Selling a house isn’t easy. If it were, Keller Williams The Trembley Group wouldn’t exist. Finding the right real estate company and the best Realtor and Real Estate Sales Professional is the first step. Finding the right partner to market your home may be the most crucial decision a home seller makes and a decision that should not be taken lightly. But, the selling process shouldn’t be placed entirely in the Realtor’s lap.
There’s a good reason nearly every seller uses a listing agent – selling a home takes time, knowledge of neighborhood trends, and negotiating skills. But eliminating the real estate broker’s commission – usually about 6% of the sale price – might sound tempting, it might cost a home seller even more in the end.
A Keller Williams The Trembley Group Realtor’s primary jobs are to help set the right price and to get buyers across the threshold. The Real Estate Professional has access to the most up-to-date demographic information, statistics about recent sales of similar homes, and details of the competing listings in the area. “The market is shifting every day. It’s my job to stay on top of all those changes,” says Jeremy Jenks, Partner, and a Sales Professional at Keller Williams The Trembley Group in Myrtle Beach.
A professional Realtor will market a Myrtle Beach home aggressively. They’ll recommend staging ideas to make the home show well, and they’ll use professional-quality photographs to present the home well to prospective buyers. Perhaps most importantly, the Real Estate Professional will not waste the seller’s time nor the agent’s time by assuring all potential buyers are serious prospects.
Once they’ve found a buyer, the Keller Williams The Trembley Group Realtor will negotiate the offer and counter-offers and track all the paperwork. Then they will hand-hold the seller through closing, generally the most stressful part of the home sales process.
For those house sellers who are determined to do it themselves, there are discount programs that allow sellers to pay only for the services they choose. This can include listing their home on the same local multiple listing service used by local professional agents. Regardless, most sale-by-owner sellers offer a commission to buyers’ agents as an enticement to bring customers to the home. Owners who pay 2%-3% are 25% more likely to sell their home than those who offer nothing, according to ForSaleByOwner.com. And remember, while the seller may be thinking, “I’m going to save money by not paying a real estate commission,” the buyer is thinking almost the same thing. “He’s not paying a real estate commission. I can probably pick-up this house for a steal.”
Before skipping a full-service agent, a home seller should think long and hard about the time and effort they’ll spend, particularly if the process drags on. The average home takes about four months to sell (six in the slowest cities), according to the National Association of Realtor statistics. If costs are a major concern to the seller, he/she should have a frank, up-front conversation about how and how much the Real Estate Professional expects to be paid.
There are several things that every homeowner can (and should) do to make their property stand out from the crowd. “Nobody wants their home to sit on the market for months with little or no activity,” says Jeremy Jenks. “These are six of my favorite tried and true tips to make sure a home stands out from the competition. I’ve found that even in an over-saturated or off-season market, a seller that follows this advice will ensure that their home sells quickly for the highest possible price. None of these suggestions and recommendations are easy, fun, or for the casual, uncommitted seller. But I guarantee, they work and they work well.”
Rent a Storage Unit and Get Rid of Clutter
Anyone who has lived anywhere for more than a few years probably has accumulated a lot of stuff. Most people don’t have the vision to see past things like grandma’s enormous dresser, or all the clutter that makes the home look smaller than it is. No homebuyer wants to step into a house that appears messy or disorganized. Any serious seller that wants to sell their house quickly, and for the top price, should highlight the traffic flow and size of their house by clearing out their space. “Remember that home buyers want to imagine living in the home,” says Jenks. “So removing personal items like photos or any highly valuable items is a great idea. People want to envision their new lives in the home – not envision the seller’s life in the home.”
Sellers should clean everything out of the attic and organize closets and pantries. If it’s not going into storage, the seller should either donate it to a worthy charity or toss it out. “I know from very recent, personal experience that a 10’ x 20’ storage unit doesn’t cost much at all,” says Jeremy. “Of course, that doesn’t include the sweat equity of moving everything out. But, I guarantee it’s money well spent. Personally, it was also a great opportunity to streamline my family’s life – and it made our lives so much easier after we actually moved.”
Inspections aren’t just a matter of due diligence. They are an opportunity for buyers to reopen re-negotiation, and leverage for the buyer, particularly in a buyer’s market. With some houses, fixing everything before listing the house may sound like an overwhelming task. But within reason, a home seller should attempt to repair things that are broken, especially the obvious, eye-catching ones, such as rotting wood on the exterior, peeling paint, stains on the floors, or leaks in the foundation, to name a few.
