By Bill Gassett
A good real estate agent is always focused on delivering value to his or her clients. While different markets sometimes demand different things, ultimately the work of a Realtor revolves around some core principles based on how buying and selling real estate works. That’s why you will never hear your Realtor say things like:
1. “Buyers are going to love your Bull Mastiff!”
Your agent may love your dog as much as you do, but he or she will ask you to remove it when showing the house. This is one of the hardest things for pet lovers to hear, but buyers probably don’t want to meet your dog. In fact, if you have pets in the house when people come to view it, you are not helping your sale. This is why you can expect any Realtor to ask you to remove the animal, preferably to another home. Moving your pet is just smart business. Pets imply that there were accidents in the house, and that buyers can expect to find pet hair everywhere. Not the image you want to deliver.
2. “Stick around for the showing. I want to be sure I don’t miss anything when talking to buyers.”
Even if you and your agent are best friends, he or she is not going to want you around when showing the house. If the agent has done their homework, then there will be no questions he or she can’t answer. Homeowners tend to get in the way at showings, distracting agents from really doing their job. If your agent is good, he or she will have a way of selling a home – one that doesn’t include a teammate.
3. “You should probably try to sell the home by yourself. You’ll save money, and the Internet makes you just as good as an experienced agent.”
Now you might not expect a Realtor to say this out of self interest, but the fact is, you are not a real estate agent. (Unless you actually are, in which case, sell away!) But seriously, the training and experience that a real estate agent has is not something the everyday person can match. Selling a home by owner is not easy! You wouldn’t expect your agent to walk into your job and take over for you, would you?
Agents understand the market you are selling in and have connections that you just don’t have. They also know how to price a home to sell. This is important if you want to actually sell the home, instead of seeing it sit on the market for months.
4. “Vacuuming and dusting should be enough. Don’t worry about hiring a professional cleaner.”
You may be a really great cleaner, and feel like you keep a pristine house. But imagine this. If you were selling a $300,000 car, would you feel like your detailing was good enough? That a wipe down and a run through the automatic car wash was sufficient? No way.
This is why your Realtor is going to tell you to get the house cleaned professionally if you need it. There is just too much riding on the sale, and you want the house to look GREAT. Not just good enough.
5. “Don’t waste your money on landscaping. Buyers only care about the inside of the house.”
First impressions are everything. Granted, you don’t have to spend thousands on a new landscaping job if your exterior is already passable. But if you are stuck right now with dead, patchy grass and withered trees, you are going to have to do something.
Fortunately, sprucing up your landscaping doesn’t have to be difficult. New sod, a few new plantings and a layer of mulch can do wonders for your home. When buyers pull up, they will be looking at everything, so don’t skimp on the landscape.
6. “Don’t say anything about all that mold in the basement. Just throw a coat of paint over it and keep moving.”
If you have a major mold issue in your home, you have to disclose it to buyers. You can spend the money now to bring in a mold remediation service and get rid of an issues that can be easily fixed.
Mold is a big deal to people, and not something you can reasonably ignore. However, it is not a sale killer either. Mold can be taken care of, so don’t ignore it.
7. “How much do you want to sell the home for? For $50,000 more than any other home in the area? Perfect, let’s do it!”
Pricing a home competitively is a necessity if you want to actually sell the home. For many sellers, though, the competitive price is not the same as the price they imagine their home is worth. This is one of the most important jobs of a real estate agent – telling sellers how it is. You need to know what the market will deliver for you property. Anyone who tells you differently is not helping you.
A home that is priced too high will sit, unsold, for a very long time. Even if you manage to convince a buyer that your home is worth that much, the bank that lends him or her money will not pay if the numbers don’t add up. You have to respect the market if you want to actually sell. If you want more than you can get, you should probably wait until the market is more cooperative.
8. “Don’t worry about those cigarette and pet smells when you walk into your house. Buyers probably won’t notice.”
Humans can adapt to a lot of unpleasant things, especially smells. You may not notice that yourhouse smells bad when you are inside of it, especially if the smell has been around for a while. But new people coming into the home do notice it, and smells are one of the most off putting things to most people. If the buyer thinks your house stinks, he or she will not make an offer.
Your Realtor is an outsider, and he or she will notice any strange odors immediately. Before you show the house, you have to address the odor – by cleaning the carpets, removing furniture, or doing more thorough renovations.
9. “I will use whatever camera I have available to photograph your home. Buyers don’t care about picture quality.”
The photos of your home are the first thing buyers see when they discover your listing. This means they better be good. A skilled real estate agent will know how to take photos that wow buyers, or will have a photographer he or she uses. You want the best photos you can get, so defer to your agent in this area. After all, you don’t want your home on this list of bad MLS photos! I know what you are thinking. How in the world could these even be real? Trust me they are and they belong to clueless real estate agents who should have a different job!