Create a successful partnership to sell your home

By Elizabeth Erickson | Apr 11, 2012

Sellers and listing brokers forge a relationship through a written contract, which has a beginning and an end. Optimistically, the end of a listing contract is consummated with a transfer of ownership.

What should sellers expect during this contracted period of time and what role do sellers perform in the contract?

Out of the many responsibilities, here’s just three to consider:

ACCURACY. Obviously, right? In a recent scenario, the address was discovered to be ... wrong after 400 days on the market. (15 minutes from actual home site.) School District: Edmonds (Mukilteo!) Garages: Zero. (Three!) Those were huge errors; they are major search criteria for buyers. (Especially knowing where the house is...)

When listing your home, enter into a partnership with your broker. Review all marketing materials and advertising. No one is infallible.

HONESTY. Even when it doesn’t tickle your ear. A recent sale closed for $1 million less than its original list price after three years on the market. However, the sellers had received other evaluations showing no comparable support for what they needed to net.

As a result of that decision, the owners made mortgage payments on a vacant house for three years. Sellers should ask to see “comparables” and not just list with the highest “bidder.”

MARKETING QUALITY. i.e. Photography. Not dark, not cluttered. In today’s Internet world a picture is worth a million words! Tens of thousands of websites will use your listing broker’s presentation of your home. Those pictures will be replicated over and over and over again!

Competition is fierce for buyers’ three-second attention span as they scroll over thousands of website listings. Based on even that first photo, buyers will either place it directly in trash or will be intrigued enough to open up the rest of the story; to delve deeper into the descriptions and multiple photos.

Hours of preparation go into properly launching a listing. (Or sloppy minutes to input wrong school district and number of garages.) It’s detailed, creative work with descriptive words chosen to represent your home in the best possible light.

Work with your broker. Hopefully you hired them for their credentials, not their infallibility. If your home isn’t selling, adjust quickly. Keep an open mind, as the market is an evolving place right now.

What homes have sold since you listed? Be responsive to your broker’s suggestions in both pricing and presentation.

Our Mukilteo and Edmond’s markets have done a 180 from winter’s high inventory numbers. There are relatively few homes available while we have hoards of buyers ready to take advantage of continued low prices combined with these still-holding, record-low interest rates.

Frenzied multiple offers have changed the buyers’ market of the past year(s) into a sellers’ advantage.

By pricing correctly this spring, sellers have the opportunity to sell their home quickly. That’s a positive change from these long, languishing months on the market. And less time on the market time equates to close at or above your realistic list price.

Elizabeth Erickson is owner and designated broker of Gallery Homes Real Estate. Contact her at erickson@galleryhomesre.com or at the office: 425-212-4300 or direct: 425-508-1405, or go to www.galleryhomesre.com.

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