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My new series SOLD! is off to a great start and I’m happy to introduce Episode #2: Seller Don’ts. No surprise, this follows Episode #1: Seller Do’s. I hope all you potential homesellers find both episodes useful. Let’s get to it! First and foremost, don’t hire a Listing Agent who offers you the highest listing price. You must ask yourself: Is it realistic? What are the Market Comparables? What is the cost of upgrades to merit that price? What’s the Agent’s motivation for the Listing? (Are they using the Listing to attract new clients?) What dollar value are they committed to investing into marketing? What is the Agent’s track record for Days on Market? Bottom line: an overpriced home will sit on the market and will more than likely suffer the pain of one or more price reductions! And if you are using a Team, don’t assume the Team Leader will be involved in your sale. Make sure you meet them at the first meeting and ask questions. What is their role? Who is the ‘Lead’ Agent? Who is your liaison? Who is driving the marketing plan? Who is hosting the Open Houses? And to all of these questions, ask why…and there will be no surprises.
Don’t be home during Showings. Leaving for the Open Houses is a given, but often people are loathe to vacate the home for individual showings. This is a huge mistake. A new home is an incredibly emotional purchase and people must be able to visualize themselves in the home at the showing. That’s very difficult if you are home working, eating or watching TV. That being said, of course, you must be given enough lead time and warning by your Agent. (PS This is also why you must keep the ‘Showing Clean’ state of your home!) And speaking of Showings, don’t turn down Showings especially in the first 2 weeks. That might just have been your Buyer! I know it’s difficult and life often has a way of intervening – be it family functions, work from home, sick children, unpacking from a weekend away – but I urge you to suck it up here! It takes roughly 30 Showings for 1 Good Offer. It’s to your advantage to try and get that offer in the shortest period of time! As for Open Houses, don’t get talked out of them! I believe Open Houses are an absolutely integral piece of the Marketing Plan for homes priced in the $800,000 or less range. Experience has proven that a well-priced, well-staged home will sell faster with multiple Open Houses than without.
If your home has been on the market for more than 30 days, don’t assume it’s your Agent’s fault. Weather and holiday patterns often affect Buyer activity from week to week. So it is important to look at the big picture. But of course, don’t be afraid to ask the questions: Has your Agent fulfilled their marketing obligations? Is your home priced at Fair Market Value? Have any significant changes occurred in the Real Estate market since you listed? This can happen in the Oakville real estate market where I work just as with other markets. When discussing the Listing Price of your home, don’t push a price on your Agent. (And if you can, don’t use that Agent!) There was a cost to you when building or buying your property. There was a cost to you for possible renovations. However, the Listing Price of your home is not those 2 costs added together plus a little for inflation or appreciation. The Listing Price of your home is Fair Market Value which is determined by the state of your home, the area comparables and the overall health of the Real Estate Market at any given point in time. Period! And when it comes to marketing your home, don’t focus on Print Ads. In today’s market, the Internet and Social Media have become crucial (and often more important) tools in your Agent’s Marketing Plan. And on that note, don’t over-advertise your home in the newspaper. A home that appears week after week can turn Buyers off.
And finally, don’t harass your Agent about the Who’s and What’s of Showings. Set up a communication plan for feedback and stick to it. Don’t ask about the prospective Buyers – it’s simply not relevant. When your Agent has actionable feedback or an offer in hand, don’t worry – they’ll call you!! Okay, I think you’re ready to sell now. Good Luck!!!
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