Our industry is rife with agents who don’t understand business, don’t know how to provide customer service, and don’t communicate well. They may “know real estate,” but they don’t know how to “do real estate.” This is evident from start to finish—from showing homes to closing deals.
Consider home showings, for instance. As a listing agent who represents home sellers, I frequently hear from my sellers about the bad habits of some buyer’s agents: They don’t turn off lights, close doors, or wipe their feet. They let their client’s kids run amok, they break things, and they show up unexpectedly. They even steal. Keep in mind, that’s really a minority of agents…but those problem agents do stand out! Ten agents may show up and behave professionally, but the eleventh damages the reputation of the previous ten by doing something unprofessional. It drives responsible agents mad!
My job is to minimize negative factors throughout the transaction. That starts with controlling the showing situation by managing the lock box, being strict about showing instructions, and helping you get your house ready for a bombardment of strangers. I’m here to help, and that may even mean helping you pack up your valuables to prevent theft or breakage.
No matter how you prepare your home, showing it will still be uncomfortable, simply because you have to keep your home in show-ready condition. Together we can work out a system to make it at least tolerable for the duration of your marketing time.
It is a huge pain to have to show your house. A huge pain. There’s no getting around it. And the longer it takes your house to sell, the more painful it is.
SOLUTIONS FOR “SHOWING STRESS”:
I’ve sold a fair number of houses and I understand that no one loves your house as much as you do. You love the gardens you worked so hard on. You think your decorating is great. You adore your cherry wood kitchen cabinets. Your brand-new expensive carpeting is the perfect color.
But buyers will still want to rip much of it out.
They’ll say things that make you spitting mad, like opining that your paint is ugly, your stone fireplace is dated looking, or your light fixtures would have to be changed. Right in front of you, they’ll discuss getting rid of your expensive carpeting or chopping down your favorite tree—the one your kids played in as they were growing up.
You must view your house as a commodity. Buyers are trying to fit themselves into their own house, not fit themselves into your home. They will want to remove anything that doesn’t feel like them…and they want the freedom to talk about it with one another while they’re shopping for a home. So if you don’t want to hear it, then try to leave the house when it’s being shown.
Buyer’s real estate agents spend hours upon hours with their buyers, going from home to home until they’re completely exhausted with trying to make the buyer’s dream come true.
The last thing the buyer’s agent (or the buyer) wants is for a seller to start playing tour guide. I’ve been in homes where the seller spent 45 minutes detailing everything he’d ever done to his home. I knew what he was doing. He was certain that his real estate agent wasn’t doing enough to “sell” all the special features of his home, so he was taking matters into his own hands.
It doesn’t work. Or at least it doesn’t work any better than typical showing strategies and takes way too long. Buyers know quickly if this is the house for them, and just because the seller spent $2,000 on “better” quality sprinklers, or the water softener is only 3 months old, the buyers are not going to love it any more. They’ll try to be polite, but they’d really like to leave.
A better strategy is to tape a small sign to anything special that you want to call attention to. Then if the buyers are interested in the house, those extras will be a nice touch that can put them over the edge.
When it’s time for you to sell your home, I’m on your side, and ready to stand up for you. Together we’ll try to control the showings, eliminate problems during showings, manage your time effectively, and stand up to the challenges that will create turbulence during the sale. Experience counts for a lot when it comes to working with a good listing agent. Call me for a listing appointment the moment you start thinking about selling.
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