Tips Buyers Would Give Sellers If They Could

Tips Buyers Would Give Sellers If They Could

It is a very rare occurrence to have a buyer and seller sit around a kitchen table to make a deal. Even when buyer's and seller's do get together it's normally to close the deal, and by that time, the deal is done and the ship has sailed on any avoidable mistakes. So in the vast majority buyer and seller never talk and never exchange insights or information except in the most formal, written formats - despite being effective business colleagues in one of the single most important transactions of their lives. Buyers sit on a wealth of knowledge sellers crave to know, most of which could help attract buyers or at the very least not turn them away from their home. So since buyers and sellers can't get together allow me to reveal a handful of helpful insider insights that the buyer's we have worked with over the years would reveal, if they could.

1. You Should See What Your House Looks Like Online, No, really...

If you did your due diligence before listing your home for sale, met with agents and reviewed their marketing plan they use for their listing, chances are good that you chose an agent who takes online marketing seriously and said as much during your listing interview. But somehow, their are still hundreds of listings in every major city that receive a failing grade on their online presence, for doing one or all of the following:
  • Only 1 or 2 pictures
  • No pictures at all
  • Multiple photos that represent the home very poorly
  • Listing descriptions that turn away agents and buyers!
Sometimes it's just a glitch along the production chain. But this is something free and easy for you, seller to hop online to check how your home is represented online.   

2. If Your House is Seriously Over Priced, I'll Wait for the Price to Come Down Before I Even Go and See It

You might be thinking the best plan of action is to price your home high, planning on the fact that prospective buyers are going to want to bargain the price down. Even in an area where homes generally go for below asking price, buyers are willing to do some basic negotiation. They are not, generally, interested in correcting a seller's belief system about their home and its value that are clearly not in the realm of realty.

There are so many properties to see, and buyers have to invest so much time, energy, and emotion in making an offer that they believe a meeting of the minds on an over priced property is slim.   If your home is dramatically over priced, compared to others in the market or market price range, most serious home buyers in the market for a home like yours will either (a) never come see it, because it doesn't show up in the price range they are looking in online or (b) not come see it unless/until you drop the price, because is is simply not worth their time and energy until you correct your pricing into the realm of realistic.

3. There are a whole lot of fish in the sea -- I only have to find one.

Agents and mortgage brokers talk to buyers a whole lot about compromising and what they can expect from the market as a whole. But the reality is this: buyers are not in the business of market analysis. They are in the business of finding a home. Only. One. Home.   Yes, eventually every buyer has to make some compromises no home is perfect, and every person who buys a home eventually gets that. But even in a heating market such as the one we are in right now, there are lots of homes coming into the market every single day. Any given buyer only needs to find one that works for them. To buy your house - any house - that buyer needs to feel inspired enough to feel like it could work for their family, their needs, and their life as their home.

If you take shortcuts when it comes to primping and prepping your home for the market, it becomes super obvious to buyers when they scrutinize it, even if it's priced decently well. On the other hand, the homes that were well cared for, prepared and priced shine above the others, at every price point.  

4. If I nitpick your house that probably means I like it. 

Every buyer's broker has a horrific moment, at some point in their career, where they realize their buyer has been trash talking a home - its nasty wallpaper, dreadful carpet, silly stylistic choices, etc. and so forth - and the home's seller has managed to hear this diatribe. The gardener who was at the property turns out to be the seller's son, the seller turns out to be next door or in the basement during a showing, or the teddy bear Nanny Cam has advanced audio capabilities.  

Here's why this horrifies buyer's agents: the buyer who goes to all that trouble to dissect precisely what they would do differently if a given house belonged to them is a buyer who is thinking about making an offer on that very house.  

The more questions, critiques, "What I would do's" and such a buyer rattles off about a home, the more likely they are to make an offer on it. Of course, their may be the occasional amateur designer likes to just rip other's decor choices apart for the fun of it, but many otherwise lovely individuals do this when they get serious about a home as part of the exercise of visualizing the property as theirs, and envisioning themselves, their families  and their stuff in it. This is how buyers take a place that might not be move-in ready for them, and figure out how they might be able to make it work.  

So if you happen to overhear a nit-picky buyer dissecting your home and verbally tearing down walls and ripping up carpet, don't despair. They might be just mentally "trying on" your home as their home.  

5. When it comes to staging, the bar is high. Really high. 

HG TV. Travel Channel. Houzz. Architectural Digest. All these outlets which constantly publish beautifully designed and decorated homes have influenced what the average American expects their home to look like - and yours, for that matter. Additionally, all the do-it-yourself publications (thank you Pinterest)  and shows along with advent of home improvement stores which double as DIY design emporiums have given everyday people of modest means power to live in beautiful and functional homes, without breaking the bank  

Beyond all this, professional home staging has taken off in recent years, as data has repeatedly shown that staged homes sell faster, for more, and more certainly than homes that are not staged, nor well prepared by their owners. So not only is your home competing with the homes buyers are seeing on TV and in the magazines, it is also competing with professionally staged homes for sale right in your own neighborhood - homes that the very buyers who will come to see your home will have seen, possibly right after or before they view yours!  

So if you want to and can afford to have your home staged, do. If you can't, you should still take the preparation of your home very seriously, and include your agent , taking their advice on things like:    
  • what furniture to get ride of
  • which improvements will get you the most bang for your buck with local buyers
  • and what paint, flooring, and other finish materials will appeal to the broadcast buyer segment in your area
Professionals also have contacts with local handy-people, painters, landscapers, and other vendors who can get your home ready for market in time and cost-efficient manner. I'd be happy to give you some suggestions, contact me to discuss further!  

Kelsey Rorabeck Headshot
Phone: 715-529-1410
Dated: September 26th 2013
Views: 396
About Kelsey: Kelsey was a student athlete for 4 years at Augsburg College and received the Joyce Plaff (scholar a...

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