What Do Homesellers Really Want? Four Important Things

 Judge Judy, that icon of courtroom wisdom, says "Beauty fades, dumb is forever."

"The top four tasks that sellers want from their agent has remained consistent regardless of the housing market— sellers place the highest priority on: helping the seller market the home to potential buyers, help selling the home within a specific timeframe, help pricing the home competitively, and help finding a buyer for the home.  As many sellers use an agent that was recommended to them personally, it is not surprising that the reputation of the agent is the most important factor in choosing an agent to work with (36 percent). This is followed by the importance of the agent’s honesty and trustworthiness at 19 percent and the knowledge of the neighborhood at 15 percent."  Just a few more facts out of this 128 page report:  The typical age of the homeseller was 54, vs. 46 years in the 2009 report.  Married couples were 74% of the sellers, while single females accounted for 14% of sellers.

This report stems from an annual survey, the most recent being the  July 2014 127-question survey which was sent out by the National Association of REALTORS® with a response from 6,572 home buyers who had purchased a home during the prior year within one of the four U.S. regions.  There are many elements to this report - including agent efforts, problems buyers can have with financing, characteristics of homes sold and homes purchased, all of which is valuable profile information.

Ironically, buyers in this survey rated the top two valuable features of a real estate website as being 1) the photos of a property, and 2) detailed information about properties for sale.  Maps, tours and neighborhood information came next in importance, with videos of the property second to least most important.  I say ironically, because--and here is the unspoken elephant in the room not usually overtly addressed in these nice surveys--one of the most difficult aspects of selling for many sellers to grasp is the appearance and cosmetic condition of their home, yet most sellers always want their home marketed as much as possible.  A key factor in marketing a home is how it looks to the buyer, that means the buyer who is looking at those photographs.  The cereal box needs to get off the counter, the bed sheets need to hang evenly, because those photos are memorializing your home FOREVER on the internet.  And once the buyer gets inside the house, if only they could see past the catfood, and ignore how it smells on a 90 degree day, it would all be so much easier.  This is where the faded beauty and forever dumb enter the listing.  You would not buy a car like that off the showroom floor, not for full price.  And that's where your listing is, on the showroom floor.  But I digress.  Buyers are not always perfect either, but they do have a physical inspector and a 17-day contingency period, and a 21-day loan approval contingency period.

So to have it all come up roses, it pays to pay attention--on appearance, on disclosures, on price--so that the homeseller can get what he/she really wants -- a SOLD home. If you, however, are a seller who is marching to the right drumbeat on marketing your home, my sincere congratulations!

To find out competitive listings in your area, just go to www.juliahuntsman.com.

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