The more agents you employ the lower your price becomes. Do not list your home with several agents. You may think this will increase your chance of finding a buyer. But it decreases your chance of getting the highest price. The agents will be in a hurry to sell your home before another agent sells it. The sale will be most important. The price will be forgotten. Buyers shop around. They will use the agent who can obtain your home at the lowest price. Test this yourself. When you see one home with several agents, call them all. Ask this question: "What is the lowest price I can pay for that home?" You will be told different prices. The agent who suggests the lowest price is the agent who will be most likely to sell the home. The same situation happens with 'multi-list'. Choose one agent, one you like and trust. List your home with that agent for at least 90 days.
For Sale Sign
No sign can mean no sale. The buyers who are most likely to pay the highest price will specifically want your location. A sign attracts these buyers. It is your 24 hour salesperson. It is often your best salesperson. Be careful. Some people will knock on your door. Insist they call your agent. Trying to negotiate yourself could cost you thousands of dollars. For Sale Signs also attract other agents, those who are too lazy to find their own homes for sale and those who lack ethics. If other agents approach you, send them packing no matter how many times they tell you they have a great buyer. These agents are the worst in the industry. If they will 'steal' other agents clients they will almost certainly deceive you. Do not speak to the unethical agents.
Avoid agents who do not offer a guarantee. Do not be 'locked in' to a poor agent. Do not risk your money. Many agents will want to pass all the risks to you. The best agents will gladly guarantee their services. You wouldn't buy a car without a guarantee. Don't hire an agent without receiving a guarantee.
You can view our guarantee here.
No Negotiation Skills
Poor negotiators will cost you a lot of money. Negotiation skills are vital to ensuring you get the highest possible price There are several Principles of Real Estate Negotiation. Ask an agent to quote some to you. You will soon discover who is the best negotiator. A good negotiator can mean an extra percentage on your selling price. Work it out, it can mean thousands of dollars. If you have an attractive home you don't need a salesperson as much as you need a negotiator. Be careful: most agents are poor negotiators. Insist on an agent who is a skilled negotiator.
Choosing a High Quoting Agent
Some agents tell lies to win your business. Be very careful that you do not choose the agent who tells you the biggest lie about the sale price of your property. This is called "buying your business". Also, be wary of agents who try to talk you into auction by telling you stories of incredible prices. This is a common trick. If you choose an agent based on the selling price they quote you, you may be badly disappointed. If you suspect that an agent is attempting to "buy" your business with a high price estimate, insist they give you their estimate in writing. Insist, also, that they charge you nothing if they sell for less than the price they estimated. This will identify the agents who are enticing you with false price promises.
Selecting a Cheap Agent
Cheap agents get cheap prices. Be careful choosing an agent based purely on their fees. If agents give their own money away what do you think they will do with your money?! Better to pay an extra one percent for a selling fee than to receive ten percent less on your selling price. Good negotiators rarely give big discounts on their fees. If they get you the best price, they are worth a fair fee. Choose an agent who offers a guarantee. If you are not happy, you pay nothing.
Not Trusting the Agent
If you don't trust the agent, don't hire the agent! A major ingredient in any relationship, business or personal, is trust. Before you choose your agent, ask many questions, check references, ask for a guarantee, test their negotiating skills and ask yourself a BIG question: Do I feel comfortable with this person handling the sale of my family home? If your answer is 'no', do not hire the agent. Once you decide on an agent, give the agent your trust and confidence. Do not interfere. Allow the agent to make decisions and get on with the job of finding the right buyer for your home. If, later, you lose your trust, you can dismiss the agent (if you received a guarantee). In the meantime, show your trust. The best agents are worthy of your trust. They won't let you down.
Revealing Your Reason
Your reason for selling is confidential. No one, other than the agent you trust, should know your reason for selling. If your reason is revealed it can severely hurt your chance of obtaining the highest price. This is especially true if you need to sell by a certain date. If buyers know the reason you are selling it can weaken your negotiating position. Too often, too many agents say, "Must sell/bought elsewhere/financial problems/job transfer." If asked the reason for selling, simply say that you are 'relocating'. Don't let the reason you are selling your home be the reason you receive a lower price. Your reason is confidential.
Many home improvements do not improve your price. Be careful what you spend on major improvements to your home. What suits you may not suit every buyer. A good example is a swimming pool. It may cost you $25,000. It is worth nothing to buyers who do not want it. Waiting for a buyer with the same taste as you may take years. The main purpose of home improvements is to improve your enjoyment, not to improve your price. You rarely get back more than half the cost of your improvements when you sell. Do not spend large sums on home improvements immediately prior to selling your home.
Dull homes get dull prices. Do not confuse improvements with presentation. Make your home sparkle and your price will shine. Pay attention to little things which create a big impression - the front garden and the first appearance of your home. Stand back and look at what buyers will see when they arrive. Cleanliness is vital. One of the most important and most overlooked aspects of selling a home is its smell. Pleasant scents create pleasant moods. A home which sparkles always sells for a higher price.
Demanding Advertising & Inspection
Advertising will not sell your home. Do not make the mistake of demanding more advertising and more inspections. This leads to more expense and more 'lookers'. Buyers who want to buy in your area always visit your area, before they buy. The area attracts them more than the advertising. It is a waste of time, money and energy to place advertisements in publications which reach thousands of people who will not buy in your area. Buyers for your area will be attracted to the 'Open Homes' or the agency. The best agents will then qualify the buyers before bringing them to your home. Activity is not the same as productivity. You do not need hundreds of people. You only need a few genuine qualified buyers. That's how you sell for the best price with the least stress. If your home is not selling, there are usually only two reasons: the agent is incompetent or the asking price is too high.
Holding Out Too Long
Too high a price can create too low a price. Asking Price and Selling Price are often two different prices. If your home does not sell within three to five weeks, you must lower the asking price. If not, your home could Acquire the 'lemon' tag. Buyers will wonder what is wrong with it. It will be almost as bad as a home which has failed at auction. These homes seemed to be stamped with 'failure'. With auctions you start low which means you sell low. The way to get the highest selling price is to start with a high asking price. You then lower the asking price until one buyer says 'yes'. This is how you can be certain of getting the highest selling price in the market. The best way to get the best selling price is this: you start high, you hire an agent who is a skilled negotiator, and you lower your asking price until you receive the highest selling price. It works!
Questions to Ask
Before selecting a real estate agent to list your property, the real estate agent should be interviewed for the job, the following questions should be helpful in making your decision.
- How long have you been in the real estate industry?
- How many homes have you and your company sold in this area?
- What do you know about the market in my area?
- How will you advertise my home?
- May I see a sample brochure of past homes you have marketed and sold?
- Do you provide regular feedback reports to sellers?
- Do you have a team of people to help with sales?
- May I see your resume, personal profile and testimonials?
- If I list the home, when would the marketing begin?
- Do you provide feature handout sheets about the house?
- How do I know if you bring me an offer that is the only offer coming on my property?
- How do you handle more than one offer on the property at a time?