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.
The 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 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.
The 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.
THE MLS LISTING
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.
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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.