Tuesday, November 27, 2012

OK... One more time....

We've talked about it before.  I keep seeing so many houses that look like one big unmade bed.... YA HAVE TO MAKE IT SHINE!

There are too many houses out there to choose from for you, as a seller, to think you don't need to get your home up to showing state!

Clear the shelves and counters.  Really? a half liter of Mountain Dew?

Empty the trash. Don't leave a full waste basket!

Pick up the living room.

Make the beds.

Shoes? strewn all over? Nice. NOT!

And the bathrooms! Clean the mirrors. Toilet seats down. Towels at a minimum... not hanging over the shower rod.  Pick up around the sink and make it look like you have lots of room there to shave and brush your teeth! I think you know about an open tube of toothpaste too, right?

Get rid of out of season clothes. ( take 'em to your mom's house if you need to!)

Mow the lawn.

Clean windows.

Smudges around door knobs and cabinet handles?  Scrub them!

Porch full of shoes 'n stuff?  Nope... clean entryway.

Same goes for stairwells.  That is NOT where you put everything!

Pets?  Take em for a walk.  And I love pets... but a lot of buyers don't. Especially the way they might smell!

Kids? Don't tell them to sit in front of the TV in the family room and be quiet!  Take them out for ice cream!

Don't leave your mail out!  Even if it's neatly stacked!

Extension cords should be nowhere to be seen!

Don't stuff everything in the closets either!  Did you think they wouldn't look????

Loose door handles are a sure sign you don't take care of other stuff as well.

Look up. At the vent in the bathroom.  Fuzzy looking?  Clean it!

Pictures and magnets all over the fridge?  Not good.  Get rid of em!

Here's an idea... set the dining room table like you're getting ready to entertain the Queen of England... a fresh vase of flowers might help too.

Come on folks... I hear that some agenst feel like you should invest 1% of your asking price into making the house look better.

Sorry don't mean to nag, but I've got buyers that are questioning whether or not you're serious about selling.  And when they go into one of those houses that has been set up properly, they say, "Wow, Steve... nice place here!"...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Just because it's sold doesn't mean you can let your guard down...

You know, we go through a lot of effort making our homes ready to show don't we?  The reason is obvious.  We're gonna have company.  Total strangers coming through our house! In fact, strangers that need to be impressed, because they just might be the buyers.

So, as any good agent would do, we tell our clients to "unclutter", "paint", "throw out", "simplify", "stage"... all that stuff.  Terry Watson, renown advice giver said at a recent seminar I was at, "If I can smell it, I can't sell it!"

So depending on your circumstances, you had to endure a period of time where you felt like you were living in Buckingham Palace.  Can't put your feet up... no underwear on the floor... make the bed!... toilet seat down... get that stuff off the counter.

But, now your house is sold. Finally!  We can relax!


We've got two more hurdles.  There is probably going to be home inspection (sometimes called a structural inspection)... then there's probably going to be an appraisal.  Both of these events are very very VERY critical.  So do yourself a huge favor.  Set up your home as if it was a first time showing to a potential buyer!  Yup! that's right.  Because the person who comes in to do the home inspection and the person doing the appraisal is just as impressionable as any buyer.

So make it shine.  Everytime someone related to the outcome comes in... then, you can relax!  For more reasons than one!

There you have it!  Hope this helps you.  Like me on Facebook if you get a chance and if you want to make a comment on this or any of my blogs... have at it!  Rock on friends!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sure you can sell it yourself....

It's not often, but every once in a while I get drawn into a "philosophical" discussion with someone who feels they can sell their home their self.  And they are certain that "everyone" should.  "Why should I pay a real estate agent to do it when I know I can do it myself?"

This person may be right.  Sure, anyone can sell a house.  If all the conditions are right... a buyer comes along and the seller doesn't get in his own way... a sale happens!

Sometimes I wonder if I was never in the real estate business if I would feel the same way.  Point is, some people are capable and some people aren't.  There's room for all of us in this arena.  Believe me, I have brokered some real estate transactions over the past 30 years where the seller was VERY capable of doing it themselves.  Why didn't they?  Because they were smart enough to see the value of having an agent when they needed to pay attention to what they were good and well-versed in.  They did not want to have to be available every time someone just wanted to take a look at their home.  They did not want to place themselves or their family in a position to be in the house when total strangers came to visit.  They also recognized that they may be a little too close to the property... a little too emotional.

They also realized that we are trained to understand buying signals.... or even the "red flags" that will help us to eliminate the lookers from the buyers.  They also know that we are connected to all the other professionals that are utilized in this process.  They also know that we are familiar with the contracts and the documents that are required.  They also know that we will help them to understand what appeals to buyers and the approaches that most often entice a purchaser to make an offer.  They also know that once they engage the services of a real estate professional they won't be solicited by other agents looking to market their home for them.  I've heard some Do-It-Yourselfers proclaim that they can better answer questions about their house.  The very same people don't know a French drain from a dry well; or understand the difference between a boiler and a furnace, much less that their chimney may need to have two flues... or maybe not.

And buyers are skittish about coming to the house.  They aren't certain about how much of what they hear that they can believe from the seller. They know that a real estate agent is  bound to rules regulations and ethics and further are under the scrutiny of their state.

And buyers are more inclined to tell us Realtors what they really think.  When the Do-It-Yourselfer asks the buyer what they think, the buyer almost always says, "Oh you have a real nice home here.  We were really impressed. We need to think about it."  then they get in their car and say to each other, "Oh my gosh! Did you see that wallpaper? And the smell in the basement! Is that guy kidding?!!! And how about that price? Easily the highest priced house we've seen so far!"  Stuff the seller will never hear.  And while we're on that scenario: Most sellers are reluctant to follow up, much less even get a number or email to do so.  And ask them if they understand the concept of verify and overcome objections.  See, after someone looks at our listings we work very hard to find out what the objections may have been...and that can be used to advise our seller clients.

I'm all for saving money.  And that is the main reason most feel compelled to sell without the services of a broker. However, there is a boatload of stats out there that show that the majority of for sale by owners sell for less than real estate brokered deals.

You can cut your own hair and you can take out our own decayed tooth if you want to.  The results AND the process may be something less than you planned for.