5 Ways to make your listing agent crazy.
It has been said that the job of a listing agent is to sell the house before the seller starts to hate you (tongue in cheek). But sometimes that relationship can go both ways. There are many interesting things that can happen between sellers and the listing agent during the weeks, months and sometimes even years they are working together to get a home sold. Let’s explore a few…
1. The seller, after looking at the properties which will be competing with her house decides to “Start high you know, so we have some room to negotiate”. Nobody wants to sell a home for a nickel less than market value, but how much sense does it make to add $25,000 or $50,000 to your initial price? I’ll tell you what it does, it effectively removes your home from the list of potential candidates and only helps to sell the house down the street. Watch this video for a great explanation of “In the Market vs. On the Market.
2. The seller puts obstacles in the way of showings. Examples include: tenants, 2 hour notice, listing agent must accompany, no lock box, active security systems, pets, seller remaining at home during the showing, multiple keys for different doors. In a perfect world the home would be ready to show all day everyday with short notice, no security codes or pets and only one key would open everything. Why make it hard for buyers to get into your house?
3. Poor condition. The two primary criteria that buyers use to eliminate homes from those homes that are in their search area are price and condition. The buyer learns very quickly (with the help of an excellent agent) how each home compares with respect to the competition. So if your house is priced well, but needs a new (roof, heating or cooling system, doors or windows, paint, landscaping etc) how well does it compare to the competition in the eyes of a buyer? Why not just fix the broken window first so your house is not eliminated from consideration.
4. Staging. We all know that a home which is well staged will sell more quickly and for more money, than the same home that has that “lived in” look. Staging is simply making the home look its best by carefully arranging furniture and other personal property to its best effect. The trouble is, that some sellers are not willing to move their massive collection of teenage mutant ninja power ranger action figures into storage during the listing. So what effect does it have if your home is not staged? Why I’m glad you asked that:) The effect is that buyers quickly eliminate your house simply because the severed heads of deer elk and antelope gives them an “icky” feeling. Do yourself a favor and remove anything that could potentially put off a buyer and sell your house quicker and for more money.
5. Listen to your Realtor, the first time. One of my favorite situations is to be the second or even third Realtor to list a house. Almost always, the reason the house did not sell is because the seller did not listen to their previous Realtor. “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, the market is clearly telling us, based on the number of showings we have had without an offer, that the combination of price and condition of this house are outside of the market.” So as Realtor number two or three I come in and miraculously the seller agrees to list the house at the price the first Realtor suggested, and he also agrees to let his nine pet ferrets go live with his sister during the listing period. Such is human nature. If the seller had listened to the first agent the house would have sold six months earlier. And in a declining market what difference would that have made to the seller? Let’s do the math: If the home’s market value was $250,000 six months ago the and the home sells today we can expect a decline of around 1.5% per month or 9% which works out to $22,500. So, should the seller listen to the real estate professional? Only if they want to do what is in their best interest.
Dave Conners is an avid learner and teacher. He enjoys learning new ways to help his clients act in thier own best interest.