Getting Advice From Your Real Estate Agent and Putting It Into Action

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

Getting Advice From Your Real Estate Agent and Putting It Into Action

Meeting with home owners who want to sell can be unsettling for agents that may have a tendency to beat around the bush about what needs to get done to get the maximum amount of money out of the upcoming sale.  The easy part is showing the potential value to a seller.  Sellers love to hear optimistic valuations and agents love to give them.  The hard part is telling a seller how to get that, or more.  That is when you can meet resistance.  Luckily, I was not born with a fear of putting a thought out there.  I am known for being direct.

Fresh, neutral paint is something I recommend to every seller.  Even when selling my brother's home, I recommended taking the multiple color scheme and toning it down to neutral.  My brother took it as a personal insult since he loved his paint color choices and countered with, "It's not that expensive to paint.  Buyers can deal with that."

Well, buyers tend to punish beyond the cost of a paint job.  The pain-in-the-butt factor is a multiplier.  If you didn't want to do it because it was a pain, then hold on tight for what a buyer think it will cost to paint.  They convey that in their offer price and/or request for closing cost help.

The other day, I related this story to a potential seller whose home was also very specific color choices that went with their furnishings and that they liked.  As much as every seller hates to hear they have more work to do to get ready, this seller knew that doing so would help him net more money.  Later that same afternoon, after I had gotten our signed listing agreement to him, he responded with a photo that made my day.  The painting from green to neutral had already begun.  

Your real estate agent is going to give you advice to help you maximize your profit.  Hopefully, they are direct enough that it comes across and you understand very well what needs to be done.  How motivated you are to make your house appealing to buyers in the marketplace will be reflected in how you take this advice.  Putting it into action let's us know that you are in it to win it.


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Amy Gutschow
RE/MAX - Sheboygan, WI
Professional Real Estate

Id rather be brutally honest before we hit the market than waste the first important weeks getting the same feedback over and over

Jan 17, 2017 09:52 AM #12
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

Trudy can be direct, it is a Dutch thing, but we are known for our honesty and not spinning a yarn. Glad to hear they took your advice and got out the paint brush so quickly. Looking forward to seeing the post on your new listing soon.

Jan 17, 2017 10:51 AM #13
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Being direct is a great thing as it doesn't leave room for misinterpretation, or thinking a "have to do" is merely a suggestion.  People appreciate minor inconveniences when they see the results.

Jan 17, 2017 11:52 AM #14
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Chris Ann, I always tell my sellers that buyers have a calculator running as soon as they walk through the door. They are subtracting what a variety of changes, upgrades and repairs will cost them and then they subtract that from the price. Then they make their offer. Best to make those less expensive changes before listing. 

Jan 17, 2017 12:02 PM #15
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

"buyers tend to punish beyond the cost of a paint job" -- that is a great line and so true!  Nobody likes painting but neutralizing  the decor is one of the best investments that a homeseller can make.



Jan 17, 2017 01:27 PM #16
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Chris Ann Cleland ,

You are so right buyers do punish beyond a normal paint job. Easier to get it done and remove the objections!!

Jan 17, 2017 04:43 PM #17
Beth Bromund
Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel - Rochester, MI
REALTOR (248) 651-3500

Strong or dated colors can be such a distraction from the actual house.  It's good to hear your sellers were so welcoming of your suggestion.

Jan 17, 2017 05:16 PM #18
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

One word:  AMEN

So many times the agent is walking on egg shells, avoiding these conversations for fair of insulting or hurting the sellers' feelings.

You aren't doing a seller any favors holding back when it comes to preparing their home for sale!

Your reasoning of "if you don't want to do it, what makes you think the buyers will want to do it? " is perfect. I've used that approach many times and it works wonders!

Jan 17, 2017 05:37 PM #19
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

Many sellers don' t understand--it's not about what THEY want, it's what the BUYERS want!  Taking the time to LISTEN to the suggestions of the agents and then put a plan into action will give them more money and a faster sale!!

Jan 17, 2017 08:46 PM #20
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Chris Ann Cleland - every shortcoming of the seller is going to cost the seller perhaps 10 times!

Laughing at a request from the buyer on my listing! They want $7,000 credit for replacing just one bedroom window!

Jan 17, 2017 09:45 PM #21
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Unfortunately, we have also run into resistence. Some people can't see beyond what's there when they view the home. An inabilty to visualize beyond poor paint choices can actually reduce the pool of buyers. Also, fresh neutral paint lightens and brightens. 

Jan 18, 2017 07:12 AM #22
Troy Erickson
Diverse Solutions Realty - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Chris - It is always nice when you provide sage advice and your client listens. Oftentimes sellers don't like any suggestions, and we are met with resistance.

Jan 18, 2017 06:40 PM #23
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

When I give a professional opinion, it means something. On the personal opinions, I always ask what the other fellow thinks....

Jan 19, 2017 06:58 AM #24
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

Don't ya just hate it when your own brother won't get on board? It always amazes me that they think you give them this info to make their life more difficult.

When we sold my Dad's house last year my sister was giving me staging advice .... I asked her what do you think I do for a living again?

Jan 19, 2017 02:51 PM #25
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Chris Ann

Resistance around painting is pretty common, but it also tends to be one of the more frequent complaints buyes make about homes they see. Yes, it is relatively inexpensive to do but the hassle factor is huge for many buyers and that means far less on the offer for that reason alone.


Jan 20, 2017 07:27 AM #26
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Well done Chris Ann!  Providing solid advice to help homeowners make the best choices to gain more value is good business for them, too!

Jan 20, 2017 08:21 AM #27
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire

Any buyer/seller out there reading this. One simple bit of advice, listen to this woman for the ultimate results. True professionalism is a quality we all ask for and if you are here, you found it. cheers cvc

Jan 20, 2017 11:13 AM #28
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hi Chris Ann - when a prospective sellers say "a buyer can look beyond" this or that issue, it's likely going to cost them a lot more than any estimate of work that needs to be accomplished.  That difference is not just money but time which can be especially crucial in a real estate transaction.   

Jan 21, 2017 03:26 AM #29
Thom Abbott |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

I still remember one listing where the guy had walls AND ceiling painted red. It looked neat with his decor, but not for selling. He did not want to paint anything. And the house sat there. Had an agent caravan and got feedback. 

Finally he painted the ceiling white. Had a contract 3 days later. 

Listen to your agent. We are the professional. (Most of the time anyways!)

Jan 21, 2017 06:53 PM #30
Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Better follow great advice given to you by your agent!!! You can thank them later!!!

Your real estate agent is going to give you advice to help you maximize your profit.

Jan 22, 2017 05:23 AM #31
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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