As a real estate agent in a coastal town, it is my experience that most homeowner’s feel they could do just as well as I could at selling homes. Never mind my licensing classes, state licensing test, multi-million dollar achievements, training classes, continuing education. I’d never expect to be able to do the same work as a Dentist but you still see the strategic For Sale By Owner directional signs placed throughout communities, pointing you to the house that is being sold by the owner. Though my profession has existed for hundreds of years, for some reason certain individuals think they can sell on their own. “Why is this?
They are emotional about their own homes. Of course, I can understand. Most of the times they raised their families in the homes, memories are born here, and it’s the place they seek shelter to each and every day. Their home is always better than the one next door, for reasons even as minor has their roof having architectural shingles and the next doesn’t. Here’s an idea: Take emotion out of it. Let a individual licensed in the field be a third party to the process. This agent will get you from Point A to Point B, which should be your main priority. Here are give helpful ways to get this done:
1) Offer a higher commission percentage.
Okay, stop rolling your eyes. Remember, what’s your goal here? To save on commissions or to sell your home? Keep focus. Let me paint this scenario: I am a real estate agent. I have a buyer looking to buy in a specific community. There are ten homes available in that community. Six offer me 3% commission, while the four remaining offer me 2.5% commission. Guess which homes I’m not going to show? Bingo, the ones offering me lower commissions. I’ve got to put food on the table, and if I can sell the same style home and make an extra $1000, then of course I’m going to sell the ones that offer an agent more. My advice here is to list your home at 7%, opposed to the standard 6% rate. You’ve got to get agents motivated to sell your home and ignore the others.
2) Offer closing costs or other cost-related benefits.
This is another attractive method to selling a home. As a seller, it is to your advantage to offer buyers a credit toward closing costs. Again, if $1500 in closing costs means selling your home that’s been on the market for four months then what are you waiting for? It seems like a lot of money but when you break down the mortgage check you’re sending out the first of every month then something tells me you’d do anything to stop the bleeding. Another great idea is to offer other types of benefits. Previously, I had a listing in a golf course community. Golf course communities tend to be a center of focus with retirees looking to move to this area by the beach. The real estate market in this particular area had slowed considerably, so thinking outside of the box I decided to approach the sellers and talk to them about offering a one year golf membership to any buyer that offered a contract within two weeks. In two weeks we had a contract, and my seller had dished out only $2000. Not bad, huh?
3) Stop with the clutter!
People, people, people. I know you love your framed pictures of your beach trip last year. Your big, bulky furniture. Finger paintings by the kids. As a buyer, could you possibly envision your own personal belongings amidst all of this clutter and chaos? Make your house as bare as possible. The more open, the better. Take out unnecessary furniture. This will make the room seem much bigger, and it will de-personalize the house. Notice I’m using the word, “house” to describe the structure. Think of it as a house, not a home. A “house” refers to an object or product, while “home” signifies emotional value. Use this approach when staging your house for showings.
4) Look at comparables in the area and price below market value
Price overcomes all obstacles. This is especially true in real estate. Have your real estate agent look at all the houses in your area for sale and work up a comparative market analysis. Find the lowest priced comparable home and mark your price considerably below this one. Use the Band Aid example. Does it hurt more when you rip the Band Aid off a little at a time, or when you rip it all in one, quick motion? Why price your house high, when after months of price reductions, no showings, and forking out mortgage payments you could have easily priced it low to began with and be done with the whole process? Another trick is to have your real estate agent advertise your home in the listing as, “Motivated Seller” or “Willing to Entertain All Offers.”
5) List with a nationally known real estate company.
I can’t stress this enough. If you’re going to pay thousands of dollars to a real estate agent for selling your house, why list with Red Tiger Realty when you can list with a company like Century 21? Over ninety percent of home searches start online. If a buyer is looking to relocate to your area, they’re more than likely going to a Century 21 or Coldwell Banker website to start their search. Wouldn’t you want your home to be featured on the company’s title page when these buyers come searching? I would. And needless to say, there’s an overall comfort level with buyers when they see a nationally recognized sign.
There’s my advice. Whether or not you want to take it is completely up to you. Good luck with the house selling, and try to stay focused, creative, and REALISTIC.