A good real estate agent is the ideal partner for selling a home, but even the best agent can only do so much without the cooperation of the homeowner. As a seller, it is important for you to understand that your actions can make the job of your real estate agent much more difficult. There are certain things sellers do that Realtors hate – things you want to avoid if you want your home to sell quickly, and for a good price.
In fact doing any one of these things can cause your home not to sell at all or at the very least make the transaction go far less smoothly. Recently we looked at things buyers do that real estate agents can’t stand. This time it is the sellers turn to get put under the microscope. Without further ado, I present you with the things sellers do that real estate agents hate.
Avoid making these home selling mistakes and let your agent do their job!
Things Sellers Do That Drive Realtors Crazy
- Trying to convince the Realtor that your house is worth more than it is. If you have picked an experienced Realtor to work with, he or she knows how to price a home. Realtors have a system that ensures the house will be priced competitively, one that accounts for all aspects of the property and the current market. Yet some sellers will still try and argue with the Realtor about the selling price. Some will try to explain about items in their home that are so much better than their neighbors home that just sold. Things like heavy duty deck nails and custom wallpaper from the 80s may be points of pride for you, but they don’t justify a higher selling price.
- Hanging out for a showing and talking to the buyer. Good real estate agents know how to sell the best aspects of your home, and how to minimize the negatives. When you hang out for a showing and talk to the buyer, you make it much harder to steer the conversation and make the sale. Telling the buyer you have a neighbor that loves to play the guitar and drums late at night is not going to help sell your home. Pointing out that the green shag carpet in the living room was just cleaned also is probably not going to make much of a dent in the buyers decision making process. Get out of the house and let the buyer walk through unfettered. You can share your pride of ownership once the contract is signed and all the contingencies are met! Not to long ago I had a client in Bellingham Massachusetts who ended up staying and talking to buyers at showings. I did not find out until an agent told me weeks after it had been on the market. Not good!
- Making a Realtor Do Multiple Open Houses. Years ago you may have found your home this way and think an open house is a great way to sell a home. Times have changed my friend. Real buyers are on the internet looking at homes daily. If they see something they like, they will pick up the phone and call an agent to schedule an appointment. Real buyers aren’t saying to themselves “if these darn Realtors don’t have an open house this weekend forget about it”! That is the definition of a “tire kicker”. As mentioned above why would you want to let anyone in off the street who has a pulse into your home? There is no point in doing this! You don’t need to and that’s the bottom line. While some real estate agents may tell you otherwise, the real benefits of an open house lie with the agent potentially picking up prospects, not in selling your home. Do open houses work? In an extremely rare occurrence, you might get lucky. If you are smart however, you will realize the sale would have happened regardless of whether an open house was held or not. Remember in it’s simplest terms an open house is a few hour window where people can look at the home. There are six other days in the week and countless hours where the same thing can happen.
- Hanging out at an open house. Hanging out at an open house is just as bad as hanging out for a showing. You should ask yourself why in the world you have any interest in doing so. The only valid reason is if you think something might get stolen. Open houses do present security issues but having you hang around in the home could do more harm than good. The Realtor is there to work the crowd, to draw interest to the property and to encourage offers. Your presence makes this more difficult, and there is always the chance that you will say something that will drive away a buyer.
- Not picking up the house. Unfolded laundry, toys, dishes in the sink – leaving the house a mess is not a nice thing to do to your Realtor. A dirty home is not easy to sell, even if you are the best salesperson in the world. Keep in mind that first impressions count in real estate sales. There are some people who have no vision and if your home is a disaster area they may not be able to look past it. It is vital that you clear the clutter before putting your home on the market. Buyers truly appreciate pride of ownership.
- Leaving awful odors in the home. Bad smells are impossible for many people to ignore. Old cat litter or smoking in the home, for instance, will make your Realtor’s job impossible. No one is going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home that stinks. If your home wreaks of smoke or has foul pet odors make sure you address this right away. Don’t take it personally! The real estate agent you have hired and yourself are on the same team. Your goal is to sell the home is it not?
- Turn down showings for lame reasons. If your Realtor calls you to tell you someone wants to see the home, you should jump at the opportunity. Yet some owners will regularly turn down showings, for all sorts of reasons. Getting a potential buyer into the home is one of the most important steps in the sales process. You need to make your home available to those that express an interest in buying. It’s the only way to sell the home. Real Estate agents understand that selling a home is a hassle. Buyers can schedule showings at the most inopportune times. We get it because we are the ones who are with them. If you want your home sold for the most money in the least amount of time let them in! Every missed showing is a missed opportunity.
- Restrict showings for lame reasons. This is similar to the problem above. If you only allow buyers to see the home on Tuesdays between 3 and 4, and weekends from Noon to five, you are going to have a really tough time selling the house. Be open to showings as much as you can be if you want to sell the house. Flexibility is so important when selling a home. Everyone’s schedule is different so the more restrictions you add, the harder it will be to sell your home.
