Yesterday another agent called me wondering why his 3 listings in Lehigh Acres weren’t selling. After offering some tips to help out, I thought an article on the subject might help others as well.
- Curb Appeal– Buyers judge the quality of the home by what they can see. You will never get to the home inspection stage if the buyer never offers. Look at your yard, landscaping, outside paint, roof, gutters, etc. If the outside looks bad, buyers judge the inside probably looks just as bad and they don’t schedule appointments to view.
- De-Clutter Inside– If a room has too many things in it, it make the room look smaller. Additionally, buyers have a harder time envisioning their personals in your home when all they see is stuff. Take out as much as you can.
- Be sure to remove Personal Photos– Buyers always stop and look at the pictures on the wall, and if there are too many the home feels like it’s someone else’s and they have a hard time picturing themselves in your home. Knick knacks and photos subconsciously turn off buyers. A few are OK, but too many can be a turn-off.
- If a Buyer Can Smell It, We Can’t Sell It– Cigarette odor and pet odors are the #1 turn offs for buyers today. We would suggest smoking outside and removing pets as best you can during the sales process, and hiring someone to remove any smells. Some breeds emit more odor than others.
- Remove Pets For Showings– Buyers love pets, and the problem is many times they walk away remembering how cute your pet was, but they remember next to nothing about your home. Your home is in competition with other homes, and you want your home to be remembered and stand out against all others. You don’t want your buyer’s time distracted by your pet. Buyers will not buy your home because you have an adorable pet, but they may buy another if they don’t remember your home.
- Be Gone For Showings-We have a saying that every word a seller says to a buyer costs the seller $1,000. Sellers think they know they’re home better than anybody and therefore they’re the most qualified to sell it. Buyers typically feel uncomfortable talking with the seller, and usually give feedback the seller wants to hear. The best and true feedback is a good offer, not meaningless words to appease the seller. Some buyers like talking to sellers because they glean information they’ll use against the seller in negotiations. Best advice is to be gone for showings.
- Price-Overpricing a home is a sure fire way to make it sit. After your home is on the market awhile, buyers begin to wonder what’s wrong with it. After awhile fear kicks in and buyers don’t want to offer too much on a home nobody else wants to buy either. While the market is Hot today, it is a price sensitive market. Overpricing is a good way to ward off potential offers. Many buyers don’t want to insult the seller, so they just offer on another home that is priced where it should be. Sellers usually think the buyer can always make an offer, and of course nobody ever offers full price anyway so we’ll build in some negotiating room. This is a myth and statistically it’s proven that seller’s that overprice end up taking less later than sellers who price correctly upfront. Many homes in the market today sell at or near full price, and some sell for over asking price.
- Marketing– Times have changed. Some agents employ the 3 P’s. Put a sign up in front yard, place it in MLS, and pray someone else sells it. Successful agents today rely on newspaper advertising, radio, TV, social media like Twitter, Linked In, Facebook Fan pages, YouTube, virtual tours, as well as mobile technology and much more. Ask to see how your home will be marketed and which national sites it will be syndicated to when interviewing agents.
- If You Owe More Than Home is Worth, Select a CDPE-44% of homeowners in Florida are underwater on their mortgages. It takes a certain expertise to work with the banks on short sales. Buyers and sellers need lots of education attempting to close a short sale. A Certified Distressed Property Expert can help.
- Select the Right Offer-Don’t just take any offer. Many times it pays to wait for the right one. Why waste time with a buyer that doesn’t qualify, or the loan program they’re pre-qualified for will present issues for your home or association. Knowledge is power and can save you from many bad transactions. If you don’t have time to do it right the first time, when in the world will you find the time to do it over?
Be sure to check out our 2012 State of the Market Report