Important for Sellers
1. Hire the real estate agent that you trust and then follow their advice. A trusting relationship is critical if you plan to tap into your agent’s highest value. If you choose to ignore your agent’s advice regarding pricing, condition and preparation of the property throughout the marketing process, you are reaping only a portion of the value that a top agent brings to the table.
2. Offer a generous commission (and possibly bonuses) to attract top agents to work for you and to motivate all agents to bring their buyers to your property. Typically 6-10% depending on the property type, the commission is a small factor in the net sales price of a luxury property. Obtaining the highest possible sales price is oftentimes a numbers game of causing as many qualified potential buyers to visit your property as a listing agent can create. Don’t ‘undersize’ the listing agent’s budget for advertising or staffing and don’t reduce the commission to those agents who represent the pool of available high quality buyers. To do so often costs sellers much more than the amount some sellers try to negotiate as a discounted commission.
3. Show loyalty to your listing agent and they will deliver it back to you 10-fold. Allow the necessary length of time needed in the employment agreement to accomplish your goal. If, statistically, it is taking 8 months to sell properties similar to yours, allow your agent a minimum 9-month contract. Sellers sometimes think that short listing periods will cause the agent to “hurry up and get the job done” so they will earn their commission. It is quite the contrary. The amount of time and money a listing agent invests at the outset of the listing, which is often the most critical period of the marketing, will be affected by their belief that they have enough time to accomplish their mission. A 90-day listing agreement for a property that statistically is taking 6 months to sell incorporates an assumption that the listing will expire before it sells. Under these circumstances, the agent may put very little time and money into the effort of selling your home. Conversely, when an agent has performed well during their employment period with you, but the market has not, if you remain loyal to the agent who has invested time, energy, money, staffing, (and at times) blood, sweat and tears by extending their employment contract for a reasonable period, they will walk on coals to bring your sale to a successful completion.
4. Keep negotiations with buyers professional, kind and courteous. The sale of a property can be emotional so try to keep those pesky emotions in check. Strive to conclude your transaction with all parties with reasonable satisfaction and with egos intact so that any post-closing occurrence, which could involve seller liability, can be dealt with civilly and without litigation. On occasion, buyers find defects in the property they have purchased shortly after close of escrow while you, the seller, had no idea of the defect’s existence or assumed it had been resolved through repairs. If the relationship has remained cordial, your communication regarding the matter will be less inclined to be overblown and involve attorneys. My mother always said: “There is a nice way to say everything.”
5. Consider paying for professional staging. Unless you have just completed interior finishes at the hand of a professional interior designer, a few hours with a professional stager can bring a skilled eye to artfully arrange the items in your home for the most welcoming and impressive setting your home has to offer. We simply don’t market a home the same way in which we live in a home and it often takes a fresh pair of eyes with the knowledge of design, balance, colors, flow and textures to help obtain the quickest sale at the highest possible price. Stagers can run from $250 for a consultation to tens of thousands if they completely furnish the home. Top agents will tell you that it is money well-spent, whatever your budget.
6. Hire a top agent and take the time to find out who they are in your community. The price for their quality service is the same but the value difference is substantial.