keep in mind that if you can't provide one of these things, be prepared to really step up to the plate on one or two of the others!
Is it easy to schedule appointments?
I use the Centralized Showing Service (CSS) to make appointments. Other agents can make appointments to see your home online 24/7 or via phone 8am-8pm 7 days a week. As a buyer's agent, I always groan a little inside when I see the words "Call Listing Agent for Appt" Some agents are better about answering and returning phone calls, some are worse - and then some are abysmal.
With CSS you don't have to worry about whether I'm with another client or if I'm out in the boondocks where my cell doesn't get service. When someone wants to make an appointment, they can, pretty much immediately. Period. It costs me a little bit o' cash but it's well worth it. For you? It's free.
Will you make your home available on short notice?
When an agent wants to show your home, CSS will call you or your spouse or your office or your cell or...(you get the idea).
Most agents try to give as much notice as possible but there's always that out of town client who is leaving in 3 hours and just noticed your adorable little cottage in the woods. So they might ring you up from outside your front door. If you've just stepped out of the shower, feel free to ask them to wait an hour. But if there's any way you can accommodate the request, letting them in is going to go a long way toward getting your house sold.
Side note: Having a for sale sign in your front yard makes some people think that you have a revolving door. If a random person knocks and asks to have a look-see don't just let them in. Give them my number and ask them to make an appointment. Letting a complete stranger into your house isn't something you'd normally do, is it? Don't do it now either.
Which brings me to point number three: Are you going to be home during showings?
When prospective buyers are looking at your house, you want them to be at ease, sauntering through and savoring the idea of living there. If you, the seller, are there, they'll instead feel like they are intruding on someone else's home. Because they are.
If you're a stay at home mom with three napping toddlers it can be difficult to clear out for every showing. Make the effort anyway. Even just meeting someone in the driveway on your way out can change the potential buyer's feelings about the home. I know it sounds weird but coming face to face with the owner of a home can kill the vibe of a showing. All of a sudden, it's no longer maybe going to be their house, it's yours.
Is it easy to actually get in the door?
Does the door stick? Do you have to jiggle the key just right? Can the buyer's agent open the door seamlessly and smoothly? If the answer is yes, yes, or no (respectively), change the locks, sand down the door, remove whatever obstacles there are for that agent and those buyers. You'll be glad you did.
Stay tuned for the two other things you can control when it comes to selling your house. Same Bat Time, same Bat Channel.
Originally posted at Chattanooga Real Estate News