"What we got here is a failure to communicate."
I think in this every changing real estate market, this is a good quote to describe what is going on between real estate agents and sellers. In reality, it is better described as failure to listen to the market.
If you want your home sold, then please listen to the agent that tells you the truth about the market. I know it is really hard to do. Emotions get in the way. You really want to sell your home for the most price, but what you have to realize is that buyers don't want to buy for the most price if they can get the same thing around the corner for less.
When I have a listing presentation with a seller, I tell them the truth, and I back it up with data. The last thing I do is sugar coat a price range just to get the listing and I also don't take overpriced listings. The market is fierce right now (meaning there are too many overpriced listings), and if a home owner wants to waste time to "feel out" the market, then be my guest with someone else. My job is to sell your home, not call you up in three months and ask for a price reduction, that should have been the original price to begin with.
I have tried reaching a few sellers, but they checked out once I mentioned price. Denial is the worse enemy for a home seller.
Here are somethings to look for when you interview agents:
- If they tell you to list your home higher than comparables are supporting, really question why. Are they just trying to please you and "tell you what you want to hear"? There are a lot of desperate agents out there that NEED the listing.
- Do they have a web presence? With the buyer's market going full strong, does an agent have a website that actually ranks on the first page of the search engines, or do they have a website that just sits there and doesn't have any content that will attract a buyer? Buyers want to see more than just an agents listings. Google an agent before you meet with them and see what comes up.
- If an agent asks you to sign a price reduction form at list time, then that should be a red flag that your home is overpriced. Why would you agree to over list the home if you want to sell it? Buyers aren't dumb, they can pull recent solds from all over the place and figure out what you home is worth pretty fast.
- Never select an agent based on price. Look at their marketing campaign and past experience to get an idea of how good they are. Oh, and just because an agent is young, does not mean they are inexperienced. I have met many 20-30 somethings that produce more than well known agents that have been in the business for 20+years.
So there you have it, a snapshot on things to do when you decide to put your home up for sale. The time has come to realize that Minneapolis, and Minnesota for that matter, is no longer a sellers paradise. If you want to sell and not become a "days on the market" statistic, then listen to an agent that will tell you the truth about what it will take to sell your home. Forget how much your home has appreciated the last five years (that money was never yours to begin with) and be prepared to let go.