1. Let Go of Emotion – You have raised your family and created many memories here! Yes, we know it’s hard but now is the time to LET IT GO! This is a business transaction now and being overly emotional about your home, or about how much money you put into your home, or whatever is keeping you grounded there, emotions will never, ever win out in a business transaction. The Buyer only cares about what they are going to pay. Be open to all offers and don’t take that lowball offer personally. Your Agent will help you select the right offer and negotiate everything. From the day you list, your only mantra should be “this is a business transaction, this is a business transaction”.
2. Price – Regardless of what you have ‘put into your home’ the market can only bear what it will bear. Anyone can offer you thousands over asking, but it still has to appraise! Your Agent should be able to provide you great comps and also show you what your competition looks like! Don’t try to test the market and ‘see’ what happens with a higher price. That strategy never works and your home will run the risk of being a stale listing and thus, not sell. You hired your Agent for their expertise, let them earn their commission.
3. Speaking of Experts – Please don’t try to go it alone selling your home! Would you ask your auto mechanic to work on your teeth? Getting your asking price is only the beginning. Getting to the closing table is key. The in-between requires expertise. Interview Agents and ask them to explain to you what makes the wheels falls off a transaction. Once you have a full understanding, you will not make this mistake.
4. Interviewing Agents – The absolute biggest mistake a Seller can make is NOT selecting the right Agent. We are not all created equally. You need an Agent that understands the market in which you are selling your home, one that will not just stick a sign in the ground and put it on the MLS, one that will not take pictures on their phone and use those for marketing. Ask your Agent how they intend to market your home. 95% of today’s Buyers start their search online! It MUST be presented correctly and marketed thoroughly. This is your first chance to capture their attention! Make it count!
5. De-clutter and Make Repairs – Your Agent will help you figure out what should stay, and what should go. You will have a private inspection, so make those little repairs you've been putting off. You have one chance to make a great first impression! Listen to your Agent’s advice. As an aside, smells are not masked by room freshener. If your home has odors, get rid of the source. Even if you have the most amazing home, and it smells bad, Buyers won’t get past your threshold.
6. Showing Your Home – Please leave your home when there are showings or inspections. Buyers do not want you there. They want to be able to speak with their Agent freely while they are there, and I personally have never had a Buyer who wanted the Seller there. Some won’t even want to enter your home if you are there. They want to be able to picture their furniture, their family in the home. They do not want to see you or talk to you. If you have animals there and they have a tendency to be noisy or obnoxious while you are away, please take the animal out of the home. If for some reason you absolutely cannot leave, please do not speak with the Buyer or their Agent about why you are moving or anything that has to do with the home. If they ask you any questions at all, please ask them to refer to your Agent (with a smile of course)!
7. Agency, Agency, Agency – This is probably the most misunderstood topic. Michigan allows for Dual Agency. I have a blog on this topic called “Are You Calling the Number on the Sign?” Please read this before you sign anything with any Agent. http://www.dwellingsmi.com/category/blog/. If you were the Defendant in a lawsuit, you would not divulge important information to the Plaintiff or the Plaintiff’s attorney. Real estate agency was created to protect the Buyer and the Seller. Speak only to your Agent and never, ever allow any Agent to “double dip” your home.
8. Cutting the Commission – Trying to save money while selling your home? Have you heard the saying, you get what you pay for? If you are trying to cut the commission of the deal, you are doing yourself a great disservice. Your Agent has to have money in the budget to advertise your home and pay their assistants or staff. If you agree to a lower commission cost, make sure your Agent is not cutting the commission to the Buyer’s Agent. Even though a Buyer’s Agent isn’t allowed to not show a home based on commission, they are human beings first. If your neighbor has a similar home and is offering 3% to the Buyer’s Agent and you are only offer 2-2.5%, that agent will take their client there first! At Dwellings by Rudy & Hall, we typically spend 1% of the commission in advertising and marketing your home. We have programs designed around saving you money. Ask your Agent if they have that as well.
9. Yes, I know I only said 8 – Have fun finding your new home! Remember that an educated decision is the very best decision you can make. This process should not be stressful and over bearing! You should learn a lot and have fun doing it! Even if there are hiccups along the way, remember that no one ever died from buying or selling real estate. Keep it in perspective and know that you have hired a terrific Agent and they have your best interests in mind. They know what they’re doing and they will take care of you every step of the way!