The Four Deadly Sins That Block Offers

Avoiding the Wrath of the Four Deadly SinsIt’s been a crazy early spring sales season in North Texas so far. Inventories are at near record lows and buyers are pouncing on almost every new listing. Many sellers are enjoying multiple offers in a matter of days. That said, there are listings that just will not sell leaving those sellers looking for answers.

There are four deadly sins that block offers and the good news is that sellers can avoid their wrath and get their home sold!

Cleanliness and Odors

There almost nothing worse than walking into a showing only to find the home is a mess, there are some really strong odors, or both. I love to cook but not everybody appreciates the smell of caramelized onions in balsamic vinegar or the smell of the cat’s litter box! Part of selling a home is to create emotion. Taking the time or spending a few hundred dollars to have the home deep cleaned is money well spent.

Clutter and Too Much Furniture

Many of us simply outgrow our homes and we are looking to sell in order to purchase a larger home. When your home is cluttered or has way too much furniture it makes the home look small and dark. Both of these turn off buyers and block offers. Want to know how it is supposed to look? Visit some new home builders model homes and try to do it yourself. Our best advice is to hire a stager. We think it’s so important that we pay for two hours of consultation with one of the best stagers in the area for our listing clients.

Deferred Maintenance

While you may have tolerated that dripping faucet for the past four years, it really sends the wrong message to potential buyers. While most people understand that a home has been lived in, lots of deferred maintenance will have them running for the door. Take some time to lubricate squeaking doors, replace the flapper valves on the running toilet, and repair that dripping faucet. Many of these tasks can be completed by the sellers or a local handyman.

Grossly Overpriced

If you do not feel like dealing with the first three sins, you can make up for it here by correctly pricing the home. Want top dollar? You need to have the home properly prepared, staged, and show-ready. If you don’t want to do these things, you can always reduce the price to offset.

There you go. As sellers you always have a choice. Our advice: avoid the four deadly sins and get your home sold quickly and for top-dollar

Want to work with a Dallas Real Estate team named as Residential Top Producers by D Magazine? Contact us at 214-227-6626.

Tom and Gina Signatures

Photo: Licensed from iStockPhoto

Lots of Showings But No Offers

Staged Home For Sale“I had lots of showings but no offers.” I hear those words time and time again as I talk to sellers with recently expired listings. Most of the time they blame their agent for not generating an offer.

One of the primary roles of a listing agent is to market the property and drive traffic into the home. In my opinion it starts with great photography and getting all the details of the property into the marketing machine.

When I look at many expired listings I see poor or no photos and incomplete or minimal details available online. Most of the time the sellers of those properties are not complaining about a lack of an offer but a lack of showings as well.

Show me a home with lots of showings but no offers and I’ll argue its simply overpriced or not properly prepared. Lowering the price is one way to overcome this issue but it may not be the only way.

Purchasing a home is an emotional decision. While the marketing may be driving traffic in the door, the home may not create the emotion needed to generate an offer. Creating emotion means appealing to the senses–sight, smell, and sound. New home builders model homes are a great example of the ability to create emotion. They appeal to all the senses.

While many sellers may be able to recreate the look of a new home model, many people should consider professional staging. In the Dallas market, the cost is often under $300 for a few hours of a stager’s time. $300 is nothing compared to your first price reduction and can make the difference in getting the property sold.

Locally, the first part of 2012 has seen a return to a seller’s market with less than 3.5 months of inventory of homes under $500k. Homes that are properly prepared, show-ready, and priced correctly are flying off the market.

If you’re on the market and getting lots of showings but no offers, it’s not marketing…

Photo Copyright 2009 The Branch Team

How Long Will It Take?

If you are thinking of selling your home then one of your questions will certainly be: “how long will it take to sell my house?”  In today’s market, it’s worth calling a few real estate agents just for the entertainment value of the possible answers:

  • How long would you like it to take?
  • Let’s list it and see what happens.
  • Anyone who claims to be able to answer that is lying.
  • When the Moon is in the 2nd house and Jupiter aligns with Mars.

If you would like to plan your life around more than astrological projections or wishful thinking, you and your Realtor have some work to do.

If you want to sell in your time frame and not endure months of inconvenience and anxiety, you must be the best value on the market. Value is made up of price, condition, location and emotional intangibles like attractiveness. So how do you set and manage the value?

Evaluate Comparables: I don’t think there is an alternative to previewing the Active comparables with a knowledgeable local Realtor. You must visit the houses in person and realistically “think like a buyer”. You should also drive by the houses that have recently Closed or are Under Contract. Carefully study the online interior photos and make lists of the pros and cons compared to your house. 

Ask yourself: would my house been chosen over the ones that just sold?

Market Analysis: Your Realtor should show you a detailed market report of the inventory of comparable houses, the absorption rate (how many will sell each month), and the average market time of the Closed sales. The report should be based on data from MRED (the MLS of northern Illinois) and independent research from a company like Altos Research. You should be able to develop a very clear picture how many houses like yours will sell each month.

Ask yourself: do I want to be the next house to sell in my area?

Be Realistic: Will your house will compete against distress sales in your area? Foreclosures or short sales sell for as low as 40% below market value so you must make your home worth the difference in price.To sell in this market, your home must be compellingly priced, professionally staged and be aggressively marketed by a full-time Realtor with a successful brokerage.

Ask yourself: do I really want to sell?

“How long will it take to sell my house?” won’t be a quick or simple answer but it doesn’t require a crystal ball. A real answer will require that you are realistic, willing to work hard and that you hire the right Realtor.