I'm getting ready to move across the country from Alabama to Colorado, and need to sell my beautiful home-in-the-country-on-four-acres. Not being an active real estate agent in Alabama, I hired my local agent, Millie Miller to get it done for me.
This is only the second time in my life I've not sold my own property myself. The first time was a new construction townhouse assign & flip deal in Steamboat Springs (Ski-Town USA) which wasn't even built yet, so that doesn't really count. This time... it's the real deal.
It's SO enlightening to be on the Other Side. When Millie came out to look at the house, it was in shambles. Painters painting, boxes everywhere, an as yet unrepaired hole in the ceiling from a plumbing leak and a trashed yard with land mines (I have 4 dogs) and piles of old wood. I could see the dismay in her eyes and could imagine how I would feel in her shoes. It sure didn't look like a place that buyers were going to fall in love with! Yes, I promised her it would be clean, tidy, sweet-smelling and land mine-free by the time it went on the market, but we've all heard THAT before, haven't we?
(BTW, this breaks rule #13 in my book about listings: "Insist on a showing-ready home before you price.")
Ah, yes, the price. "Well," I told her, "I owe $225,000 on the house, so I need to sell for at least $240,000." (Go ahead, roll your eyes at me; I deserve it.) Luckily, she was going to suggest $248,000 (as long as I get it clean, tidy, sweet-smelling and land mine-free). Check out Broker Bryant's seller-dictated pricing formula here. It's a hoot.
So, Millie gave me my to-do list (paint the blood-red closet and the purple master bedroom, fill in the holes dug under the fence, replace the ceiling fans on the porch, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc....). I found myself arguing with her about the importance of some of the items, but she respectfully reminded me that: "Buyers want to fall in love. The more maintenance or cosmetic items they notice, the less likely they're going to fall in love. You can't price a home (nor should you want to) to compensate for leaving little things undone. Do you really want to risk losing the few buyers we have in this market because you didn't want to paint a closet?"
Okay. Yeah, I get it.
I crack myself up. I wrote a whole book on how to get your listings sold and overcome seller objections to your recommendations... and here I am, being the typical argumentative seller.
It's good for the soul to be on the other side - I'll keep you posted!