Every issue with the home will likely be discovered by the buyer during the due diligence inspection process. And in one way or another, every defect will most certainly cost the buyer.It may be a good idea to have an inspection done before the property is listed if a home seller is unsure of what the inspection process might uncover. “Everyone like surprises at Christmas or on their birthday,” says Jeremy Jenks, “but no one likes surprises on the way to a real estate closing, particularly big or expensive surprises. No one wants to see a deal fall apart over issues that could have been easily fixed right from the start.”
Be Upfront About Potential Shortcomings of a Property
Every home has its strengths and weaknesses. A good Real Estate Professional and Realtor knows how to market a home and how to sell a property. An effective Real Estate Professional will acknowledge a home’s weaknesses upfront with potential buyers. And cooperating agents won’t waste anyone’s time (including the seller’s) by showing a property that won’t work for their buyer. All the parties will appreciate that.
Nothing turns off buyers faster than superlatives like “immaculate”, or one of the most often abused, “gourmet chef’s kitchen,” unless a home truly offers the buyer those characteristics. All marketing material should be carefully written so that it is an honest portrayal of the home. Photos can be deceptive, either to the benefit of the property or to the detriment to the property. There is nothing worse for a buyer than to get excited by an online property presentation only to being disappointed upon actually seeing the home.
Get Over Your Pride And Price Your Property Right
Nothing kills a real estate deal faster than an overpriced property. Sellers should never let their ego influence the listing price. If a house seller has chosen the right Real Estate Professional, the seller should trust their Realtor to guide them to an appropriate cost per square foot. This is not to say that the seller shouldn’t participate in the price decision. Even in a buyer’s market, an aggressively priced home may create a bidding war. This may drive the home’s sale price over the asking price, to the amount that was hoped for in the first place.
If a seller and a Realtor can’t get comfortable with an asking price that works for both, perhaps it might be best to sit tight and sell at a later time. And always remember buyers are more educated these days, than ever before. So, if a buyer is asking a premium price per square foot over the average for an area, the house had better be perfect.
Make the Home Experiential
The goal of every seller is to make their home a place that people don’t want to leave after they’ve seen it. It is intrusive to the seller’s life to have people continually traipsing through their home. But home sellers have only one shot at making a good impression. Sellers should take a play from the local hospitality industry and make every showing experiential. A seller should stimulate all of the buyer’s senses during their visit. The home should be clean – that means no dirty fingerprints on doors or hair (human or otherwise) lying around or clutter left behind for potential buyers to see. The home should be uncluttered and staged with fresh flowers, fresh paint, fluffed pillows, and thoughtful décor. The house should be visually appealing. Play some soothing music on the stereo. In the winter, light the fireplace. The seller’s little touches show that they care about the home and are often a good indication of how well kept the home is in less visible areas.
A home should smell inviting too. No one wants to smell three stinky dogs or the pork and sauerkraut or fried catfish from last night’s dinner. Baking cookies, lighting candles, or running a diffuser with a clean-smelling essential oil can go a long way to making a home feel inviting. Whatever’s decided, choose something neutral and universally liked. And don’t underestimate curb appeal. First impressions set a prospective buyer’s expectations before they even cross the front door’s threshold.
Put On a PR Hat and Pitch a House To The Media
Assuming that a home has been made picture-perfect, and there are professional, high-resolution photographs to prove it, the home may be a good candidate for media exposure. If a home is architecturally unique, historically significant, someone notable owned it, or maybe it has some other novel hook, there will probably be real estate writers looking for that exact story. The Marketing Department at Keller Williams The Trembley Group does continual research to determine what marketing channels are most appropriate for a property as well as the specific real estate writers various publications. On the high end, there are outlets like the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the New York Times. Curbed, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, and many others are some other architecturally driven outlets. Even the local newspapers spotlight properties for sale in Myrtle Beach and along the Grand Strand.
The Keller Williams The Trembley Group Marketing Department not only promotes and writes about real estate, but it also pitches properties to various media outlets. Whether online, traditional print or other media marketing channels, the Marketing Department at Keller Williams The Trembley Group knows what coverage is effective, and what has helped sell the company’s many listed properties in the past. The more eyes that see a property and the more the property makes a positive impression, the better the chances of the home selling quickly, and for the highest price. Remember that just like in media – the window for staying front and center with a property is short. Make the most of it; otherwise, the seller’s wallet will likely take the hit.
At Keller Williams The Trembley Group, we pride ourselves on being the experts at more than just selling real estate. We are local residents, some of us have been here for a lifetime. The rest of us will be here until the end of time. We love living, working, and playing in the diverse backyard of Coastal Carolina, and look forward to helping you live and love your dreams soon too. Please reach out to us by phone or email for personalized service and one-on-one advice.