Suffice it to say the Ellis Team goes on it’s fair share of listings appointments in SW Florida, and we are in tune with what’s on the minds of home sellers.

Some sellers are logically tuned in to what’s going on in the SW Florida real estate market, some are in shock and awe, especially the ones who bought in 2005, some are happy and accept it is what it is, and some are downright fearful as they are in danger of losing their property.

While the Ellis Team goes on many listing appointments, we only take a small percentage of listings.  We only list properties when we feel we can help the seller.  In order for us to do that, the seller must price the property in-line with today’s market conditions, and must be willing to accept out expertise and advice.

Some sellers decide they’re going to sell for a certain price because that’s what they "Need" out of the property, or that’s what it’s "Worth" and somebody should just pay it.  When confronted with the facts, we’ve even heard some sellers say, "OK, it may not be worth that, but that’s what I want, and can’t you just find someone from up North who doesn’t know any better to pay it?" We explain that we actually have to sell a home three times in order to have a successful sale, so we better price it right upfront.

  1. It better be priced correctly in MLS, or other agents won’t even show the property as they have a choice of thousands of properties to choose from when showing their customers, and they usually picked the Best values.  If your home isn’t priced right, it won’t get shown by other agents.
  2. The buyer is the one who is out there looking at maybe 20 properties before making a decision to buy.  Your home or condo is in competition with all the other thousands of properties on the market right now, so it better be priced in-line with other comparable properties, or the buyer will just buy something else.
  3. Lastly, even if we’re successful getting agents to show the property, and the buyer to accept that your property is the "Best" value available, the bank will still require an appraisal.  Banks are skeptical not lend more money than the property is worth.  Foreclosures are rising, and banks know that property values have declined since 2005.  Banks lending money will require an appraisal, and sometimes two before they lend in today’s market.  Your home must be in-line with Sold data, not just what other active sellers are "Asking" for their property.

This brings me back to Sellers "must be willing to accept out expertise and advice."  If the seller is willing to price the property correctly, they must also be willing to allow us to do our job and sell the property for them.  Sometimes sellers get in their own way by listening to other so-called experts about how to sell a property.  Perhaps a neighbor gave them advice on something that worked for them in the past or a friend or relative tells them something they should do.  Some ideas are good, and should be part of a pro-active marketing campaign to sell your home.  Other ideas are not proven or time tested, and frankly some are just off the wall and do not work.

It takes two things to sell a home in today’s market.  Aggressive Marketing and Aggressive Pricing.  One without the other isn’t good enough.  Ultimately the seller controls the price, while the Market determines the Value.  When price meets value, the property has a chance to sell, if buyers are aware of the property.  This is where aggressive marketing comes in, and this is what a good Realtor brings to the table.

Lastly, sellers control the marketing by the agent they select to market the property.  Sellers should be careful not to micro-manage the marketing as the seller is usually emotionally attached to the outcome, and the least prepared to know what actually works in selling a home.  This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask questions of your agent.  It pays to ask these Most Important questions upfront in the listing interview.  Hiring the right agent the first time will save you much time, effort, money, and worry.  Hire the best agent, and then listen to their advice.

Soon we’ll have a follow-up article on pricing.

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