Archive for December, 2010

Home sellers take a walk!

When selling your home, whether you’re a Realtor or a FSBO, (for sale by owner), you should not be present when prospective buyers view your property.

Why not you ask? I know my house better than anyone else. I know all the great features, like the skylights, 4 zone heating system, insulation, age of the central air conditioner, roof, full extension drawers in the kitchen, the custom bath I just had done, etc. Yes, you are correct. But your agent should know these answers, and be present to share them with customers and other agents. Yes even when another agent shows, I believe your agent should be present. Here’s why.

#1- Every time the house is shown, your agent finds out something new about what buyers are looking for in your property. So, when it’s shown again to another prospective buyer, your agent has more ideas to share that can make your home more attractive. And I’m sure he/she will find hidden extras that you forgot to tell him/her.

#2- Buyers are generally closed mouth when owners are present. They tend to feel free and think out loud when alone with their agents. This gives your agent information that can come in handy when making adjustments to the condition of the property or the price.

#3- Most buyers are curious as to why the owners are moving. This has no bearing on the property itself, unless something in the nearby area is going to change to make the property less valuable. Personal things, like family size changing, job change, retirement, sickness, financial reasons, etc, can make the buyer think your property is worth less because you HAVE to move and you’re desperate. They ask, “Why are you moving?” This is not relevant to the house sale. The house is for sale, not my personal life history. If you’re the owner, what do you say to the buyer? Your agent should just say, “it’s time for a change for them”. Period. No discussion. This reason alone, can cost the sellers more than the agency fee alone. Some sellers will just talk without thinking and say things like, “I’m not going to spend another winter here, I can’t wait to get to ———” Do you think that answer will get the seller more or less for their property? A good agent will have the right answers for the buyers, thus saving the sellers money. That’s the bottom line. Getting the most money for the sellers.

#4- How about, “Do you have any offers” A no answer will bring a lower bid, and a yes answer might deter a potentially good offer. A great Realtor will have an answer that will not hurt their client, yet still be truthful. Negotiating just might be the most important asset your agent should have.

#5- So, if you “take a walk” when buyers are looking at your property, who then will show? That’s the job of a Realtor. I ask my clients to take a little walk while I’m showing, I’ll call you when we’re finished. So, sellers, don’t be afraid to ask for past sales records of your agent. And also about her/his company.

Comments welcome.