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Sellers: These Are Things Your Real Estate Agent Needs From You

Selling your home is a team effort between you and you agent. Having a professional realtor represent you means you’ll be getting solid advice that’s based on experience and in-depth knowledge of the market.

But as much as your real estate agent needs to work hard to deliver the results you want, you also have your role to play in the home selling process.

Here’s what your agent needs from you to make sure that the process is a smooth and streamlined one.

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Be Realistic About the Listing Price

Many sellers have an inflated idea about what their homes are really worth. Of course, the more money sellers can get, the better for their bottom line. But pricing too high is a bad idea.

You need to price your home so that it attracts attention, but not so low that you’re leaving money on the table. If similar homes in the area have recently sold for $250,000, for instance, you’ve got no foot to stand on if you insist on listing for $290,000.

Overpricing your home will only scare off buyers, and leave your listing in the dust. The longer the house sits on the market, the staler it will become, prompting buyers to wonder if there is anything wrong with it. You’ll just end up lowering your price down the line in order to garner renewed interest in it.

Keep Your Home Clean

A clean, de-cluttered home obviously shows a lot better than a messy, unkempt one. When your home is on the market for sale, it needs to be ready to be seen by prospective buyers at short notice. That means it needs to be in tip-top shape around the clock.

Sure, it can be tough to keep your home in pristine condition at all times, but that’s all part and parcel of the real estate game. Your listing is likely competing with many others in the areas, so you’ve got to make sure it shows well, or buyers will simply turn their attention away to the other properties.

If you want your home to sell in a reasonable amount of time, keeping things neat and tidy is necessary. Get all your kids’ toys off the floor, put all your magazines away, and wash that pile of dishes in the sink. Taking these steps will help ensure a positive experience for all the homebuyers out there.

Make Repairs Before the Listing Hits the Market

If your home needs a few minor repairs here and there, do them before the house is listed for sale. Why? Sometimes sellers will promise to fix cracked bathroom tiles or replace a broken screen. When buyers hear this, they expect it to happen. If you change your mind after the buyer agreed to buy the home at a certain price that includes these repairs being made, you could potentially lose out on the deal.

If the repairs are too expensive or rectifying them is out of your element, don’t promise anything. Instead, negotiate the price based on the deal that the buyer will take care of them once they take possession.

Or else, if the repairs are minor in nature, you’d be better off taking care of them yourself – it’ll make your home show much better. 

Don’t Be Present During Your Open House

Sticking around while buyers are meandering through your home during an open house is not a good idea. You might be the friendliest face on the planet, but when buyers know that the owners are present, they’ll feel much more restricted in what they can say and which doors they open. Your presence will only alienate buyers and make them feel awkward.

When buyers go to open houses, they want to be free to open all the cabinets and drawers, poke around in every corner of each room, and make comments to their agents or whomever they happen to be visiting with. If you’re there, they can’t really get to know your home as well as they might have if you had just vacated the premises for a couple of hours.

Don’t Be Greedy

You’ve listed your home at the appropriate price point, staged it, and finally received a decent offer. Now’s not the time to get greedy.

Once you see the offer on the table, it’s perfectly normal to want to counter the offer if it’s well under what you’ve asked, or if you know that a similar house down the street just sold for $25,000 more. But don’t give up on the offer and throw it out the window completely in hopes of getting a better offer tomorrow. Anything close to the listing price should be seriously entertained without nickel and diming the buyer.

Similarly, if you come to an agreement on the listing price of your home, then another property lists at a higher asking price, don’t be tempted to relist your house for more. You don’t know if the other home was listed properly.

The market will command the value of your home, so you and your agent will know what offer is reasonable enough to accept.

Before you list your home, go through all the details about what needs to be done before, during and after the process. Make sure you come up with a solid plan of action, and stick to it. Your role in the selling process is extremely important – your agent is counting on you to ensure the end result is a desirable one.