Do You Want to Sell this Home or Not?

Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

Do You Want to Sell this Home or Not?


This may sound like a rant, given the title, but it’s not. Any sarcasm you might feel is purely your imagination.


It IS a host of suggestions for sellers, and their listing agents, to help demonstrate to the buying public, and buyer agents, that they do, in fact, WANT to sell. And some thoughts on those actions that send the wrong message.



Marketing will NOT sell an overpriced homeThe message you send by pricing is a big one in today’s market, and it’s obvious. Most agents have a good handle on what is selling and what is not and for what price, and you aren’t sending the right message if you are overpriced. Buyer agents recognize immediately what’s going on, and if you think they won’t tell the clients whose interests they are representing the home is overpriced you are fooling yourself.


Buyers have a good idea of prices, too, and since they are spending the bucks they tend to be cheap.  Heard the phrase “I want a deal?” Still holds true even with the reduced inventory.


Don’t forget about appraisals. You know, those documents the banks require to make sure the home the buyer wants to buy at a certain price is really worth it? Well, appraisals are still an issue, and just because you want $XXX and a buyer says “Sure, I will pay that” does not mean the bank is going to agree with you. You’d better hope for a cash buyer who doesn’t have to worry about a bank appraisal. But they don’t want to overpay, either!




Getting in front of buyers and agents is keyGetting in front of agents AND buyers is essential, and we know that much of that has to be on-line (but perhaps not exclusively depending on the market, type of property, etc.). Polls tells us that around 90% of buyers or more are finding their homes on-line. But just being there is not enough. All the marketing in the world will NOT sell an overpriced home – it just becomes obvious to the world.


Think about this – your FIRST Open House is on-line, pretty much without exception, and if there aren’t a bunch of TOP QUALITY photos there that encourage buyers to want to see more, than you may have lost them. But lots of photos won’t make up for the fact that your home has clutter everywhere and a yard the Addams family would covet.




Fido is NOT going to help sell your homeThe message you send about your interest in selling is also reflected in showing availability. Make it a challenge to show and guess what?


Limiting the hours and the days, or having a lively dog running around who can’t wait to jump all over, hump the buyer’s legs, or get into a big snarling-territorial thing does NOT send the message that you want to sell your home.


And another thing – do you know if your agent is going to return calls and text messages promptly to confirm appointments? Sadly some are not good at this rather rudimentary task. And will you return calls promptly? Calling a seller a couple of times without a return call says “Oh, we really aren’t all that keen on selling our home.” Happened to me twice just the other day.


And if the home is not available, then for heavens sake let the world know.  When the MLS says “call for showings” and you say “Oh, we accepted an offer and aren’t showing the home anymore” buyers, and their agents, tend to feel pretty frustrated and ticked off. Whether it’s disconnect between what you think is the reality or not (this tends to be a short sale type of problem), or your agent is simply not keeping the MLS updated, THIS is a problem and it sends the wrong message. Everyone should be clear on whether the home can be shown or not.




Are your showing instructions driving buyers and agents nuts?This is the ultimate insult to buyer agents and their clients when done poorly, and a disservice to you. If you want to send the message you are not all that serious about selling your home this is the place to do it.


True, it’s not the sellers fault if the MLS listing looks like it was created by a kindergartner, but that agent you have hired IS responsible for representing YOUR best interests, which means doing what is necessary to help get your home sold.  And part of that is a good MLS listing.


If the listing is poor YOU are not getting the representation and service you deserve if you are a serious seller.


Limited pictures, photos of bathrooms with open toilets, abundant typos, limited or inaccurate information, and out and out misrepresentation (“move-in condition” when the home is really ready for a bulldozer) will not have the desired effect, except to let buyers and agents know you are not really all that serious.


*   *   *   *   *   *   *


I could go on but this was long enough.


Selling your home is tough business and a lot of work IF you are serious. For the life of me I cannot understand why someone would go through all the pain of showings, etc. to just test the market. Same goes for those agents who buy into that approach.


Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Praful Thakkar 10/19/2012 01:46 PM
  2. Hannah Williams 10/21/2012 06:45 AM
  3. Roy Kelley 10/22/2012 01:22 AM
  4. Gabe Sanders 11/04/2012 08:09 PM
  5. Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional 11/05/2012 09:51 PM
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Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Jeff, excellent tips every sellers. Pricing is an important factor in the listing process.

Oct 19, 2012 11:04 PM #20
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

These are definitely important considerations if a seller wants to get his or her home sold fast--or at all.

Oct 19, 2012 11:45 PM #21
Arizona Home Group RE/MAX Excalibur
The Arizona Home Group - Scottsdale, AZ

Great information Jeff, thanks for sharing!  I showed a new listing yesterday that had a brand new, shiny key that was not well fitted.  It took 10 mins to unlock the door.  Not sure how successful the showings will be when agents can't unlock the door! 

Oct 20, 2012 12:49 AM #22
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Edward and Celia - it happens all the time

Tim - so true. Unfortunately given the low inventory some sellers may feel that some of this stuff just doesn't matter.