- Complain about the showing feedback from buyers and their agents. One thing I tell all of my clients is not to take the showing feedback personally. If you think about it most of the time the feedback you receive will be slanted to the negative otherwise they would be writing an offer on your home. Keep your cool and understand that not everyone is going to love your home as much as you do. You may not always get the feedback you are hoping for from buyers and their agents. They may give you a long list of things they didn’t like about the home. Whether this feedback makes you feel good or not, it is still valuable. This information lets you know what needs to change to get a more favorable response.
- Calling the Realtor 5 minutes after a showing, eager to know what the buyer thought. Feedback is critical in home sales but for god sakes hold your horses! The real estate agent you hired should have a feedback system in place whereby they get back to the buyer’s agent. Breathing down the agents neck just after they leave your home, however, does not help your cause – in fact it makes you look DESPERATE. Heck most of the time a buyers agent may not know what their clients thought right away either. Remember most of the time buyers are looking at multiple homes not just yours.
- Turn down an offer because the buyer wants a closing cost credit or isn’t putting at least 20 percent down. It is important to look at any offer that your agent tells you is worthwhile. Although it would be great to get full price for your home with no concessions on your part, deals like this are exceedingly rare. In most cases you will have to compromise. What is important is your bottom line not whether the buyer is asking for a closing cost credit. Always pay attention to what you are netting not the minutia. Years ago getting a buyer with a 20 percent down payment was a reasonable expectation. Not anymore. Most buyers today in fact are using some form of low or no down payment loan including an FHA loan, Veterans loan or USDA loan. Don’t be rigid in your thinking about down payments. They don’t apply to today’s real estate market. What is important is whether the buyer is well qualified and comes pre-approved or not.
- Turn down a great offer because it is not full price. Let me preface this by saying your home may be worth full price or more. Some people actually price their home right at market value or slightly below hoping for multiple offers and a bidding war. In many circumstances however your home was priced with some expectations for negotiation. If this is the discussion you had with your Realtor and it was priced this way, don’t all of a sudden make it full price or bust. Wanting full price for your home is understandable, but you have to be reasonable. If your real estate agent tells you that you have just got a great offer, you would do well to consider it. Plenty of home owners accept less than full price when they are serious about getting the home sold.
- Become unreasonable after a home inspection leads a buyer to ask for a fix to the home. Don’t get me wrong there are some buyers who are completely unreasonable when it comes to home inspections. They will ask for the moon and think the home should be completely perfect. They will even go so far as presenting a punch list like it is new construction. This is NOT what I am talking about. Some issues with your home will have to be fixed if you hope to sell it. If the problem is something that you can expect ANY buyer to want fixed, you might as well deal with the problem. If any normal buyer would expect to have a particular problem corrected then fix it and keep the process moving. Putting your home back on the market because of a home inspection can cause more problems than it’s worth. This is why I explain to my clients all the time how important it is to prepare for the home inspection. Just a little bit of extra time preparing your home for the market can go a long way!
- Decide that radon and mold are not really issues after all. Some sellers will insist that things like radon and mold are not really problems, or that “we never worried about those things back in my day!” Well, today people do worry about them, and expect them to be addressed when buying a home. No need to pretend otherwise.
- Ask for advertising in the NY Times when the house doesn’t sell. If your home has been on the market and you can’t seem to get a bite after a certain period of time there is a problem. I can assure you however, if the agent you hired is marketing on the internet properly, putting an add in an expensive publication or taking out a local billboard is not the answer. In fact more than likely the issue probably relates back to the first problem mentioned – not pricing your home where it should be. The internet is the most effective advertising platform for selling a home in today’s real estate climate. You should trust that your agent knows how to get the word out about your home.
- Leave the house and yard a disaster area on the day of closing. The last thing your agent wants on the day of the closing is a call from the buyers agent doing the final walk through stating you left a disaster for the buyer to deal with. Leave the home like you would want to find it if you bought it. This is common courtesy! Most real estate contracts will spell out the fact the home needs to be in “broom clean” condition at a minimum.
Other Funny But Helpful Home Selling Articles
- 10 things real estate agents hate to hear via The House Hunt Blog.
- 5 things real estate agents hate hearing from clients via The Lighter Side of Real Estate.
While these things mentioned above can annoy real estate agents they also can harm your ability to sell a home. The House Hunt Blog and Lighter Side of Real Estate however have put a really humorous spin on things real estate agents go through. Make sure you take the time to check them out!
About the author: The above Real Estate information on things sellers do that real estate agents hate was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 28+ Years.
Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!
I service Real Estate sales in the following Metrowest MA towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton and Uxbridge MA.