Don’t Let Sellers Get Overconfident

A severe inventory shortage may be allowing your clients to believe selling their homes will be quick and easy. That can lead to sellers who believe that they can do less to prep their homes for the market and that buyers will still be willing to pay top dollar. But buyers are still fairly picky, and they will be quick to pass over an unsightly or outdated home.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of REALTORS®, says that many buyers are getting frustrated at the poor selection of properties that don’t fit their budget or their wish list. Eric Tyson, co-author of House Selling for Dummies, agrees: “No matter the market, people aren’t going to overpay for an ugly house.”

In many cases it falls to listing agents to help sellers understand the need to be realistic on the pricing of their homes. Most homeowners view their property value higher than appraisers’ opinions, according to the latest Quicken Loans’ National Home Price Perception Index. Homeowners, on average, believe their home is worth 1.55 percent more than appraisers do.

Sharon L. Ellsworth, a real estate broker and owner of a RE/MAX Realty office, says the front door can be important in boosting the appeal on a home that otherwise lacks it. “The front door is the focal point of the house,” Ellsworth says. “If it’s attractive, people will focus on this.” Repainting the front door or adding new polished brass hardware can also make a big difference, she says. Also, freshly pruned shrubs and new greenery can help add curb appeal.

Also for sellers who aren’t seeing enough interest, a “broker’s open house” may be a way to generate more lookers. Tyson says limiting access to real estate agents from the surrounding area can be an effective sales tool. “These kinds of open houses are incredibly important,” Tyson says. “That’s because the vast, vast majority of buyers still work with agents. And if agents come through the house and like it, they’re more likely to show it to their clients.”

Source: “6 Tips for Selling a Home That Isn’t Easy on the Eyes,” Kansas City Star/

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