When you list your property for sale, you may find the most difficult part of the listing process is shifting your thinking from “my home” to “the buyer’s new home.”
Your real estate professional will help with this mental transition and ultimately you’ll benefit from embracing this shift. The sooner you let go of obsessing about “your home” and start concentrating on what buyers in this market and this price range will spend their money on, the easier and more lucrative selling your home will be.
Embrace The Buyer Perspective
You probably selected your listing professional and brokerage based on what you believe they know about getting you the best deal. During the listing presentation, they brought you up-to-date on current local buyer patterns. This was intended to demonstrate their understanding of local market trends and their knowledge of how to connect with qualified buyers.
Don’t be shy about returning to that conversation. Learn more about those shopping in your neighborhood for homes like yours. What exactly do they want and what don’t they want.
Whether your experts use the National Association of REALTORS®(NAR) annual Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report to illustrate selling points or statistics provided by their brokerage or Real Estate Board, you will learn a lot when you are introduced to the substance behind their marketing plan.
For instance, millennials represent a significant segment of buyers in many markets. If your real estate is already a millennial magnet, you and your professional team have a good chance of reinforcing this “hot” vibe. This marketing activity may materialize as an even great selling price with seller-favoring terms.
What can you do to help with Step One, which is getting buyers inside your real estate, so they can fall in love with the property?
The majority of today’s buyers shop the internet before they contact a real estate professional. This means a stellar online presence–photos, videos, accurate information–is essential to gaining buyer attention and enticing them inside your real estate:
• Videos and photos are only as good as the subject, so your help preparing your real estate to shine is vital. Curb appeal has to be there for a photo to capture this allure. A must-get-inside street face has to exist to have buyers click or swipe for more details on your real estate treasure. Think ahead if possible since some curbside beautification takes time. For instance, if you expect to sell in the spring, planting a lot of spring bulbs during the previous fall will be a great investment.
• No one knows your real estate as well as you do, so you may see linkages that wouldn’t occur to someone looking on. Suggesting benefits evident in other seasons may be useful content in marketing literature or during home tours. For instance, as the summer sun shifts between buildings, I can watch the sunrise from my front deck–one of my favorite ways to start the day. What’s special about living in your real estate?
• Most buyers would like a brand-new home, but they can only afford or find a resale. How can you make your home seem brand-new to buyers? Thorough cleanups, freshening up with paint, and repair of the unsightly all add up to a good first impression, inside and out. You’ve gotten used to building defects, but friends and your real estate team will help you see the flaws if you have an open mind–buyer’s mindset.
• Most buyers are moving to get more space. Empty closets, storage areas, and the garage, so it is evident there is room to spare. Remove extra furniture and “stuff” so rooms are visibly larger. Listen to your real estate professional. You’re going to move anyway, so get an early start.
• Staging of interiors translates interior potential into visual proof that this is exactly what buyers are looking for. Generating “That’s our style!” or “I can see myself here” buyer reactions should be the goal. Your real estate professional can demonstrate how, in your area, this transformation can impact on the bottom line.
• Get used to the idea that you and your family will be inconvenienced. This starts before the house goes on the market and lasts until it’s sold. Everything is about selling the “buyers new home” to them.
Sellers benefit from understanding that negotiations for the sale of their real estate begin as soon as the listing is signed, not when an offer to purchase is presented.
• Your real estate professional–your negotiator–is steadily working toward negotiations. Generating offers to purchase is an important step along the way. Ask about their strategies for doing this.
• Because you are not a trained real estate professional, any conversation or email exchange you have directly with buyers could undermine your professional’s selling strategies. Your casual “oh, sure, no problem” response to a buyer’s request for something or question concerning closing date or what you’ll include in the sale, may cut into your negotiating position on the big day. Usually, direct contact between buyers and sellers is kept to a minimum for that reason.
• Remove any “must keep” items like dining room fixtures, family heirlooms, or big screen TVs before the home is shown. Help buyers concentrate on what they’ll receive, not get fixated on what they won’t.
• During a showing or an open house, your attempts to “sell” a buyer on the attributes of your yard or living room may put-off the buyer. Since buying connections are emotional, it takes an expert at reading the signs to know what to say and how to say it. Get out of the house–you, your family, and pets–when your property is shown to buyers. How can they feel free to voice their feelings and visualize this as their home when you’re sitting right there? Or worse, if you’re along for the house tour?
• Prepare for offer presentation by working out what you could do to move quickly if the right price appeared. What dates, if any, are essential to you? Find out what moving after those deadlines would cost you. That knowledge may help keep closing date in perspective during negotiations.
If you are concerned that your real estate professional is not doing everything they said they would, when they said they would, call them on this. “Time on market” is a crucial factor for achieving the best sale price. Wasting time means wasting your money.