Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Showing Feedback

An agent friend of mine has a listing. I gave her feedback and said the home showed "rough". I told her it was:
  • Was cold (thermostat at 55 degrees)
  • Was dark (the blinds were all closed)
  • Needed a paint job (most of the walls were marked up, and it looked like cheap paint - the exceptions were rooms with highly personalized color choices... orange, pink, purple, blue - a good paint job and quality paint, but not widely attractive)
  • There was dust caked on the baseboards, the carpet was in bad shape.
The house is vacant so all of these things are really all you can focus on. Sure, it's got great bones, a two story foyer, a large (albeit dated) kitchen, a large and private lot (but the back is steep, and I wouldn't want to mow it, but there is a lot of privacy), a finished basement, a nice deck, etc. etc. The list of "positives" goes on. But the focus is on the list of things I pointed out above.

My friend tells me that she is so disappointed.  This feedback is consistent with what she is hearing from all the agents that have shown it: 6 in 4 days.  You see, they priced it at exactly the closing price of the last home that sold in that neighborhood.  That home was the same model.  It did have a "better" lot but wasn't as private.  It had an unfinished basement.  Otherwise, it was basically the same, and that house had multiple offers in 3 days.

My point of this post is "condition, condition, condition".  If buyers buy a "fixxer upper" they want a "fixxer upper" price.  Even with the unfinished basement in the other house vs. the nicely finished basement in this house, the emotional appeal is different because of the cold, dark, dirty feeling of this new home on the market.

My friend is newish to the real estate game and a part time agent.  She probably only sells about 4 or 5 houses a year.  She says she is afraid her sellers will think she didn't do her homework on comps.  Well, she did her homework there, but that was easy.  A huge part of a listing agent's job is coaching sellers on how to prep their home for sale and the importance of it.  I sent her an email reply that said... "Don't take it personal. Everyone is being blunt because they are trying to help you.  Now you know what you don't have an offer.  You have the opportunity to call your sellers and tell them they will either need to hire painters and get new carpet in there or they will need to adjust their price.  The price adjustment will probably cost them more than the paint and carpet."

I can not stress enough how much the condition of a home matters. Check out these prior posts where I am doing everything I can to share with you the importance of making sure your home will bring a quick and painless contract.  It's all in the prep work:
Dear Sellers I'm Confused - How NOT to Sell Your House
Is Your House Ready For The Market?

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Vicky Chrisner
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