When selling in today’s market homeowners find themselves in either a buyer’s market or a seller’s market depending upon the price point the home is in. At the lower end of the market it’s a seller’s market and at the higher end it’s still a buyers’ market. Regardless of which situation someone is in, there are things that both the homeowner and the agent can do to maximize the amount of money received on a property in as timely a manner as possible. Some of the things the homeowner must do, some of the things the agent must do, and some of the things must be done by both together. If any one part is missing the process can be delayed and not be nearly as profitable.
The things the homeowner must do are really the most critical because any good agent is going to do their part, after all this is their job and it is based on commissions. The homeowner needs to disregard their personal feelings about their home from the beginning and ask their agent and others they know, tough questions about their home. Because sometimes agents don’t fully speak their mind on a listing appointment or even after they have gotten the listing for fear of offending someone. This is done in hopes of getting and retaining the listing until it sells, and they all sell eventually if the price ever aligns with what the market thinks it should be at. To avoid this problem homeowners need to ask things like, “Should I paint certain rooms or maybe the whole house? What do you think about my landscaping? My flooring, should I clean my carpets and rugs, how much does new carpeting cost? How about my clutter, is there too much in here or on the walls? Does my house have an unpleasant smell? etc” Sometimes these things can get clouded by a homeowner’s personal emotions about their home and the time they have spent there without them even realizing it, and unfortunately in this process what really matters is the average buyers opinion of the home not the homeowners. Other things that a homeowner can do besides making their house look, smell, and feel the best it could possibly be are simple things like make the house as accessible for showings, broker’s opens, and open houses as feasibly possible. Always try to accommodate any request for a second visit to the home, and finally when it’s being shown if possible leave the house while the buyers take a look. Buyers again and again report feeling more comfortable seeing a home when the owners aren’t there.
The things an agent can do are quite simple however only the good ones cover all of what’s necessary. And no, it no longer has to do with money spent or previous connections made. Long gone are the days where listings were only printed in books once a month and knowing the top agents made a difference. The internet killed that way of doing business along with the need to spend excessive amounts of money on marketing a home. Because even if you were selling a ten million plus dollar home and the potential buyer saw it in a news paper or magazine add, don’t you think they are still going to use the internet to see what else is out there in the ten million plus range, see if there is something better, or if this price is really justifiable? Of course they are, wouldn’t you? So what’s important when selling in today’s market is where the home is listed on the internet, and how it looks compared to the other homes listed on the internet in the same area and price point. The most important of the places it must appear is the MLS and realtor.com. Listings can either just barely appear on these sites or they can have full length descriptions with twenty five of the best possible photos, and yes the amount of photos really makes a difference. Realtor.com again and again reports that most people searching on their site prioritize properties with the most photos to come up first. So just imagine if your property comes up 25
th on the list because it only has 0-2 photos and a one sentence description, it’s not hard to see that you’re probably not going to win that buyer over unless the price is much lower than the comparables. Other websites that people look at are not nearly as effective and there are many of them, however they are still important, because having as much exposure as possible is what’s important. There isn’t enough time to discuss all of these sites but there are at least fifty top sites and more like 350 total sites an effective agent should have your listing on. So when selecting your real estate professionals of choice be sure to ask them, “where is my property going to come up on the internet, what is it going to look like, and will it be enhanced on realtor.com compared to the others?” Because yes, for a fee, an agent can pay to have their listings enhanced on realtor.com with more info and photos than the others, and not all of the realtors do this. Other things an agent must do are return phone calls and emails in a timely manner, make getting into the property as easy as feasibly possible, have at least one brokers open to introduce the listing to other agents in person, send out email blasts to other agents about the listing, and put a flyer box in front of the home to catch traffic driving by.
The things the homeowner and the agent must do together deal with pricing and continuous open and honest communication. Both the agent and the homeowner have to come up with a price based on the homeowner’s individual needs and circumstances. Some people need to move right away and others have an amount of money they need to get, and time is not as important. If the homeowner is not open and honest with the agent about their true situation and needs, it’s very hard to come up with an appropriate pricing strategy. On the flip side if the agent is not open and honest about their opinions and the feedback after it’s listed, it can lead to a homeowner thinking everything is fine when it’s really not. Every 2-4 weeks both parties should be addressing how many showings did we have how many second showings and how many offers, and if the numbers aren’t high enough then the price needs to be adjusted lower if at all possible.
When a home is in its best possible condition it can be in, properly marketed across the internet, and priced appropriately it almost always sells for more money in less time than if it was lacking in any of these three areas. It seems quite simple, yet there is a lot that goes into it. Picking good realtors and having a continuous open dialogue with them throughout the process is really the best possible way for obtaining maximum possible success.