Want to get the most from your home sale? Hire a listing agent
How difficult can it be to sell a home? I mean, what does a real estate agent really do that would be different from what I would do?
Roger Federer, one of the most successful tennis players of all-time, makes his job look like a walk in the park. When you watch him play, you may think to yourself...that doesn't look to hard to jog around and hit a ball back over the net. Yet, you would be disappointed to try and to what he does so well.
He is extremely well-conditioned and behind those controlled strides is years and years of competition that makes him nearly unbeatable.
It’s very common to discount the expertise of others. We feel we can diagnose better than a doctor with a simple Google search of symptoms. And that we can out-market a seasoned real estate agent.
This brings us to the number one item that will get your home sold for top dollar...
Outside of someone who is a professional marketer, you probably are outside your comfort zone knowing how to market your home. Here are a few of the necessary pieces to market a home effectively:
The Do-It-Yourself Home Selling Experience
Not too long ago we were looking for a home for our buyers and found a home that was priced so low we assumed it must be a major handyman special.
As we looked closer, we learned the home was being sold by the owner. It had been on the market for nearly 6 months. This was astonishing given most homes were selling within 2-3 weeks in this current market.
The major reason a home sits on the market much longer that 'average' is because the home is overpriced. The curious thing about this home was it was truly priced well below what it should've been priced and it still wasn't selling.
We don't know what else this homeowner was doing to market their home, but it was obvious they were failing miserably in their attempt.
One of the most important things buyers are interesting in seeing are photos of the home. They only had three photos. The main photo was of the front of the home, but it was blurry and looked as though it had been taken with a cell phone with too many fingerprints on the camera. The crazy thing was if you could look beyond the horrible photo, you could tell it was a great home (most buyers can't see beyond a bad photo).
The second photo was of a room that might've been a bedroom or the living room. You just couldn't tell because it lacked any of the staging that helps the home show well and allows a buyer to start 'moving in' with their mind.
The final photo of the kitchen was much too close and you could only see the refrigerator and part of the stove which appeared hadn't been cleaned in a few months. To make matters it worse, it turned out this was a beautiful kitchen the homeowner had just spent $20K to remodel a year ago. Keep in mind...the kitchen is THE MOST IMPORTANT room to most homebuyers.
This home owner is successfully NOT selling his home for much less than it is worth...ouch!
Moral of this part of the story: an investment is top-quality, properly-lit, good-angled, clear pictures is one of the most important aspects of marketing a home.
A close second is the absolute need to stage the home in a way that helps it show the best and allows buyers to paint a picture of their family living in the home.
Where’s the details of the home?
Another issue with this home listing...there were no other written details on the features of the home. A total missed opportunity to talk about the things that set this home apart from other homes and why a buyer would love to live there.
This is the equivalent of trying to sell a valuable collectible on eBay with some poor photos and not mentioning anything in the description about the item or why the potential buyers may want it.
A good real estate agent is going to get every ounce of value from well constructed remarks to draw buyers to the home. The real estate agent will know what features to highlight to be appealing to the buyer who will most likely end up purchasing the home.
Another BIG issue
Upon further research, the home was listed initially for a month and then assuming they priced it too high, the price was ped $20,000. When it didn't sell in another two months, it was ped another $20,000.
The issue now is that buyers tend to really be skeptical of properties that have been for sale for extended periods of time. Especially when they compare the current sales price to the original.
They start to ask, 'why hasn't this property sold yet in this kind of market?' There must be something really wrong with it.
The home next door goes up for sale for $30,000 more. It is stage like an RC Willey showroom, has professionally looking pictures and a beautifully written home description.
Guess which home is going to sell...despite the big price difference? You got it - the neighbor's. And frankly, it isn't even a fair competition.
Homes just do not sit on the market this much longer than the average when it is marketed by a professional.
The inevitable outcome is a lucky or savvy buyer will eventually scoop up this deeply discounted home for the purchase of a lifetime. The seller is left with far less profit from the sale of their home than they should've had.
A capable real estate agent would've properly priced this home from the beginning. The home would've sold within the normal range of time.
There would've been a solid marketing strategy to the ideal buyers and reaching them in the most effective ways.
If this home seller was a friend of mine, I would've told them to get better pictures, stage the home and add a great description of home features. ping the price was a knee-jerk response and really cost the home seller dearly in this case...which is very common without a home selling skill set.
Now, I know that what I do isn’t heart surgery. Statistics show, however, that your home, in the hands of a professional, experienced listing agent, will sell for more than you’ll make if you go the Do-it-Yourself route.
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