I read this post and found it well written, clear and to the point. We have 4 rules in our office and this one clearly emphasizes rule 3, "Tell The Truth". The truth isn't always pretty and it may not be fun to hear or tell, but it remains the truth.
Let me know what you think.
This week in Manchester NH a home owner called asking me "Why their house had not sold". The strange thing is, that it was not for one of my listings. I asked the address so i could look it up on MLS. Now it was not a short sale, it was not a foreclosure and no bank was involved. The listing expired with their former Real Estate agent.
I asked if they had re-newed their listing and they said "never in a a billion years would they re-list, that this out of town agent listed the home and they never saw them again". They pushed me on the phone to tell them why their house did not sell. I told them i could not tell them without seeing their home, that i would like to see the home and could give them my honest opinion.
So the other evening i headed over to the house. It is a good neighborhood, an upper middle class area of similar homes. I pulled up and started to make notes, the grass was uncut but the mower was sitting in a part of the lawn that was cut, it looks like they stopped and just left it there. I entered the house and 4 dogs came barking and jumping on me. I shook their hands and they offered to walk me through the house. The home is about 12 years old, the carpets were worn and dirty, there was cob webs in most corners and the house smelled like a dog kennel. They showed me the kids bathroom which had trash piled almost to the sink. We finished the tour in their 3 season screen porch. I asked to sit in their as there was a nice breeze.
They started to pepper me with questions of "why didnt alot of people come see their house, Why there was no offers and on". I started my listing presentation and quickly told them what their old agent never was professional enough to do. To cut to the chase i told them there were 2 basic types of buyers in this market, the first that is looking for a good clean home, that needs no repairs and they can move right in. That those types of houses when priced at or just below market value are selling quite quickly as there is a shortage of listings.
The other type of buyer is the bargain hunter, they dont mind doing work but are looking for bargains, their offers are commonly 20-30% below current market value. I told them they need to make a choice to make the home ready for sale or sell it as is. They did not know what "ready for sale" was. I told them that when people see an ad they call for the address to drive by, that in a matter of 10 seconds they decide if they want to come in or keep driving. I told they needed to remove the junk car in the driveway, that they should cut the lawn and trim the bushes to make the yard inviting. The husband added my mower ran out of gas.... So i add for the inside they should put away anything not used, make sure we can walk through rooms easily and the carpets should be cleaned. I told them the kitchen and bathrooms should be clean and look like new.
They sat there with mouths wide open, i wasnt sure the next reaction when the wife blurts out my husband comes home from work, starts his chores and then takes a nap. The husband looks at me and says "my wife doesnt work, she sleeps all day. Without a pause i told them it is up to them if they would like to sell the home or not. If you want to sell it as is i should be able to get you $250,000 and if you want to clean things up we should able to get $290,000. The wife thanked me for saying it like it is. That she had 4 other agents over and no one told them what i said. She said she would list with me but asked for a week to clean. The husband commented to his wife "see how much your sleeping and not doing anything almost cost us" . They then agreed to hire soem help. I was really conflicted whether i wanted this listing by now, but they signed the listing. I asked them for a key and said we needed the old agents sign removed. They called their old agent on speaker phone, a kid answered and said "my mom is sleeping, can i take a message".
It was fitting with all the sleep that goes on with these sellers. I left there with my head spinning, was everyone "Asleep" in this transaction?
The lesson to be learned here is:
1. The exterior of your home needs to be neat, trimmed and inviting
2. The interior should be clean, not cluttered and free of smells and odors
3. You need to price your home at or just under market value to attract the most potential buyers.
4. As a listing agent you can not sleep through your listing hoping it sells, you need to inform your seller of things that can be improved or changed to assist in finding a buyer.
Would you have taken this listing?
If you are looking to buy or sell a home in New Hampshire, please call us first. We are locally owned and operated and strive to provide the best possible personal and professional service . We can guide you trhough each step of teh buying or selling process.
If you owe more than your house is worth or are behind in your payments, we can help. We can assit you through selling your home through a short sale often at no cost to the home owner.
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Updated Sept. 29, 2011
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Copyright 2008-2011, All rights reserved
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