November 19th, 2007 8:12 AM by Lehel Szucs
Here are the top ten ways any seller can practically guarantee their home will expire:
Not serious about selling. A sage once quipped, "Money is only important when you don't want something enough." Real estate expert R.L. Brown said that if half of the 58,000 sellers in Maricopa County (Arizona) removed their for sale signs we would be at normal inventory levels. Actions speak louder than words in this market. Discretionary sellers should wait for a less competitive environment.
Improper pricing. A home properly priced is half sold. No amount of full color ads, glossy flyers, multiple photos, virtual tours, agent luncheons, Goodyear blimps, or pom-pom girls will compensate for the wrong, timid retail price.
Not listening to your agent. Attorneys believe if you represent yourself, you have a fool for a client. Doctors don't self-diagnose. Professionals use professionals. Even though most people believe they are experts on raising kids and real estate; full-time, career pros usually know what's best. Listen very carefully.
Micromanage the marketing. Just because you sold cookware in college, carts in California, or carpeting in Cranston does not qualify you to second-guess your agent. If you had a real estate license years ago, tell your children about the "good old days." Share your concerns and timelines, but leave the details to the listing pro.
Don't stage the property. Someday shag multi-colored, sculptured carpeting will come back. Whitewashed cabinets, Navajo white walls, linoleum flooring, southwest décor, lots of personal photos and Elvis paintings on black velvet should be removed. And, oh by the way loose the long sideburns.
Let Fido run loose. Recently, I entered a house and two frisky, friendly black Labs ran to sniff me. Unfortunately, I had light gray dress slacks on that day. Both wet stains lasted for hours. Until that day I didn't realize dogs enjoyed chewing the tassels on expensive loafers.
Talk to the buyers. Life gets lonely at times. Why not ask the buyers where they grew up? Or how much they qualify for. Tell them about the vacant rental next door. Or, the sex offender who left the area. Maybe they could baby-sit next weekend! Why not share war stories, horror movies or meatloaf recipes?
Sell personal items. Wow, maybe the buyers want to buy the patio furniture, rotary lawnmower or life size statue of Saint Anthony. You only have four more boxes of Girl Scout cookies to sell. Why not ask for a donation for the March of Dimes, the Humane Society or the local PBS station. Remember the saying, "loose lips sink ships?"
What's that smell? My house doesn't smell of pet odors, baby diapers, curry powder, garlic, fried fish, coconut incense, cigars, manure, mulch, dairy farms or low tide. The buyer must be confusing my castle with a track home.
Avoid feedback. What do buyers know anyway? Imagine the fact they don't appreciate my barbed wire fence, heavy duty rebar, backyard bomb shelter, airport runway views, lights from the power plant, hum from the high voltage lines, railroad tremors, scorpion skeletons, termite mud tubes and pet snakes.
Will your home sell?