The Proud 16%

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Recently, CNBC spotlighted a Zillow poll in which 9/10 sellers claimed regrets over some aspect of their experience. Apparently, 84% of sellers believe they could have done better. Well, if they had chosen me as a listing agent, it’s likely they would have done better! My sellers are among that proud 16% who know they got the highest price and the best terms.

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Here are some of the concerns mentioned in the Zillow article, and how I would have improved these remorseful seller experiences.

1. Not having a winning pricing strategy

Zillow reported many sellers did not believe they had a competitive strategy.

My clients always have a firm understanding of how to price their home when it comes on the market. I present them with the range homes are selling for, in their condition, in their neighborhood. There is no magic, just data. “Look at what can be purchased for this price; how does your home compare with those homes?” What is the trend in the market? One can’t expect a price just because you want it; look at the data, and you will know where your price should be. I then employ a proven strategy to bring them the highest price in that range (or beyond) with best terms. My sellers know they got the best deal possible.

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2. Ignoring curb appeal

According to Zillow, many sellers wished they had done more to improve the front of the home.

You have to get people in the door. If the front of the home looks nice, there is a strong likelihood that buyers will want to come see inside. If the outside looks poorly maintained, many buyers will never learn that you have a beautifully updated kitchen. Painting and planting are some of the best investments you can make. Once inside, a painted and tastefully staged homes will keep buyers interested, increasing your offers and the price buyers will be willing to pay. My sellers are proud of their home’s appearance.

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3. Bad timing

Lots of sellers told Zillow they felt they should have sold at a different time.

Can you predict the next earthquake? Of course not! One can never truly predict the market. I always let my sellers know: Home buying and selling is an investment, not a gamble. A seller has to be comfortable with the market they are in. If you have owned your home long enough to gain equity, and are ready for a change, go for it! If not, there are other options. Long term, real estate is always a winner if you have the right strategy. My sellers understand the market conditions.

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4.  Ignoring repairs

Zillow says that sellers regret not having taken care of deferred maintenance, leaving money on the table.

I always recommend home inspections, putting the sellers in control of what repairs needs to be done. Then, we strategize which are worth completing before the sale, and which can be left for the new buyers. Keep in mind that “repairs” is not the same as “remodeling.” I will also suggest what updates will freshen up the home, bring it in line with current client taste, and bring the best return on the investment. My sellers feel good about their home condition when they sell. 

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This post was written by Rumana Jabeen

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