You will find a lot of information on the web about things to do to get your home sold. Some of the information is good and some is not. That is up to you to decided where the information lands. I have been opening doors since 2007 and below you will find tips that I have learned personally on this crazy roller coaster ride called real estate. I hope you find my top real estate tips for sellers helpful.
Tip 1: Do not End up In the Expired Status
What is an Expired you ask?
Expired is one of the many statuses that you can go through when you put your home on the market. It is the status that no seller wants to see, trust me. There are a lot of reasons that your home could end up in this status. These are my top reasons that has experience has taught me. You can read more about other types of status on active vs pending
You Overpriced The Value.
I understand that your home has a lot of value TOO YOU! This is where the kids grew up, you had your first dog or planted your first garden. I get it. The truth here is the emotional value is only valuable to YOU! The person looking to buy your home does not know or understand the emotional value of your home.
Sellers get the emotional value of their home mixed up with the money value of their home. If you think your home is worth $1,000,000 yet the numbers show $850,000 for your home, then your home is only worth $850,000.
Buyers are very well educated when it comes to buying a home. They will start looking in different neighborhoods at the active listings. This is where pricing comes into play. When homes around you are listed for $750,000 to $850,000, buyers will wonder why yours is listed for $1m. They will look at the pictures and see your house looks like the pictures of the other homes listed around you. They then wonder why your home is listed for more than the others around you. I hear this all the time when I start collaborating with buyers. Remember that statically a buyer will start looking at homes way before they talk to a Realtor ® so they will not know all the reasons your home is listed for more.
There may be a good reason your home is listed for more and you want to make sure that your agent is explaining this in the note that buyers can read.
Let us say you do have someone that is willing to pay you that emotional price. If they are paying cash for your home, the buyer will have to decide if the price is worth it to them or not. Remember that buyers with cash are a smaller crowd. Most buyers will take out some kind of loan for the house.
When a buyer needs to take out a bank loan, the bank will require an appraisal. When the appraiser comes out to appraise your home, they are going to use the sold homes * (important note here. It is the homes that have already sold, not the homes that are active, that an appraiser uses when they are coming up with a value for your home) around your home as comps. If $850,000 is the highest home sale price, your home will not appraise for the emotional value of $1,000,000.
The buyer will now have some choices to make now. They can renegotiate the offer using the appraisal, walk away or produce the difference between the offer and loan, meaning they will have to pay the difference out their pocket. As a buyer’s agent I really would not suggest this.
There is another scenario I see that fits under the pricing section.
People will say “Let’s start at this higher price and see what happens We can always lower the price if we need to”
This is a really bad idea. In my experience, this strategy never works. The truth is the home will normally sell in the lower price point for the neighborhood. (Or worse even lower than that price point)
This happens because people see your home sitting on the market for a long time. The first two weeks of your homes going on the market are the most important. When you use this strategy, you use up the most valuable time of your listing being overpriced.
Now weeks later when they buyers start to look because you are now in-line with the neighborhood, they assume there is something wrong with your home. Buyers never think that your home did not sell because it was overpriced. (I have personally never heard a buyer say that home did not sell because it was overpriced.)
Pricing a home is very tricky. Unless your agent has been in the business for a while, chances are they are not real good at pricing. I was in the business for almost 5 years before I learned how to really price a home. This comes from experience; they really do not teach this stuff in “Real Estate School”.
You Spent Too Much Money Updating
Seller’s watch TV shows and see that if you update the bathroom, the home will sell. Let’s remember that TV is scripted. Updating a home is unique to the neighborhood. Is everyone doing it? How much did they update? What rooms are they updating? What materials are they using?
I have seen people spend a ton of money on updates. When they go to sell their home, they want to make that money back. If you over updated for the neighborhood, you would never get that money back.
The best practice when updating a home is to speak with your full-time real estate agent to get advice on what people are doing in your neighborhood.
Hard To Show Your Home
This is a big one. Why does it take 24-hours to show a home? Does the listing agent really need to be there? Remember when you put your home on the market you need to be open daily. Your home is now a store. People want to go into your store when it is convenient with them, not you or your Realtor®.
Stop and think about a time you wanted to buy something. Was the place open when you were available or was it open when the owner felt like opening up?
If you wanted to buy from that store, yet they were only open when you were not free, would you go someplace else to buy that product?
This is the same event that is happening when you are trying to sell your home. Buyers want to see your home on their schedule, not your schedule or worse the real estate agent’s schedule.
I have had this happen to me several time. I call an agent to make an appointment to show a home. The agent calls me back a week later. Do you think my buyer is still interested in that home? If this happened to you, would you still be interested?
In the above situation I would let my buyer know that the agent has called me back and now we can see the home. I would also explain that in my experience when this happens, it shows that the agent and / or the seller is difficult to work with. I have never had a house close when this happens.
Let’s visit the agent must be present to book a showing. WHY? You should always lock up personal items that you would not want someone to take like prescription, jewelry, collection etc before the house goes on the market. Once this is done there is really no need for the listing agent to be present in order for your home to be shown. The buyers’ agents will be there to help protect the home.
The more people that participate in the showing, the more difficult it will be to get your home shown. If the buyers can not get into the store they will go to another store. You to put it on the market to sell it right? If that is the true goal, eliminate this obstacle and let’s get it sold 🙂
Bad Pictures or Not Enough Pictures
When you get ready to put your home on the market you want to make sure your agent does use a professional photographer. Go look at the homes on the web and find homes that have sold. Look at the pictures. Now look at the homes that are active and have been sitting on the market for a while. Compare the pictures. Which ones are better? I bet you can tell the agents that use professional photographers and those who did not. Cell phones are great to take pictures of your vacation or your pet, not merchandise that is going to be sold. I say if it rings it is not a professional camera
Go look at your favorite high fashion clothes store or any other place that sells wonderful things. Now go look at a lower end site, can you see the difference once you really start looking at the pictures.
There is something different. Most of the time it is in the lighting. Lighting is so important when you are taking a picture of anything. How much does a typical agent know about lighting? I know how to sell a home. I leave the thing I do not know how to do to the people that are trained in those areas to get those jobs done.
Think about it, would try to do your own open-heart surgery?
Pictures paint an important image in the buyer’s head. Are the rooms big enough? Is this an open floor plan? Is there a garage? Is there a guest house?
Buyers have a ton of questions when they are looking at your home on-line. Remember most buyers will see your home on-line before they speak with their agent about seeing your home.
These are my top four items to help keep you off the Expired list. I hope that you found my real estate tips for sellers helpful. If you have any questions, I am always here to answer them. Best way to contact me is a text message at 817.584.7846. (Yes I live in LA.)
If you are thinking about putting your home on the market, I do offer a FREE Room by Room Evaluation. This is a great starting point before the house goes on the market. Learn what your neighbors have done with their homes to get them sold.
We all love model homes and model homes are what sell new homes. The room by room will give you ideas that will make your home more appealing to buyers. It may be something as simple as removing some furniture. Most people are not good at imagining what the home will look like if it is full. Call me for more details or to set up a time for this FREE service.
You can get more information or book your Room-by-Room Evaluation HERE