Going with a weak Agent.
When the average seller sits down to choose an agent, it’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement over choosing the “Sales Price”. Sure, more money means more financial opportunities for the homeowner, why not right? Unfortunately, uninformed sellers often choose the listing agent who suggests the highest list price, cuts their commissions or simply will do anything to get a sign in their yard, which is the worst mistake a seller can make. Over years my average time to sell a property in a hot market is 10-12 days, where other agents in the same market are averaging 41 days. Agent matters! In a sea of average, desperate and part time agents, your job as a seller is to choose an agent who is not attached to the outcome. The agent’s reputation is what matters at the highest level because these agents have built a great reputation by doing their job right. The Agent you want is the one who has an ability to negotiate for himself first if an agent can give away his own money so easily, don’t you think, he will give away yours faster? A Strong agent will give you value, and above all will be able to stand firm on his word, than to easily give in. This is why I list choosing the right agent as the #1 money saver for sellers. (How to hire the right Agent to represent you)
Establishing Value of the home
I have made a great business listing “expired” properties that never sold the first time around, because they were, simply Overpriced and associated with a weak agent. The truth is, it doesn’t really matter how much money you think your “home” is worth. Where sellers go wrong, is simply because they make decisions based on emotions than reality. There is no price on emotion. This is not a home you are selling, it’s now a “Product”. Get your emotions out of it, everyone likes to get the most money out of selling a product. Pricing is more complicated than just an “Estimate” that these search engines provide. Pricing involves comparing similar properties, making comparable adjustments for certain features, tracking market movements, taking stock of present inventory on the market and much more. This is all in an attempt to come up with a range of value, an educated opinion. This method is the same way an appraiser evaluates a home. Remember that “Market Value” is what the buyer wants to pay and the seller wants to accept, but with a twist, the buyer’s lender has a very strong bearing on what price is lend able. I tell my clients all the time ” Price your property in such a way, that almost everyone is running over to look at it, because to them it is the most exceptional value. I would rather you be in a position to turn down ten offers than to wait for one. If you don’t get this right, you WILL LOOSE MONEY.
Showings with Restrictions.
Imagine going to a restaurant craving for that delicious food, eager to get the taste buds going, the one you just saw on Yelp, only to find out that you will have to make an appointment to come back at an hour that is not convenient to you? Folks, there is nothing worse than to work so hard to prepare your home, choose a winning agent, price the product right, and then not being able to show it to a motivated, ready, willing and able buyer. In my career, I have seen such amazingly beautiful and well-priced homes that didn’t sell or eventually sold for less money, where we agents scratched our heads, as to what went wrong? It’s a proven fact that people are more likely to buy a product that is easily attainable. Put a lock box on it, remove your valuables, don’t leave your credit card in plain sight, be prudent and smart about showing the product. If you don’t feel comfortable with a lock box, then you must choose an agent who has time and flexibility to show your home with an appointment. The point is, having the home available to a ready, able, willing, and a qualified buyer is of utmost importance.
Mistakes when Showcasing your property.
Would you put that refrigerator for sale on craigslist with your family pictures on it? The answer is NO! Trust me, in my career, one of the most common mistakes I have seen sellers make, is presenting a product, that the buyers cannot imagine as theirs. Here are some ideas I have used in my career that have helped my sellers get top dollar, no matter what the condition of the home. Remove pictures of family from walls, Refrigerator or the Mantle, they distract the buyers away from the thought of buying. Remove anything from the home, kitchen, bathrooms that you will not use in the next 15 day. Use fresh Towels, keep kitchen counters as open as possible, use of plants enhance the vibe, keep the home ventilated when cooking meals, and Bottom-line don’t forget about organizing small stuff like glasses, stationery, toys, paper, magazines etc. they can add up quickly, creating clutter. A fresh coat of paint, adding new colorful flowers, Painting the garage door, painting the front door, display new linen and finally the abundant use of deodorizers. Buyers get easily distracted, and while they look at your interesting pictures on top of Machu Pichu, it takes them away from the thought process of buying the home. The key here is to create an ambience that will let the buyer imagine, feel, smell, and visualize being in that home forever.
Let your Agent do their job!
Would you tell a Doctor how to perform the surgery, or an Attorney how present your case to the Judge? Folks, you have hired an agent because you think they are right for the job. Great Real Estate Agents are trained to protect you and most of them do look out for your best interests. They have a set procedure or a plan of action. Let them do the job, that you trusted them to do when you hired their services. Often times, I see overzealous homeowners playing the role of an agent during a showing. Give buyer the space they need to critique the home.This is one of the most distracting, and counterproductive moves on the part of a seller. Disclose everything you know. Be truthful and forthright, the buyer will find out later, and by then it’s gotten ugly. Don’t hide facts. Ensure you do everything in writing.
Don’t be too rigid or refuse to negotiate. Check your Ego.
There is no room for “EGO” in a negotiation. Mr & Mrs Seller, this is one for the most common and biggest mistakes I see out there in the grind. Buyers like a deal. Its okay if they start low. Does not mean they are bad people. Don’t loose the deal over price. There are ways to negotiate, like taking a lower price but not paying for Termites or any repairs. It’s a win win for both. Buyer feels like a deal yet, you get what you want. I remember a real estate transaction where a very competitive $790,000 offer was presented to the seller from a very qualified, willing and able buyer, the words of the seller still ring my ears ” I will not give my home away”. One and a half year later and going through many different agents, she sold it for for 719,000. Imagine what she could have done with the extra $71,000 and less headaches of constantly trying to sell it for over a year. My mentor once said to me ” Pebble negotiation is an art in which you let the other party think they are the winners, when you know that you got what you wanted”.
Most sellers I see out in the market, listen to the advice of people who have little or no experience of buying or selling Real Estate. Just because your Uncle has bought or sold two or three homes in their entire life does not mean that they are aware of the latest changes in Rea Estate laws, or have enough experience to navigate the complex contracts. Its good to be informed, have a confidant like your uncle, some one who can help you with making some decisions. Would you ever let uncle Dave dictate how your doctor does surgery? Be smart, its your money. Times have changed and so has Real Estate find yourself the best possible representation.
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- Hope this article has helped answer some of your questions. If you still have any remaining questions that are unique to a transaction please email me or call me.
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Pebble Singha is a proud member of BrokerInTrust Real Estate, an Elite All Broker Network and Consumer Advocacy group. My blogs are a way to educate the consumers on what actually goes on in the Real Estate world vs what they think they know. This is one passionate Real Estate Brokers opinion on how he sees the Real Estate World in Los Angeles.
Disclaimer: Pebble Singha is not an Attorney or a Financial advisor. These are independent views and opinions of Pebble Singha and how he sees life in Real Estate. This blog is not to discredit or devalue anyone or their name. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Cal Bre Lic # 01458748