6 Common Homeowner Behaviors That Can Make Listing Agents Lose Their Minds

Dated: 08/12/2017

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Image title6 Common Homeowner Behaviors That Can Make Listing Agents Lose Their Minds


The realtor/seller relationship is like none other. No other professional spends the majority of their client time in the client’s actual home. Listing agents get very close to our sellers, not just physically but mentally and emotionally. Because your agent sees you in this somewhat vulnerable setting, and for an extended period, sometimes special bonds form. The line between the business and the personal sometimes blurs, and sellers sometimes feel so comfortable that they indulge in some behaviors that can drive their agent crazy.
Here are six things sellers do that make agents go nuts — and diminish their chances for a successful sale at the best price and in the shortest amount of time.

1) Failing to keep the home clean
- When your home is on the market, it needs to be ready for a showing at a moment’s notice. That means you need be “seller aware” 24/7.  If you’re serious about selling, keeping things tidy is par for the course. Make a plan to remove dog toys and kid toys from the floor. Before you list your home, move out the stuff you won’t need until you settle into your new home. Make a particular space in a closet or storage bin for the day-to-day stuff that could turn off potential buyers.  I had a client that had two plastic bins that they used to pack up their day-to-day things fast.  They quickly threw stuff into the bins and loaded those bins into their mini-van with their kids and left the house. Doing this will ensure a positive experience for prospective buyers.
2) Insisting your home is unique
- Your home is no doubt very special to you. You’ve built memories, tracked major life events and you’ve used it as more than just a place to lay your head at night. When it comes time to sell though, it’s often hard to think of your home as a product on the open market. Because of your emotional attachments to your house, you may feel your home is one-of-a-kind, which you then equate to being more valuable.  If you find yourself resisting your agent’s pricing advice, take a step back and consider if you’re ready to sell. Resisting may be a sign you’re not yet willing to emotionally detach.  Keep in mind that an overpriced home, even in a strong market, will usually sell for less than a home priced well from the start.
3) Sticking around during showings or an open house
- There’s a reason real estate agents don’t want sellers hanging around when potential buyers arrive. While you may be perfectly friendly and agreeable, your presence can alienate your customers or make them feel uncomfortable without you even knowing it. Buyers want to dig their feet into their potential new home. That means they need to feel free to open closets, poke around in cabinets and make comments to their spouse or kids. Your presence prevents them from getting to know your home — and it can backfire. If you’re desperate to find out what’s going on at an open house or how buyers are responding to looking at your home, make a plan to speak with your agent.
4) Holding out for extra money at the last minute
- A home sale negotiation can be a rocky road, even in healthy markets. 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. It’s a great and powerful feeling. But imagine if, in an attempt to squeak out an additional $3,500 from a serious buyer, you pit them against a not-so-great buyer, and you lose both?  It happens, much to the dismay of the listing agents who advocate working with the best buyer with the best terms and not necessarily just the highest offer. In other words, you should always be thinking of the big picture — which isn’t always the same as the highest offer.
5) Becoming unreasonable after a home inspection leads a buyer to a request for repairs
- Now, 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.  Some buyers will even go so far as presenting a laundry list of dozens of items. This is NOT what we’re talking about here.  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. Let’s say you have a broken HVAC system, leaking roof or a broken hot water heater.   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 we explain to our 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!

6) Neglecting to clean up for the new buyer- Leaving the house and yard a disaster area on the day of closing is a bad idea. The last thing your agent wants on the day of the closing is to get a call from the buyer’s agent 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. Clean your home and deliver it in good condition to the new buyers. Not only will they appreciate the gesture, but they’re more likely to be on your side if you need them in the future for favors like forwarding mail or packages.

In the final analysis, as a seller, you want to sell your home for highest amount that you can get in the shortest amount of time.  Being aware of the above six behaviors can help you and your agent achieve the desired outcome.  And, believe me I say that your realtor has wants nothing more than to get you every dollar they can for your home.  It is in their best interest.

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