That's because selling a house ain't like it used to be. Gone are the days when you simply phoned the local real estate office, talked to a broker, showed her the house, signed some papers and sat back to wait for offers.
The broker's job of yesteryear was to fill in the MLS specifications, take a picture, put an ad in the newspaper, and wait for offers. That is all so last century!
I don't have to tell you what it's like today. Wicked competition, depressing prices, fussy buyers, and purchasing decisions based on virtual tours.
Don't even get me started on how important it is to stage better than the competition. Whether you have deliberately staged your home or not, face it, it's staged. It needs to be staged to sell or you're losing prospective customers.
Something else that's changed is how homeowners and Realtors work together. It takes cooperation and communication. Are you, Mr. or Ms. Homeowner, doing all you can to help yourRrealtor? Here is my checklist for smart behavior to get your home sold.
- Let go. Trust your Realtor's expertise. You hired her because she's the professional, so listen to the advice you're paying for. If you want to call all the shots, go FSBO. Don't let your emotional attachment to your property color your decisions. Instead, be businesslike and take the suggestions you get on pricing and staging.
- Prepare. Keep your home show-ready. Clean it, or have it cleaned professionally, and keep it clean. It doesn't need to be health department approved, but it needs to look loved.
- Be friendly. Aim always to be cheerful, and courteous. Don't make unrealistic demands for advance notice, extra open houses, daily feedback or special treatment.
- Communicate. Let your Realtor know where you stand on terms, timing and especially price. The Realtor should understand your schedule, how motivated you are, your bottom dollar, and whether you are able to offer any incentives such as owner financing, accepting property in trade for all or part of the sale, or help with the buyer's closing costs.
- Promote. Tell everyone you know and everyone you meet that you are selling a home. Keep printouts of your home's specs handy so you can pass them on to interested people. Many homes sell by word of mouth. Refer anyone interested to your Realtor. Have her business cards with you at all times.
- Be noble. Act with integrity. Never try to outsmart (cheat) the real estate company. Play by the book.
- Use tact. If you have a grievance, don't badmouth your Realtor. Instead, sit down for a heart-to-heart, and see what can be changed to make things better for both of you. If you're not happy, she's not happy.
I give more advice on getting your home sold in my eBook, DIY Home Staging to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar. I promise you'll be satisfied, or I'll refund your money.