TAP 158. 11 Observations to Help Sellers Sell for More

Working with their agent, every seller can influence their selling price if they follow these 11 observations.

If you’re an agent and regular listener to my podcast, then I’d like to support you and your business by suggesting you offer this episode link to your selling clients.

If you’re a real estate owner looking to sell and your agent has sent you this link then welcome. It’s great to connect and if you hear me out, I promise to share my very best ideas learned over more than 30 years in real estate selling many hundreds of homes, condos, townhouses and apartments in varying market conditions.

In fact, I have 11 observations for property sellers all designed to help you sell for more, in a reasonable time while delivering the best possible real estate experience.

Knowing what lies ahead and understanding the importance of the potential decisions that need to be made is critical to every seller’s success.

At the end of the day, your outcome will depend on the skill of your agent and his or her ability to effectively communicate with you their client to achieve the best possible monetary result, on the best terms and conditions for you, the seller.

So I’d like to dedicate this episode to property sellers and their agents who work hard behind the screens to make the magic happen.

In my own real estate career spanning more than 30 years, I’ve experienced all kinds of selling scenarios in all kinds of property markets from a brutal recession to unprecedented boom times.

Each market and selling situation comes with its own unique set of circumstances and challenges and while I can’t possibly know each seller’s particular situation, I can share some observations to help sellers and my agent listeners prepare for a property selling campaign that delivers the best possible solution.

So here are my 11 property marketing observations:

Observation #1 Hire your agent early

The right real estate agent partnership will make a big difference to your result. Long story short, you and your agent have the opportunity to influence your selling price to deliver the best possible result.

It’s a bit cliche but I agree that you find success at the corner of opportunity and preparation and when it comes to selling real estate, being prepared is everything.

I think the best selling campaigns begin with a great launch and getting ready to launch your listing on the market is critical to your success.

The right agent will help you present your home in the best possible way and I’m talking everything from paint colors, if required, to furniture loading in each room, maximizing curb appeal and setting up the best professional images and your hero shot which is the marketing image you choose for your launch especially online and social media.

A good agent will also have all the right connections to get you fast access to reliable and competitive contractors and professionals.

As I’ll cover in a moment, hot buyers are out there looking and will see your home often within the hour your listing goes live.  There is no second chance at a first impression so you need to make sure you’re all dressed up and ready to party.

Also, if you’re marketing a vacant property, you can often save a fortune by virtually furnishing those empty rooms. If sellers and agents want to find out more, check out an awesome new company called Box Brownie. You’ll find them at BoxBrownie.com and I’ve put a link in the show notes for this episode.

Observation #2  Great offers can come early because real buyers, ready to buy are already prepared to commit and shopping for their home before your listing hits the market. That’s why your agent will probably be telling you that you need to be ready for a solid early offer as soon as your listing goes live. The highway to property selling success is littered with horror stories from sellers who rejected a good offer in their first week on the market in the hope that it’s a good sign and higher offers will soon materialize, only to find their next offer comes many weeks later and quite a few thousand dollars below that first offer.

Your agent will guide you through this process. As the seller, it’s your home to sell or not but rejecting that good early offer can be an enormous risk.

Observation #3  Buyers shop on price. They’re looking to get the best buy for their buck. As a rule, most buyers will not bother to view a home that is priced above their preferred buying range and this is where sellers often miss out because their listing is priced well above market expectations for a property of that type, with those improvements in that location.

Observation #4 Real estate lives in a free market environment exclusively influenced by supply and demand. In other words, real estate has no recommended retail price. This means that a seller and agent, who knows what they’re doing can influence the sale price. Take a look around you. Almost everything you see was purchased at or near a recommended retail price. Not so with real estate. Okay, we can look at recent sales of properties similar to yours but that does not necessarily mean a hard and fast contract amount. Why? …because the purchase of residential real estate is, more often than not, an emotional decision. More about that in a moment.

A good real estate agent will also help you identify what needs to happen to influence your marketing penetration and the number of buyers reached.

Observation #5. The enemy when you’re selling is other homes for sale similar to yours. Let’s say buyers are desperate to buy in your area but yours is the only home of its type on the market right now and for the year to come. You could price it where you like secure in the knowledge that sooner or later, a motivated buyer will bite the bullet and pay your price.

But let’s say there are literally dozens of homes like yours on the market right now. Unless your home has some amazing feature or benefits the others don’t, you’re forced to price competitively if you’re serious about attracting buyer interest.

Most home sellers experience something in the middle where there are usually a few similar homes on the market giving buyers a choice.

In a situation where a seller’s price is too high, 2 very damaging things happen. One, the higher-priced home is largely ignored by buyers. Because it’s priced above similar homes, it’s simply not on the buyer’s radar.

The second negative here is that you sit on the market for too long and eventually get to the point where buyers will become aware of how long the property has been on the market and will ask themselves “What’s wrong with this home?” “How come it’s still on the market?” “Does it have some kind of hidden defect or does the seller simply want to much money”

So how do you price correctly while aiming high?  How do you try for the top market result while still attracting solid buyer interest during the first few weeks on the market?  I’ll get to that shortly.

Observation #6. Real estate has a ‘use by’ date and your agent will be able to tell you the average ‘days-on-market’ number for your area.

Days-on-market is the length of time from when a property is listed for sale and advertising commences, to when a buyer offers a price and terms the owner chooses to accept. In other words, it’s sold.

