How Sellers Can Drive Real Estate Agents Crazy
The seller-agent relationship should remain strong and positive throughout the sales process. But just as agents can sometimes annoy their clients, sellers can sometimes get in the real estate agent’s way. And when that happens, sellers lower their chances for an easy sale at the best price. Here’s how sellers drive real estate agents crazy.
1. You’re convinced your property is unique and therefore worth more money. When it’s time to sell, it’s hard to think of your home as a product on the market. Because of your emotional attachments, you may feel your house is unique, which you then equate to being more valuable. If you resist your agent’s sensible pricing advice, ask yourself if you’re truly ready to sell; resisting may be a clue you’re not. Be aware that an overpriced home, even in a strong market, will ultimately sell for less than a home priced appropriately from the start.
2. You don’t clean up. A home for sale should be showing-ready at all times. Before you list, move the stuff you won’t need out until you settle into your new home. Make a special space in a closet or storage bin for the day-to-day stuff that could turn off potential buyers. Homes that look cluttered and untidy don’t show well, which means they may not get top dollar.
3. You hang around during an open house. While you may be perfectly friendly, your presence during open houses or showings can make buyers uncomfortable. A buyer wants to feel free to open closets, poke around in cabinets and make comments to their partners or kids. Your presence prevents them from getting to know your home. If you’re desperate to know what’s going on at an open house or how buyers are responding, show up anonymously during the open house—after alerting your agent in advance, of course.
4. You hold out for extra money in the final hour.
If you sense the market is in your favor, you may second-guess the list price if you see activity quickly, particularly in the form of multiple offers. But imagine if, in an attempt to squeeze out an additional $3,500 from a serious buyer, you pit them against a not-so-great buyer and you lose both? Instead, you should always be thinking of the big picture, which isn’t always the same as the biggest offer. Also, keep in mind that a serious buyer is working with a good local agent, has a bank pre-approval and demonstrates, via their interest in the property, that they’re experienced. A not-so-serious buyer submits an offer after only seeing it once, may be unrepresented, or represented by a little-known agent.
5. You don’t clean up before you move out.
Would you want to walk into your new home and find 12 cans of old paint in the garage? Or an old baby carriage in the attic? I didn’t think so. Clean your home and deliver it in good condition to the new buyers. They’ll appreciate it. And if you need them in the future for things like forwarding mail or packages, they’re more likely to be accommodating.