Life is stressful enough. Learn what you need to know, and how you can take much of the concern out of the home selling process.
How long until we get on the market?
This is often the first thing sellers worry about. The photos/floorplan need to be ordered and it generally takes a few days to get on the photographer’s schedule. If staging is needed, that must be scheduled and completed before photos. The listing description and Pre-MLS marketing plan must be done. And it often takes a day or two to get the photos back and ready for online presentation.
The good news is that the home does not completely need to be in “showing condition”, i.e. ready for buyers to walk through. While everything to be photographed needs to be tip-top — areas such as the pantry, kitchen cabinets, and closets can be delayed a bit.
What if it sells too quickly?
This is a good problem to have. And also one where sellers may think that less effort is being put forth by an agent, while quite the opposite is true — having already taken the time to review the market, make a pricing recommendation, discuss staging and property condition, and hopefully set appropriate expectations.
Remember, that you are always in control of accepting a contract or not. Generally, if homes sell in a short period of time and you have an excellent agent who knows what they’re doing, you will maintain the upper hand and have a deal you are happy with.
What if it toils on the market?
This is the age-old concern for sellers, and rightfully so. Why do some homes sit on the market while other ones around it are selling? There’s only one answer, and it’s always the same. It’s the price. Pricing is the #1 priority for every seller — in any market, at any time, no matter what. Pricing it properly requires a seller to be objective about how they view their own home — which is something many people find difficult, without even consciously realizing it.
In my almost 20 years in business, I have found very few things in real estate to be absolutely true all the time. They are:
- The market is always changing
- Sellers always want to sell for the most
- Buyers always want to pay the least
The truth is if a seller prices the home precisely where it should be, they will sell it for the most that the market will bear — as buyers will see that it is priced well and will respond accordingly. And if it works out really well, they’ll get several offers — and guess who benefits from that? The seller.
Whenever you put your home up for sale, you are always going to be helping a home sell. The question is: will it be yours, or someone else’s …
Am I working with the right agent?
You should always feel comfortable with your agent. Sure, you may be frustrated with the market, but shouldn’t be with who’s representing you. If you are indeed wondering, you probably don’t have confidence in their abilities.
There are several factors to consider. An excellent agent communicates regularly, interprets the market, and has the ability (i.e. isn’t afraid) to give the news that they may not want to hear but that a seller needs to hear. They also have integrity, always act in a seller’s best interests even if it isn’t in their own, and is a fierce negotiator.
Once a listing agreement is signed, it’s official — although there may be cancellation clauses in the paperwork, or the listing agent/brokerage may be willing to release you. Don’t assume this is automatically the case though — review the agreement, and if you are unhappy with your representation, let the agent know how you feel.
First and foremost, make sure you believe that your agent is the best person to have representing you. They need to know how to determine top market value, interpret the market dynamics, and help get you the best possible deal possible. Don’t just trust what they say, trust your gut and have them show you their personal sales statistics. If they can’t, don’t work with them.