Sellers – Do Not Sabotage The Sale Of Your Home
Your Most Valuable Material Asset
For most of us, our homes are the highest valued financial asset we own. When the time comes to sell your home, there are caveats to be on the lookout for that can prevent or hinder your success. If you want top dollar for the sale of your property, there are several do’s and don’ts that you need to consider and address prior to listing your home for sale. The first 30 days your home is on the market and visible to the public are the most critical and you don’t want to waste them making some common mistakes that sellers make…
Below I address some all too common mistakes / misconceptions that sellers make. Avoid them / understand them, and you will be off to a great start on your journey to having that successful sit down at the closing table.
Do Not Settle On An Agent That Does Not Invest Money Into Marketing Your Home
South Florida is a marketplace that is becoming more and more noticed on a national, no, international level. Most buyers in the market shopping for a home these days start their search online so the first internet / social media impressions go a long way. When your property is listed and showings begin it needs to be presented in its best form. It is critical you work with an agent that understands these simple concepts and is willing to invest effort and money into optimizing your chances of standing out from your competition.
There are various different marketing actions your professional realtor should be taking to expedite the sale of your home.
Do not hire a real estate “professional” if he/she is not including the following as part of your comprehensive marketing strategy:
- photography of your listing by a professional photographer – IPhone pics or shots from your realtor’s camera are not going to cut it (unless the realtor is also a professional photographer…but you know what they say..”jack of all trades is a master of none”)
- Matterport 3D tour of your property for online presence or a video – both are not necessary but one is a must
- print advertising in the avenue that will deliver the best results for your particular market (every door direct mail campaign, magazines, newspapers, targeted mailers to prospective buyers, etc.)
- blogging about your property and allowing for your property to be showcased on as many internet sites as possible for maximum exposure
- staging / presentation consultation with a professional prior to listing the home and showcasing it to the public. First impressions are critical and if you present the property in its best light to every prospect that tours your home it will sell higher and faster than if you take the roll the dice approach on leaving the clutter out and not removing those scary looking antique dolls you picked up at a yard sale on your tour through the West Virginia mountains
- broker open house(s) to showcase your property to other industry professionals that specifically work your market and may have a buyer for you
- email campaigns to targeted prospects and other industry professionals that can in turn share / forward your listing to parties they know may be interested
- social media marketing (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) – the more eyes see your home when it hits the market, the more interest / buzz you will have and the more people will “need” to see it.
Please note that above all pricing is the most critical component of your marketing strategy for success. If your realtor is an expert in your local market and he/she is recommending a list price that’s not in line with what you think the property is worth…take a serious look and make sure you’re understanding where the recommended pricing is coming from. More often than not your estimate is the one that will be off, not the local realtor’s. As professionals we can utilize all of the tools above but if the property is overpriced none of the above will secure the sale for you.
Here’s a sample of a true professional photography session at work on one of my prior listings:
Here’s a sample of a video tour I had done for my listings in “Cobblestone,” a town home and condominium community in Pembroke Pines, Florida:
Do Not Be Restrictive On Your Home’s Showing Times
I see it all the time on the MLS when I am working with buyers and trying to coordinate showings on properties they have expressed interest in.
Some sellers restrict the showing times on their homes when they are still occupying the property to very limited hours that a lot of buyers cannot accommodate. Those listings tend to sit on the market a lot longer than the sellers that allow for a wide range of showing appointments. I am a family man and a working professional. My wife is a working professional. We have hectic schedules sometimes and by the time we are home with the kids in the evening we do not want to have a parade of people walking through our doors. I get it.
Keep in mind however that just like you have a job and children and schedules, so do the buyers. And buyers have more options these days than ever before. If you cannot accommodate a showing what makes you think that they will not pick one of the other seven properties they are touring on the same day as yours if they were not able to take a step inside of your property and there were other people looking at the same time as they were on the other homes they toured? Remember – the more buzz there is around a home the more the sense of urgency for buyers.
If your home is priced right it will sell quickly. It’s better to have a mad dash of buyers tour your property on a weekend and multiple offers than to have your home sit on the market for months. Talk to your real estate agent. Communicate. Yes certain hours should absolutely be off limits for buyers to tour your home. On the other hand, why would you prevent showings throughout the weekdays during the hours you and your family are at work? Why not take that mini vacation you and yours have been talking about for months on the opening weekend of your home’s market showcase? If the property is priced right and offered in its best light on the internet, social media platforms and print media, you will have plenty of traffic coming through the doors on that first weekend it hits the market…
I personally like the use of the Supra system. It’s an electronic lockbox that other realtors can access through the use of their smart phone and the time of access and departure is electronically stamped. Buyers will not be able to access the Supra to enter into your home without being accompanied by a real estate professional. With this system, you do not have to be home to grant access and your real estate agent does not have to accompany every showing. There are many diverse viewpoints on the use of electronic lock boxes from real estate agents. There are considerations to be taken into account for example if you have a multi-million dollar listing and the showing is going to take an hour, hour and a half. There are many intricacies oftentimes in these types of properties that are best explained / showcased by a present listing agent. However, when we’re talking about most properties, the buyer’s agent will accompany his / her clients and most often they prefer the privacy of not having the seller present throughout the showing so that they do not feel rushed and can talk openly about the pros and cons they see in the home. I guess this is a lead into the my next major advice…
Do Not Be Home For Showings
I have worked with buyers and toured multiple properties as a South Florida real estate agent. On some days we have toured 8 to 10 properties and oftentimes my customers have chosen their home from that list of available inventory.
It never fails. The buyers are always more at ease and take their time to tour the homes that are theirs and theirs alone to see with their realtor. No sellers present. No listing agent present. I have walked into confirmed showing appointments with my buyers to be greeted by a nice enough owner or tenant of a property that is in the middle of having dinner or looking at his or her watch as they wait for us to see the home so they can make their doctor appointment in twenty minutes and lock up their home after we’ve toured. Rushed. I’ve been with customers and we’ve been rushed through showings.
As a seller you want the buyers to take their sweet time to explore your home and all of the wonderful future moments it has to offer its prospective owner(s). If you are home during the showing you are greatly reducing the courtship time between the buyer and the home you want them to fall in love with. Don’t do it.
Have pets and they need to be attended to while your home is being shown? Okay. Make arrangements. Either yourself, a neighbor or your dog walker can go to the home a few minutes prior to the confirmed showing time and take the dog on a walk or to the doggie park.
Oscar Rodriguez With EWM Realty International
There are many other considerations to be taken into account from a seller’s perspective to narrow down the possibilities of your sales cycle being stagnated or completely sabotaged. The ones mentioned above are common and of significant impact.
I service the Fort Lauderdale and Pembroke Pines real estate marketplaces in Florida. I am a proud agent under the brokerage of EWM Realty International.
Riverland community page – one of my markets of specialization in Fort Lauderdale.
Cobblestone community page – another of my markets of specialization in Pembroke Pines.
If you have questions regarding real estate in South Florida – reach out to me. I’m easy enough to talk to.
Thanks for the read.