Thanks, janeAnne - glad it resonates. I have had so many experiences recently with showings and lack of communication. I think I actually said out loud (in the car by myself) - do you want to sell this house or what? - after one particularly frustrating experience.

Jane - and we are still seeing a lot of overpricing. And a healthy number of deals fall apart because of appraisal issues.

George - yeah, right. :)

Chuck - glad to hear

Susan - oh the stories we can all tell about those MLS listings. And it seems to be getting worse and inventory decreases and activity has improved. Some of the short sales and REO listings are the worst.


Oct 20, 2012 01:01 AM #23
Andrew Martin
REMAX Accord - San Ramon, CA

In my market right now, if you put a sign in the ground, the home will sell that day. So, the MLS, advertising etc. etc. doesn't really matter. An agent was telling me yesterday that there were multiple offers on a 3.5mil house and her client had to really fight for it.

And on short sales listings, most of the time they are sold before it goes on the market, and we have to put it on for the sake of the MLS and we don't want to make it easy to show. We don't want to show it at all, but the banks require it to be on the MLS for x number of days.

Oct 20, 2012 01:06 AM #24
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Dan - agreed. It is so often the real problem, no matter if everything else - photos, videos, MLS, marketing - is perfect.


Oct 20, 2012 01:21 AM #25
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks, Li. It seems some agents do not feel that way. And maybe some sellers don't recognize it as such


Oct 20, 2012 01:24 AM #26
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Kerry - yep, those MLS photos drive me nuts, too, when they are bad, and buyers complain about them. I don't get it.

Praful - yep, been there done that too for reasons I won't get into. I do think that sometimes when the seller just wants a certain price they really are not all that serious.

Maureen - one would hope so. Then again there are sellers who really do a great job and do everything right and the house sells quickly.

Pete - being motivated is key. I always find it humorous when agents state that in a listing that has been on the market for many months. One has to wonder. LOL

Tammie - so true. I think sometimes the agents themselves sabotage listings (e.g., lack of communication, not returning calls), but sometimes it's the sellers' actions that create problems

Betsy - indeed. I am getting a ssense, though, that is mnay areas things are moving fast so some of this stuffmay not make as much of a difference, although it still reflects badly on us if we don't do a goo job on photos, with the MLS, etc.

Gita - read, and also followed!!

Sally and David - it really has to be a partnership. And in most cases things go well I think.


Oct 20, 2012 08:56 AM #27
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Jeff - We're supposed to put good photos on the MLS!  LOL.  Seriously, this is so important as is pricing and pretty much everything in your post.

Oct 20, 2012 03:08 PM #28
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey Jeff, I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.  Have a great week!

Oct 21, 2012 02:08 AM #29
Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

Great post. As a buyer's agent, I always wonder how serious a seller is when there are restrictions on showings. When I read the caption for me to call ahead 24 hours...I usually put that house at the bottom of my showing list.

Oct 21, 2012 05:34 AM #30
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Great post Jeff I can't agree with you more on every point and I must thank Pat because I did miss this post and it is spectacular ! Looks like a great reblog to me !


Oct 21, 2012 06:36 AM #31
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

It just can not be said enough: the steps a seller needs to take in theirs attemps to sell their property can't be skipped . . . or their home may be in the tour with buyers!

Oct 21, 2012 07:05 AM #32
Karen Baker
Sunset Beach and Beyond Realty - Sunset Beach, NC
Professional Help with Rapid Responses...

Jeff ~ Testing the market with a home priced too high is a waste of time for the seller and as a buyer's agent we encourage our clients to make their offer realistic .. (and it's always low) some sellers and listing agents need a wake up call with a realistic offer ..

Oct 21, 2012 09:38 AM #33
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

When the sellers raise issues to any of the points you present in this post, then it's a given that they don't really want to sell. Time is important and we don't have the time to humor game players.

Oct 21, 2012 11:07 AM #34
Leslie Ebersole
Swanepoel T3 Group - Saint Charles, IL
I help brokers build businesses they love.

Practically an entire real estate education in one post. Every seller should have to write this on the blackboard 5 times. In cursive. 


Oct 21, 2012 11:43 AM #35
Debbie Cook
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Silver Spring, MD
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate

Good post that every seller should read.  Especially like the point that even with low inventory - buyers still all want and expect some kind of good deal!

Oct 21, 2012 02:11 PM #36
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional
Hi Jeff, I read this and it iis excellent. I thought I left a comment and when I saw it featured in Pat;s Favs of the week, I came back and realized I hadn't already left a comment.
Oct 21, 2012 03:12 PM #37
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

It is very easy.  Sort of the same thing I say as the "Three Ps to Selling" - pricing, promotion (marketing) and presentation (availability or ease of showing).

Nov 04, 2012 08:18 PM #38
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

You have to wonder with some of the listings we see in the MLS if they seriously want to sell the home.

Nov 05, 2012 09:50 PM #39
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Jeff Dowler, CRS

The Southern California Relocation Dude
What's my Carlsbad CA Area Home Worth??
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