What Home Sellers Need to Know

By John Johnston

In the last issue, I went over some of the main issues that buyers deal with when buying a new property. This month, I’ll go over some of the things that sellers have to deal with when placing a property on the market. While some of the issues overlap, sellers have to have a totally different mindset than buyers. When looking for homes, buyers have numerous choices to choose from; you as a seller however, only have one chance to make a great impression.

It is said that the three most important words in real estate are location, location, location. While location is certainly very important, it is not by any means the end all for getting your property sold in a timely manner. Location, condition, and price all play a significant role in the home selling process.
Sellers usually understand the need for great curb appeal, new landscaping, fresh paint and general repair, maybe even upgraded appliances, and general de-cluttering. However, many sellers do not understand the most important thing you need to know is your home’s true value. I can’t tell you how many times over the last twenty years, I have gone on a listing presentation armed to the teeth with comps, appraisals, and general information on a home’s value, only to have the seller say we have to have significantly more than that. Inevitably, this is because they have added personal touches to the home that makes it special to them, or they have done a lot of the work on the house themselves, and add that into the value of the house. Unfortunately, and rarely, does that add to the value of one’s home. In fact, it sometimes detracts from it.

When deciding to put your home on the market, the single most important thing to do is price the house correctly. This is one of the many things that you hire a Realtor to do. A Realtor has the tools and the knowledge to price your property correctly for the current market and short of a full appraisal, is going to be your most accurate evaluation. Trust me, we value your opinion, and want to know everything there is to know about your home and what you feel it’s worth. But in the end, the lender’s appraisal during the loan process is going to determine the property’s value.

It’s our job as competent Realtors to be honest with you and tell you not necessarily what you want to hear, but what you need to know to make smart decisions to get your house sold.

Yes, we want your listing, that is part of what we do for a living, but if the property is so overpriced that it will require reduction after reduction and sit on the market longer than it should. It makes the property look unappealing, even if it’s perfect, and it makes your Realtors job much more difficult.

Ultimately, it’s your property, and you can price it wherever you want, but my advice to you is to let your Realtor do their job, listen to what they have to say, and let them help you. They have already done the homework for you regarding your home’s value. You and your Realtor should be working as a team with the same goal of getting your home sold.

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