6 Reasons Sellers Should Think Like Buyers
There is a lot to know about how to sell a home. It's a lot of work for any seller, but even more difficult when you are a first time seller.
There is a ton of preparation for selling a home once you have made that decision. Here are just a few essential things to be done, each of which involves a number of tasks and important decisions:
Hire the right real estate professional
Determine the right price for your property with your agent’s guidance
Get your home in showing condition inside and out
Your goal, no doubt, is to sell your home for the best price, terms and conditions and in a timely manner.
Whether you are a first time seller or experienced, you were, at one time, a buyer. Chances are you might have forgotten what that was like now that you are on the other side of the fence, hoping to receive a big wad of money for your home. It’s important to think like a buyer when you are a seller.
Buyers look at your home from a different perspective than you do:
How so? Well, you are hoping to get as much money as you possibly can. However, the buyers want to pay as little as possible. Everyone wants a deal. You may believe your home is unique and special, and thus warrants a higher price, but the buyers likely see that as something costly they need to change.
You likely look at it from the perspective that “this is my home, and I own it”, buyer looks at it as a house to possibly purchase that needs work. Like it or not, buyer demand will determine what your home will sell for, not what you necessarily want or need. Consider this if you were a buyer: would YOU buy your house for the list price? Hmmm, thought not.
Is your home ready for your first buyer open house…online?
In this age of digital photography buyers insist on good photos, the more the better. Plus they often make decisions once they view your listing online about whether they want to go see it or not. As soon as your listing goes live, your home is a public open house, inviting thousands of viewers to take a look and hopefully decide to come see it.
Not only must photos be top-notch (professional is best) but your home must looks great IN those photos. It’s often surprising how differently a room can look when viewed, as a buyer does, on the computer than when you are sitting in the room in person. You might think your home looks great but on the big screen it says “what a mess” or appears very cramped.
Curb appeal is critical to buyers:
Remember when you were a buyer driving past some homes for sale and seeing some that made you say “yuck, what a mess, I would never live there.” The reality is that, like online photos, buyers often will ignore a house if the front of the house is a unappealing and needs a lot of work. And unfortunately that lack of appeal sometimes includes surrounding homes. While you may not be able to do much about the neighbors you can make sure YOUR home has great curb appeal.
Stand out at the end of your drive or across the street and take a look, or even take a photo – what do you see? Ugly brown grass or bare spots? Dirty unattractive front door? Peeling paint? Shoddy or missing landscaping? Bushes that need trimming? Dead flower beds? Be objective. You think buyers won’t care? Hah. Think like a buyer.
Understand buyer behavior and what’s happening
in your particular local market:
The local market conditions can have a huge impact on selling your home and your agent can, and should, help you understand this. What is your completion in the price range? Are homes selling at or above asking price or below? Should you expect a low ball offer? Will you possibly get multiple offers? Depending on market conditions you may or may not have an advantage.
Buyers have Buyers Agents:
Most buyers use an agent who represents them when purchasing – you likely did as well. Keep in mind that buyers looking at your home have an agent advising them, just as your listing agent is advising you, and those roles are different.
Do you think the buyer’s agent is going to ignore problems they see with your house that impact their clients, or not guide them on pricing as compared to comparable sales!? Think again.
Remember, the buyer’s agent’s role is to represent their clients’ best interests and try to get them the house at the best price, terms and conditions. It’s a different perspective you can’t ignore. You say – if they want my house this is my prices. The buyer says – if they want to sell, this is MY price.
Many sellers are also buyers:
The roles of seller and buyer are often not mutually exclusive. You may have already gone the buyer route and purchased a new home. But many homeowners are not in the enviable position of being able to do so and hold 2 mortgages.
If you are selling and also want to buy, but must sell your home in order to do so, you may find there are conflicts in your role as seller and buyer.
You will need to think about what you want as a seller (price, closing date, terms and conditions) and how this will interface with your desires as a buyer?! Is holding out on a particular price or closing date going to impact your purchase? What if you don’t find the right house?
What if you can’t close quickly enough on your new place and your buyers want 30 days? Can you even make an offer on a new house contingent on selling yours, and under what terms and conditions? Your agent will be able to help you sort through all these questions, and more.
Getting ready to sell your home? Be prepared to also think like a buyer when doing so.
Want to know more about how to sell a house. Check out my YouTube channel on for a series of short videos on home selling tips and advice.
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