Has your home been on the market longer than your listing period? Are you on your second.. or possibly your third Realtor? Are you still stumped after all that time, left wondering why your home has not sold? I’m going to attempt to explain what most Realtors want to say, but some can’t seem to get out..at least in terms most all will understand.. but some may not appreciate. This is my reality, this is not Realtor TV, and this is certainly not Hollywood.
This article won’t appeal to those whose homes have sold, so for you.. congratulations..whatever you did worked! I’ll save that for the follow-up. Right now, I have people who are desperate to sell their homes and not hearing what we are saying. Here goes,..
If you are in an area where values have dropped, I know you are going to be disappointed. I see it on my customer’s faces at nearly every listing appointment. Talk about a reason for depression! Yes, we all watch TV and read the paper. Our economy sucks. So now, breathe in an out and lay the cards out. It’s my job to turn this thing around, and only with my sellers help can I do that. Sometimes that means, I don’t get a listing.. sometimes that means I spend hours with a calculator and a pencil outlining Plan A, B, C, D, E and F!
It’s my job to tell you the truth, so don’t shoot the professional who lives this market everyday who tells you the facts. My paycheck is directly affected by the falling prices and lack of sales. Believe me,.. I feel your pain! However, it is time for truth, a realistic plan and total honesty and disclosure. By that I mean, there is work for everyone to do. This is also not the time to feel ashamed, or to plot how to circumvent the system. Guess what? You are NOT alone. Please don’t wait until I have a contract to tell me that you have a second mortgage… you know that line of credit that you used for your business, that was tied to your house as collateral. Oh yes, and let’s don’t forget about the roof leak that lead to the subteranian termites that lead to the bathroom floor “re-do.” Disclose it now.. let’s get past it. You can’t afford to loose a customer at the closing table over doubt that you created. I can’t help you then!
So, I put this list together. There are 5 things you MUST do to sell you home in today’s market.
1. Hire a Real Estate Professional. This is not the time for FSBO unless you area Realtor, a real estate attorney (because most do not know current real estate or disclosure law. Could your gynecologist give you a root canal? They’re both Dr.s right? It’s not the same believe me!) With as many challenges as there are with appraisals, financing hurdles, disclosure issues, and inspection findings…you need someone who is there with you the entire time. Buyers have agents.. and some are sharks! WE can’t help it.. we are supposed to get the best deal for our buyers. Many times Realtors work both sides of a transaction, in Florida we can do that as “transaction brokers.” sometimes that means we help another less experienced agent who falls apart when lender issues rear their ugly heads at the 11th hour…not to mention any names,…”BoOoaaAaah!”
2. Invest In Your Sale. You are a fully invested partner in this transaction. Without your participation, preparation and motivation, this transaction will not take place. Your Realtor will give you a list. Get the things on that list done! Prepare your house to sell before the first person sees it. That first person has been looking at other homes and is going to purchase somewhere. (Getting Ready To Sell tips.) If your furniture is tired and worn out.. get some slipcovers. Pack your stuff..pack the kids stuff..how much can any kid play with at one time? You’ve seen the Sell That House, HGTV specials, etc. “Get your Move On!” People will make offers with sellers who look like they have gone the extra mile and are ready to leave. Stage your home.. use what you have or hire someone. Re-arrange and de-clutter. If you don’t give a rip… well.. let your Realtor know that up front. That’s decision time for experienced agents.
3. Start looking at your next home. Whether it is online, or with your Realtor, get out.. see what kind of home you want to make your next home. You will appreciate what other buyers are going through if you are doing the same thing! If you are moving to a different city.. then just go see your competition..the other listings in your area that are similar to yours and that are different. Ask your Realtor to show you these other active listings, and the pending ones.. what made people make an offer on the house down the street and not yours?
4. Review area sales stats every month, the more often, the better. If your Realtor is not providing these.. then ask for them! Get your head around the facts that in most areas, sales and values change weekly, up or down.. few stay the same. You have to know this information. Showings are a good gauge of pricing and competition, and of market conditions.
5. Review your absolute bottom line. If that line is below what you owe..have a Plan B. If there is no Plan B, no efforts of even the most experienced, high profile agents will work. Knowing whether or not you can compete with a neighborhood of foreclosures,.. that is important! Numbers either work, or they don’t. If you are upside down or need to negotiate with you bank.. put them on alert now. You most likely find any lender more motivated than a year ago. Get a contact at the bank. If you can’t, get to a Realtor who has , well,…. abilities. Short Sales are not for the weak at heart. You want the Realtor who wears fishnet stockings to church to work your short sale. Calm, cool, dedicated but a tiger who can reason with the banks and close a sale.
Real estate today.. it is face paced and furious…we are working harder, but are we working smarter? Those who are selling , are working very, very hard.
Still confused? How about a FREE home selling guide.
Need a Real Estate Agent Referral? We can do that too, just let me know in the comments where your next move will be!