Selling your home is a very emotional venture. These emotions can get the best of you if you don’t have a realistic idea of what it is going to take and how much work it is going to take. Many sellers feel if they list with the “best” realtor in town then the house will sell and that will be that. It is so much more than that even in the best market. Realtors are an intricate part of the process and their expertise should be respected. To go into a home sale thinking that the price will be set and there will be no talk of price reduction is completely and utterly unrealistic. Your home’s value is based on numbers and statistics but the bottom line is this: “your home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it!” As realtors, we do our utmost to determine your value based on numbers that the market has revealed. We look at similar homes in your area and what they closed for. We compare your home with others on the market. We determine how your home stacks up against these homes. We look at the inside and the outside. We look at the neighborhood, the schools, the roads, the stores, the convenience, the commute, the developments happening etc. We know what is happening in the market because we are beating the trails every day. We are talking to the buyers, we are talking to other real estate professionals. We are noticing things that you, as the seller, may not be noticing. Let’s face it….your house has been your life. All the good memories you have had in the house, the improvements that you have lovingly made to the home, all of the mortgage payments you have made, the feeling of when you first moved in. This makes you very attached and very protective of your home even when you want to sell it. It’s yours until the day you close and you have an attachment to this home that we do not have. We see the home as a house that will be competing for buyers. We see the house as an inanimate object that needs a new owner so it’s current owner can move on and accomplish their goals.
How can I say this any clearer! Be prepared, be open minded, be accommodating, be motivated, be patient but most of all, BE REALISTIC. Understand that the market changes in a blink of an eye. The house around the corner could suddenly close for 20,000 less than it’s listing price. If this home is comparable to yours in most ways, guess what…that motivated seller just cost you money. You can’t reverse this, you can’t blame your realtor for this, you need to understand that it is a numbers game. That closing means something. It can’t be ignored.
Realtors make nothing unless they sell your home. They don’t take a listing for the heck of it. They put their own money into every marketing piece that is done on your home. It is their gas, their time, their networking, their website, their postcards, their every dollar! They must sell this home in order to get paid while at the same time, negotiating the best possible deal for you. When they present you with a low offer, it is not to offend you, it is to do their job which is to present every offer to you! They don’t get to pick and choose what offers to present and what ones to not. (unless they are unethical). They will advise you as to the pros and cons of each offer. They know what financing is more desirable, what red flags are staring at you and on and on.
The first step to selling your home is making two lists. What are the things that you have found to be positives about your home? Things like the flow of the kitchen, tons of closet space, great commute, excellent neighbors, flat yard and large two car garage should be one this list. Now make a list of the things that you have found intolerable about your home. Things like low water pressure, old flooring, creaking floors, stubborn windows and gutter issues should be on this list. The next thing you should do is speak to a few realtors and be honest about these things. Do the positives out weight the negative? Talk about things you are willing to fix or correct and find out if the yield is worth the money. Realtors know what the current trends are with home buyers. You may think you need to add a big brand new jacuzzi tub to your master bathroom. A realtor (a smart one anyway) will tell you that a large modern shower with excellent water pressure will go much further than a jacuzzi with today’s buyers! Surprised? If you are then it is time to speak with a realtor and come up with an excellent and realistic game plan to put your home on the market.
I know you are flooded with information every day about real estate. You have more information available than you can digest. The problem with this information is it is very general. What one article says about selling your home may have been written by a realtor or expert in Michigan or California. That information may not be relevant or pertinent to your market. Let’s face it, local understanding and local market trends are the only thing you should be concerned with, not the national statistics and not even the state statistics. Your town, your schools and your local area is all that you should be concerned with when selling your home. Your home is part of the community in which buyers are looking. They are concerned with how your home stacks up against your local competition. Don’t try to be the expert. Be educated but let the realtor do their job and do it well. You can hold their feet to the fire but do it with respect and dignity as they are working for you and on your behalf. Your sale is their paycheck and any good realtor is going to work hard to accomplish your goals in the most professional, ethical and diligent way!