While the real estate market is shifting quickly to a seller’s market, the truth is that not all homes are properly priced and selling quickly. Often because sellers have heard of the market shift and the increase in home prices, they become a little overly ambitious, asking agents to price their price a little too high. If the home is close to the range of new construction pricing, an existing home may still be able to compete if it has more features or hard to find qualities (often based around location). The biggest problem comes when that home isn’t move in ready, or doesn’t have the features/benefits of other homes that are for sale in that same price range.
What happens when your listing doesn’t measure up?
For example, a home with granite counters in the kitchen, hardwood floors, freshly painted neutral walls, and gorgeous furniture may sell for much higher prices than the average home with laminate counters, worn carpeting, or customized wall colors – particularly if the furniture is not fine, there is a lot of clutter, or there are un-addressed maintenance issues. Sellers on the same street, or in the same neighborhood may hear of this higher priced sale and believe that their home should be priced similarly. The question really is whether the home measures up, however. Will buyers be willing to pay the same amount for both homes?
As a professional real estate agent you may know this and have tried to convey it to the customer, but they don’t always listen. Inevitably, you know the outcome. In just a few weeks, you’ll be sitting at their table discussing price. While you know that the problem is their home and the work that it needs, they’ll wonder why you haven’t done your job of selling it.
This is when a home staging evaluation can be it’s most valuable.
How a home staging evaluation can save your reputation (and your sanity).
No doubt that you have done everything you can to sell your customer’s home at the price that you recommended. You may have even had a low-ball offer that was rejected by the seller. The best way to ensure that the seller understands that it wasn’t you who didn’t do their job is a home staging evaluation that was done at the beginning of the listing period, ideally before the home ever went on the market.
When you provide a home staging evaluation, you can be assured one of two results. Either the seller will understand the importance of the recommended work, complete it before the home is listed, avoiding the dreaded “not measuring up” scenario, or it will provide evidence later that the problem with the listing is the condition or presentation of the home, not your work as an agent.
When you have to make that difficult presentation on adjusting the list price of the home, the first thing you can do is to discuss the recommended changes and find out if the customer is ready to make them, or to make a price reduction. This puts the ball squarely in their court and out of yours.