Recently I was asked to list a property that had been on the market with another REALTOR® and had not sold through two listing terms even with two price reductions. The Seller had searched the Internet, done their due diligence and decided that I was their guy....I looked at the old listings, went to see the property and was candid about what I thought of the asking price and the limited poor photography that was doing no benefit and hurting the sale of the property. I met with them, gave them my list of what must be done to maximize the sale price and waited anxiously to get on with marketing the listing. They wanted to move ahead at a higher priced than suggested and decided that the cost of staging the property was too costly. Please note that I was not asking for much: the furniture in the rooms that were set up was large and out-of-date for today's Buyer and the second bedroom was stacked and used as storage for large furniture.
My costs of marketing a property that may or may not sell averages about $2500 and includes: print, Internet, professional photos, floor plans, catered lunches and much more. Knowingly bringing a property to the market that is not showing its best does not make sense to me. I know that even with the best of intentions and preparations there are times when things are just not working and the property does not sell. With best wishes to the Seller above, I suggested that were they not willing to make changes to make the property saleable, I felt that it was best that we part ways....knowing that there will be others happy to list the property.
It reminded me of a list from my friend and mentor Adorna O. Carroll as to "where Sellers go wrong":
Financial and personal situations are not fully disclosed. You are hiring a professional who has a fiduciary duty to work in your best interests but that is hard to do if your listing agent is kept in the dark.
The condition of the property is misrepresented. Make your listing agent aware of any issue that you have had in the house or are aware of...Non disclosure can affect, the sale, the closing and can come back to haunt everyone after closing through litigation.
Doesn't understand the process. If you have questions about the process ask your REALTOR®. Sit down with your listing agent and develop a schedule together so that all parties are onside and never be afraid to ask your realtor questions...We all need to be reminded that although selling is part of our everyday life, it is something that you as a seller do seldom, if ever...
Doesn't agree with the market value or price. We all have the best house on the street and expect that there is someone in the marketplace who will love and understand the foibles of the house as we do and pay an extraordinary amount of money....NOT!
Ignore professional advice: Most successful REALTORS® work with at team of specialists who will give you excellent advice. You have hired a professional who wants to get you the best price possible, knowing that happy clients are their best marketing tool. Listen to their advice!
Hires professionals that don't have the necessary level of skills: When it comes to selecting a REALTOR® it is not a beauty contest nor should it be based on who is suggesting the highest listing price and the lowest commission.
Recently, I was asked to give the Seller the names, phone numbers and email addresses of my last three clients. I was happy to do so as I was encouraged that the Seller was looking to make an informed decision. In my own search for trades and professionals to work for me, I think nothing of asking for references. These days you can also look at sites like LinkedIn and Yelp for third party recommendations.
Once a Seller has done due diligence and chosen the right REALTOR® listen to their advice and do so at the beginning...waiting six weeks into the listing to finally get to the suggested price is often too little, too late. Disclose, do not misrepresent and listen to professional advice....and success should be around the corner.