So when, during the selling cycle, do you think a property is most attractive to buyers? At what point, after a home hit’s the market does it have the biggest opportunity to attract not one but perhaps two, three or more buyers? And how do you know your time on the market is right to accept an offer?

All good questions so let’s answer them.

A property for sale is most attractive to a buyer when it first hits the market.

Qualified buyers, ready to commit by paying a deposit and signing a contract are set to pounce on a new listing the minute it hits the market.

They may be informed by their agent or have set up an alert on any one of the main real estate portals.

This is a regular occurrence in areas where the market is hot and homes are not staying on the market for very long.

And let’s remember that almost all buyers go through a number of buying stages before signing a contract to purchase. First, they need to decide what they can afford and most likely become pre-qualified to purchase up to a certain amount.  Then they need to choose a specific geographic area and next they’ll be shopping within that area for a home that suits their needs as to accommodation and bathrooms.

There’s every chance they have already made offers on other homes in your area and may have even been involved in a bidding war.

I believe every property has what I call a ‘Golden Window’ of marketing time and it’s usually, give or take, the first 2 to 3 weeks on the market. That’s when your listing is new and fresh.  That’s when it’s of most interest to buyers and that’s exactly where you’ll have the best chance to achieve the highest result.

The point I’m making is that your best buyers are out there ready and waiting to pounce on a new listing and do their best to negotiate and buy.  When you get multiple buyers doing the same thing, that’s where the magic happens and the selling result can be a stunning surprise with buyers leapfrogging each other with multiple bids

Observation #7 Logical Price versus Emotional Price

Experienced professionals will tell you that instead of a specific sale price amount, real estate has a likely selling range. I think of this range as somewhere between the logical price and the emotional price.

The logical lower price is a forensic comparison of your property with recent sales of comparable properties in your area.  For this to work, things like street quality, curb appeal, age of the building, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, lot size and the overall condition of the comparable properties need to be similar.  In fact, this is how a bank or lending institution will appraise or value property as they need to support their value opinion with current relevant sales history data.

The emotional price is the high end of your selling range and is fuelled by the buyer paying a higher price simply because they fell in love with the home and were prepared to out-bid all other buyers to become the new owner.

Creating the right environment to produce an emotional result is exactly what all good agents strive for.  This is a combination of great presentation, great marketing and an attractive initial asking price that gets your home on the buyer’s radar from day one.

I get into this in more detail in my book, How To Sell Your Home For More.  It’s available at amazon.com or ask your agent if they have a copy. In fact, I’ve recently written a second book called Above Market Value. Many of my agent friends have a copy of both. Can I suggest yo reach out to the agent who sent you this podcast episode and see if they have a copy or message me and I will send you an eBook version. My email address is on the show notes for this episode at topagentsplaybook.com/158

Observation #8 The Open House Effect

You might have noticed how something special can happen at a busy open house.  Buyers obviously notice other buyers and quickly realize the home is popular and may well attract multiple buyer interest.

Contrast this with a home that hits the market at a higher or optimistic price where open house number are low or even zero.

The poor old seller (and their agent) are wasting their time pitching their listing to buyers in a price range than doesn’t appeal.

Observation #9 A for sale price is not a real indication of value

From time to time, some sellers may be influenced by comparing the value of their home with a similar home on the market. I believe this is a fatal mistake. An asking price is often misleading and no real indication of current value. The only reliable indication is relevant and comparable recent sales data

Observation #10 A popular marketing strategy.

Okay… so I can hear you asking, if I don’t start with a high asking price, how do I know what the market will pay? Good question and there is no blanket response except to say that you should work with your agent to establish the right asking price whatever that might be.

If you make the decision to start with a higher or optimistic asking price, you and your agent need to closely monitor things like website visits, actual viewings, and buyer feedback to determine when, during the Golden Selling Window, your price should be reduced.

Leaving your property on the market for a time well beyond average days-on-market at a high price in the hope that someone will someday appear and meet your asking amount will likely result in a lower price.

In fact, as a rule-of-thumb, I believe the longer a listing is left on the market past average days-on-market, the lower the sale price will be. I also want to let you know that in my career and having worked with hundreds of agents in different markets, the BIG prices all happen within the average days-on-market period and more often than not, in the first 3 weeks.

Observation #11 How to choose your agent

In my view, any agent pitching for your business needs to deliver in three specific areas

First, they need to be a fit with you and your agenda. This is probably obvious but I’m a big fan of going with intuition and a gut feeling when it comes to hiring any professional service

Second, they need to supply evidence of recent comparable sales and take you through each one so you have a very realistic idea of what you’re aiming for and what you can expect.

And third, they need to supply evidence of recent happy clients. These are called client testimonials and as consumers increasingly rely on customer reviews to make decisions on what they buy and whom they hire, a collection of solid endorsements is a sure sign of happy clients and an agent who achieves top results.

Okay, that’s it.  I hope the ideas, suggestions, advice, and observations I’ve shared in this episode deliver the very best results.

One final observation I’d like to make is that the best real estate results I have ever seen or been involved with is where agent and seller worked as a team to work towards the best result.

Great teams rely on each other to achieve results and overcome challenges. When you’re a team, things just seem to work better and setbacks are overcome faster with less fallout. After all, you’re both chasing the same thing.

You only get one shot at this so hit the market clean and ready and work with your agent to make your listing stand out above the rest.

Sooner or later, you’ll receive an offer to consider. It’s nice to know that you put everything into getting ready for that day so you can make that sell decision with confidence.

Please accept my best wishes for your campaign and sale.

Need help or my ebook? email me ray@jigglar.com