Knock, Knock. Who’s There? Sellers Beware!

Door Knocker

I received a call this evening from one of my sellers. A potential buyer had showed up at her home, rang the doorbell, and asked to see the home. While this raised red flags for her, she let him into her home and showed him around.

The good news is that nothing happened.

It’s one thing to allow an agent with a keycard and who has scheduled an appointment into your home, but allowing a stranger off the street to do so could be a recipe for disaster.

Buyers off the street should always be referred to your agent. Agents generally qualify potential buyers before showing homes to them. This process tends to weed out unqualified or “buyers” with other motives.

Sellers, I know you want to sell your home, but please do not forfeit your safety in the process.

Photo licensed from iStockPhoto

It’s a Price War and a Beauty Contest

Upscale Home

If your home is listed or you are thinking about listing, you need to realize that selling in today’s market is a price war and a beauty contest. Even worse is that you often have to win both!

In many areas there are far more homes available than there are buyers looking. Add short sales and foreclosures to the mix and you will quickly see that you are in the midst of a price war. For buyers, that’s great news. We’re having sale on real estate! For sellers, it means you really have to look at the prices of competing homes and price your home accordingly. I’m not saying that you have to give it away, but if you truly want to sell, you have to be in the ballpark. The good news for sellers is that many are also buyers so the “loss” on the sale can be made up with the purchase of a new home.

Unless you’re an investor, a home purchase is still an emotional decision. Homes that create emotion not only sell, they sell for more. If you’re selling, you and your agent need to create that emotion. Homes that are in good condition, properly staged, always ready for showings, and properly marketed do sell. Want to know the good news? They sell quicker and for more money!

I alway tell sellers if nobody walks in the front door, the home is either overpriced or poorly marketed. If buyers walk in the front door and will not make an offer, it’s because they don’t see the value for the price. There are two ways to fix it–put some make-up on the home or lower the price!

My advice is to take the time to get your home ready prior to putting it on the market. It’s a price war and a beauty contest out there.

Tom Branch, Broker, CDPE, SFR

Photo licensed from ShutterStock

Sorry, Buyers Do Not Want Your Home

If you are thinking of selling your home you might be pondering over what buyers want. That’s a good start, but maybe you should come at it from the other direction: buyers do not want to buy your home. Buyers do want to buy a house that will become their home. Think about these things to make your home into a house that a buyer will want.

What Home Buyers Do Not Want

Buyers do not want to do mental gymnastics to envision themselves living in a house. Don’t make people do too much work to understand the layout, rooms and property.

Buyers do not want a house that no one else wants. It’s human nature to want what others want. Price your home to sell and not to just sit.

Buyers do not want to pay for an over-priced house in an under-priced market, regardless of what you paid for it or need out of it.

Buyers do not want to see your stuff: cluttered kitchens, messy rooms, or your personal items in a bathroom are definite turnoffs.

Buyers do not want to smell your stuff: the litterbox, wet dog or morning bacon might be scents that you get used to, but other people won’t love them.

Buyers do not want to live with your stuff: your wallpaper, strong paint colors, brightly colored carpets, shelf paper from 1983 and 10 years of your kids’ trophies are definitely personal choices that a new owner may not care for.

Buyers do not want your projects: all those little repairs, clean-ups, fixes, smudges, cracks, rips, errors and mistakes…please take care of them before listing your house for sale. If you say to yourself “that’s a lot of work”, then so does a home buyer.

I see a lot of houses in St Charles, Geneva and Batavia so if you want me to come take a look at your house, give me a call. I can help you turn your home into a house that is perfect for the market…and a buyer.