Last week, I had an active client refer me to his sister and husband, who've lived in their home for 16+ years. You could expect that there may be some updating needed. (Actually, they did an excellent job in remodeling the kitchen and except for renting a storage unit for excess items and stuff, it's in pretty good condition.)
Well, here's what I did: I have a qualified contractor, who does jobs from minor repairs to major home remodeling come over to the property with me on the first of a possible two-step listing appt. Now, he's very friendly, professional, reliable, fair-priced and he's done a lot of work for me and my clients, so I'm comfortable recommending him. So, we do introductions and let the seller show us their home, while pointing out items that need to be addressed. The contractor takes the lead and will point out other needed repairs or updates and makes notes, so that he can provide the seller with a proposal of the various repairs/improvements needed to make the home "shine" on the market.
This takes the pressure off of me and onto him. I'm not the bad guy. This is his expertise and they can decide what they want to do. If they aren't willing to take his advice and I think the home would then be too hard to sell or would have to greatly lower the price, then I can decline the listing or refer them to someone else. Who needs the headache? Our job is to market properties, negotiate them and handle the transaction to its conclusion. Having an outside expert, I think, in many cases, can be a win-win for everyone involved. The seller makes the necessary repairs/updates, gets a quicker sale for more money than if it were in "as-is" condition and we've removed a lot of potential stress.
I do sometimes agree with other agents, who talk about waiting until you have the listing before sharing what you think needs to be repaired, but in today's market, I believe it's your responsibility to ask as many questions as possible of the sellers and be as direct as possible. I interview sellers over the phone before I meet with them in person. Yes, there will still be some sellers, who will use you for information, but I believe that more sellers will respect you and your professionalism for having the guts to tell them what they need to hear. You need to have enough skills and marketing strategies, so that any seller would be crazy to hire a friend or relative, who may just 'dabble' in real estate.
I hope this helps. I'd love to hear your reply.
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