Sedona AZ Homes For Sale | Things Sellers Should Be Aware Of

Things Realtors® Wish Sellers Were Aware of, Coming Out of the Gate

#1:  If you want to sell your property the only way to do it is to price it correctly.  Yes, Curb appeal is important, interior pleasantness is important, the right REALTOR® is important, but none of these things matter if the price is way way too high!

Unless your property is income producing in some way, the only way to price it correctly is by looking at the current actives,the recent pending sales  and sold listings in the market.  The actives are your competition – you have to put your price in line with  that competition.  The pendings and solds are what an appraiser will look at when they determine property value for your buyer’s loan.  Depending where these come in, even if we get a buyer to offer an unrealistically high price the appraiser may have to shoot it down. 

Listen carefully to the following example...

(I have a Jeep.  I’ve had this Jeep for years – it’s a good Jeep and I like it.  Today, though, maybe it’s time to get a smaller Jeep, or a Jeep that’s closer to my children, or just a Jeep that’s cheaper or involves less maintenance and overhead. I paid market value for my Jeep in 2011 – it cost me $25,000.  Even with depreciation I figure it must be worth $20,000.  The catch is that somebody who is in the market for a Jeep like mine can go and buy a brand new one for $17,500.  So why would they give ME $20,000?  Well, they won’t. If I’ve listed my Jeep with a Jeep broker, maybe I’ll get mad and blame the Jeep broker when nobody wants to pay me what I want, even though he has told me that my Jeep Blue Books out at $12,000. But that can’t be!  My Jeep has some really trick stuff!  It’s lifted, and Brain the Mechanic who built her installed a blue button that he says is nitro and I am NEVER EVER to push the blue button.  My Jeep is so special! I know what I’ll do - I’ll get a new Jeep broker that will tell me what I want to hear and I’ll list it with him and my Jeep still won’t sell.  I’ll keep switching brokers and I’ll stay frustrated and my Jeep will lose value every year and sooner or later I’ll finally sell it for less than I would have gotten if I’d been realistic in the first place.

Are you thinking that this behavior of mine makes no sense?  You’re right – it doesn’t.  No matter whether we’re talking about Jeeps or houses, it’s all about supply and demand.  You have to be competitive with your price.


#2:  The extras that you have to offer (like a pool or landscaping or top of the line appliances) will help us to sell your property more quickly, but extra features do not automatically equal extra money in your pocket.  Enjoy your extras greatly - they are for you, not for resale value.  (Remember my tricked-out Jeep and the blue button, above.)


#3:  Listen to your REALTOR®.  I know this market,  the neighborhoods and internet marketing. 

“The REALTOR® in Far Away says that you should blah blah blah……… get it sold.”  The next time I hear that one I’m going to scream. 

Your Aunt May in Vermont might have some good ideas (or she might not), or those ideas might be applicable in Vermont, or 30 years ago.  Zillow or  HomeSmart might have some good ideas, too, but those ideas might not work in this market or with your particular property. 

Keep in mind that I don’t get paid until your property sells, which gives me great motivation to market it competently and correctly.  I will listen to your ideas – 2 or 3 heads are always better than one, after all.  Understand that I may not agree to implement all of your ideas.  I will have good reasons why I’m not and will be happy to explain them.


#4:  Commission is not one of the negotiable items in a sale. If you want a discount then hire a discount broker and accept the discount service.  I’ll be happy to talk to you if and when you’re ready to get serious about selling.


#5:  You must disclose.  If you know something that could conceivably affect the price that a buyer will be willing to pay you must disclose it.  (There are exceptions for murder, suicide, sex offenders in the neighborhood and HIV/AIDS, but you MUST sing out about everything else.)   If you don’t disclose the buyer could sue you when they find the problem and the neighbors or the plumber says, “Oh, yeah.  That thing was always bad.”


#6:  Smell is important.  Buyers might not realize it, but they form an instant and immediate opinion of a property based on that first whiff as we open the door.  It’s primal and it’s powerful. 


You know about smoking inside, you know about pet odors, you know about cleanliness.  BUT did you know that foofoo spray (or plug-ins, or incense, or candles) can be just as bad, and sometimes even more off-putting than a musty smell?  If you use perfumes or chemicals, environmentally sensitive buyers might not be able to go into your house.  Bleach, Pine-Sol, Fantastico, Febreze, Glade, ………….  Seriously - please don’t.  Vinegar and baking soda work wonders, they smell good, and they won’t make anybody sick.


#7:  Stuff.  Different REALTORS® have different opinions about how you can best present the interior of your house.  Some of us say “Make it look like a model home!  Make it sterile!  I want no more than 2 motel pictures on each wall!”  Others say, “It’s OK if it looks a little interesting – maybe people will stay a little longer and look a little harder.”  We do all agree that too much stuff is detrimental. 

Stuff that a buyer may find offensive is detrimental.  (Nudes, Dia de Los Muertos art, paraphernalia, overtly religious imagery, Nazi or Confederate memorabilia, contraband, intimate machinery…… You get the point.) 

We need some spaces that can seem like a blank canvas to a buyer.  We need rooms that look as big as possible - too much stuff can make a room or a house seem small and claustrophobic.  We need light and we need clean. 

We need a buyer to be able to look at the property and imagine themselves living there.


#8:  Please don’t leave valuables out in plain sight, especially pocketable valuables like jewelry and money and prescription drugs.

After a showing, please check your stuff and your locks and the garage door pull.  Make sure that your home is still secure.  Let your agent know if anything is awry.


#9:  We need for you to leave while the house is being shown.  The REALTOR® present knows these buyers and you don’t.  We know what this person’s hot buttons are, and we know what to emphasize and what to downplay. 

What happened one time was that the buyers were suspicious of the fact that a home was close to the river.  They did not see this as an advantage at all – they had several small grandchildren, and they were very worried that the children might get away and get drowned.  The seller showed up and started selling how close the river is, how unobstructed the access, what wonderful swimming holes, how he had made an easily traversable path to the deepest hole……….  He went on and on and talked himself right out of a sale.


#10:  After we put out the sign you may suddenly have scads of people driving by, and sooner or later one of these members of the public will knock on your door and ask to see the house.  Gently hand them your agent’s business card and ask them to call and make an appointment.  Please do not let unvetted strangers into your home.

I could continue all day, but it’s not necessary.  Your REALTOR® is a professional.  We’re highly trained, we know what we’re doing, we care, and we do a good job.  Use your common sense when you hire your REALTOR® and then listen to us.


Courtesy of Carol Anne Warren, Realtor®