Imagine going to all of the trouble of getting your home ready to sell. You make all necessary repairs, the curb appeal is outstanding, your home has been highly publicized and now the buyers are starting to come in droves. Needless to say, you are eager to hear what they are saying. But what if you have a real estate agent that takes, what I call, the “ostrich approach?” This is where an agent sticks their head in the sand and doesn’t pursue what other real estate agents or buyers are saying about the property. It’s no wonder sellers are upset when they don’t receive communication from their agent, particularly after all of their hard work in getting their property ready for sale.
Why is this feedback so important? Let’s look at it another way: A seller had her home on the market for several months with many potential buyers viewing her home. In fact, traffic was quiet heavy, yet there was not one single offer. She believed the home was priced correctly, as interest was high but she couldn’t figure out why the offers weren’t coming. When she asked her real estate agent for feedback from buyers who looked at her home, the agent went blank. The seller had never received one comment about her home other than her agent telling her that “the right buyer will soon come.” The buyer later discovered that her smaller rooms turned off most buyers. With a bit of staging, the house later sold. Don’t you wonder how much sooner the seller’s property would have sold if she had received this information sooner rather than later from her real estate agent?
Remember this: knowledge is power. Every time a potential buyer visits a property I have for sale, I make it a priority to gather feedback. All feedback is important, but it’s also necessary to understand that not all comments means the buyer is right. For some, an all white kitchen is terrific, while others want dark cabinets. That is a matter of personal choice. However, if 5 out of 10 buyers say the carpeting is ugly and needs to be replaced, then perhaps chances are, that’s what is keeping your property from being sold. It is then that an agent and a seller get together and discuss alternatives by either giving a carpet allowance or replacing the carpet.
In this tough market, sellers need the feedback from buyers who are comparing your home with the competition. Not all buyers though are eager to give their honest opinion regarding a home, particularly if they don’t like it. (Even when they like it, they hesitate to divulge much because they fear it could hurt during the negotiation). But real estate agents who have been in the business a long time, and who have a good reputation among their peers, will give honest feedback to each other. Then it is the responsibility of the agent to tell their client what the buyers are saying.
What Turns Buyers Off
In my experience, there are always the top three answers as to what turns a buyer off when visiting a potential home. Again, many buyers hesitate to be honest, but when they are, this is what they are saying:
Dirty, Cluttered and Smelly Homes: Whenever you unlock the door to a home on the market, you almost hold your breath because you are not quite sure what you are going to see. The homes that look like a seller ran out in the middle of cooking dinner are always a tough sell. We understand that life gets crazy, but it is imperative that a seller keep their home clean and tidy and odor free when selling. Keep in mind that your home is competing with many others and buyers today believe that every home should look like it belongs on the cover of a magazine.
Sellers Hang Around: Buyers also have a hard time viewing a property with the owners hanging around. First of all, they can’t envision living there while you are present, as they won’t open pantry or closet doors and they keep their opinions to themselves. Some sellers believe it’s helpful to stay as they can answer any questions a buyer may have. Take my word for it, it doesn’t help.
Bad Home Improvements: When promotional materials tout that a home is for sale with “brand new updated bathroom,” buyers get almost giddy. But when they discover the bathroom tiles are pink with seashells attached and the walls are painted bright blue, well, all we can say is one person’s version of a bathroom spa is not someone else’s. Sellers are always proud of their home improvements and it is often difficult to hear that not everyone likes pink tile.
When selling a home, all homeowners should insist that their agent get responses from showings. Again, some replies should be taken with a grain of salt, as you can’t please everyone. And certainly don’t be offended. This is not the time to have your emotions take center stage, but rather change what should be changed and do what it takes to sell your property. If your house has been on the market for six weeks, and the comments do not improve, then it’s time to either make improvements or consider pricing your home low enough so that the condition of your home doesn’t matter.
Finally, our New Windsor Real Estate offers every seller an Automatic Home Feedback system, which allows agents to automatically leave feedback after showing a home. It’s quick, easy and provides a seller with valuable information. Who wants to keep their home on the market longer than they have to? A little feedback goes a long way.