Planning on selling your home this year? PAR asked Realtors® to share their advice for sellers, and here’s what they said.
1. The market determines the price.
“What the home will sell for is what a buyer is willing to pay for it,” member of Tri-County Suburban Realtors® Mena Badros said. “How much is someone willing to purchase this home for? The market isn’t really about what the listing agent thinks or what the seller thinks, but more about what the market (the pool of people who would buy it) think.”
“Sometimes and unfortunately, some sellers just choose the listing agent who tells them the highest list price,” Badros noted. “I think it would benefit sellers to be aware that the market value of their home really comes from the value that the market/potential buyer gives it, and usually looking at close comparable homes that recently sold in the market is a good indicator of what people have recently paid.”
2. Marketing counts more than you think.
“In today’s fast-paced, internet-based world, it seems that most buyers give you one shot to impress,” Kristyn Martin, member of Pen-Mar Regional Association of Realtors®, observed. “To capture the buyers’ attention, it becomes nearly imperative to have good photos showing the full property, a great property description explaining any upgrades or special features or even a 3D tour right from the beginning.”
Martin advised sellers to have everything ready before listing their homes. She said, “Jumping the gun and listing before all proper marketing materials can be gathered or shared is typically to the detriment of the seller. The buyer will see one fuzzy photo of the front of the house, read the description stating all the obvious facts that Zillow already lists to them and then skip over it later once all the other details have been gathered.”
“Being anxious to get a sign in the yard and pressuring the agent to skip steps or cut corners on proper marketing ends up hurting the seller in the end,” she added. “They should trust the process an agent sets up, and agents should insist that the process is followed.”
3. Take out the emotions and think about business income.
Homes can hold plenty of good memories and sentimental value, but Lucia Iacovella of Tri-County Suburban Realtors® reminded sellers to take a business approach.
“I try to have my clients remove their emotions when selling a home and look at it more as an investment income,” she said. “In my many years of selling real estate and investing in real estate, I learned emotions block rational thinking. Looking back, I feel my sellers have all gained financially after selling their homes. Some of my sellers did better than others because they treated their home as a business. When the house needed repairs, they were made quickly. Just like a business, when it needs your attention, you have to be present. When a business is sold, the price is calculated on income.”
4. A Realtor’s® job is never finished.
Tri-County Suburban Realtor® Carol Savino wanted sellers to know all the things that Realtors® help with. She reflected on the time years ago when her mentor gave her a comprehensive list titled “184 Things a Real Estate Agent Does for Their Home Seller,” which helped remind her of her worth.
“Although a good agent will keep their seller well-informed from start to finish, a day in the life of a Realtor® is filled with important services that are, for the most part, behind the scenes,” Savino said, citing various Realtor® duties. These included pre-listing activities, the listing presentation, listing the home, marketing and tracking activity, receiving offers, reviewing and evaluating offers for best price and terms, knowing contracts inside and out, negotiating and closing.
“Realtors® are never really done,” she shared. “We could literally work around the clock. The contracts have date and time stipulations. Time is of the essence, therefore we work evenings, weekends, while on vacation, holidays and during family gatherings. We sacrifice to put our clients before ourselves. The end result is getting our sellers to the settlement table so they can move on to the next chapter in their lives. For this, I would say it’s worth the ‘184 things,’ but it’s worth the sellers realizing it, too.”