Help Your Real Estate Agent Sell Your Home Faster

If you’re getting ready to put your house on the market, your real estate agent will create a focused marketing plan that will help attract interested prospects to your home. Although your agent will tap into a variety of resources to make it widely known that your house is for sale, there’s information you can provide which will help them present it in its best possible light.

Specifically, I’m talking about the things that make prospective buyers perk up, such as HVAC system upgrades, major home improvements, and decorating updates. If you’ve kept good records about rooms you’ve remodeled, fixtures you’ve replaced, and any structural, cosmetic, or mechanical upgrades you’ve made over the years, it would be helpful to itemize those improvements and share them with your Realtor or real estate agent.

Unless your home was newly constructed when you bought it, chances are you’ve made numerous changes. Here are examples of some of the types of information you’ll want to pass along to your agent:

  • The age of the roof: There are a lot of variables, when it comes to the life expectancy of roofing materials. With harsh weather conditions — including sweltering summer days and annual ice buildups — Mother Nature subjects your roof to a lot of wear and tear. If it’s been more than 20 years since your roof was last replaced, the shingles are probably starting to show visible signs of deterioration. That’s definitely not a selling point for prospective buyers. What house hunters do love to hear is that the roof is relatively new and has been replaced within the past five years. Although prices vary and can run higher, roofs typically cost at least $10,000 to replace. Many potential buyers would be turned off by the prospect of having to shell out that kind of money after they close on the house. Others might use that as a bargaining chip to get you to lower your asking price. In either case, an old roof puts you at a disadvantage.
  • Completed remodeling projects: Although some home buyers thrive on the idea of renovating a property themselves, most would prefer an updated home. Recently remodeled bathrooms and kitchens will make your house much more appealing and marketable to would-be buyers. If those closely scrutinized rooms look dated or poorly maintained, you can be sure that will negatively impact the selling price and/or the amount of time your house stays on the market.
  • Mechanical and electrical upgrades: People like to hear about improvements like a new central air conditioning system, a furnace replacement, or an upgraded electrical panel. These can all be major selling points, especially among prospective buyers who have had trouble with any of these vital systems in the past.
  • Miscellaneous: Other features that could help sell your house may include energy-efficient windows, new flooring, lighting, security systems, room additions, a new driveway or walkways, a finished basement or attic, basement waterproofing, new siding, fencing, patios, porches, and landscaping improvements.

While this is not a comprehensive list of all the home improvements you’ll want to share with your real estate agent, it includes many of the key items that will be on the minds of prospective buyers.

How to Avoid Pricing Your Home Too High


 The bad news about selling your home is that there are dozens of mistakes you might make that could result in a lost sale, unnecessary price reductions, and delays in finding a buyer.

The good news is that the vast majority of seller mistakes are completely avoidable — especially when you have an experienced real estate agent guiding you through the process and providing you with ongoing advice and marketing assistance.

Pricing and Perception

Setting too high of a price for your home is a common mistake — one that’s often difficult to recover from. Since “the clock is ticking” from the moment your home officially goes on the market, it’s important to make the most of those first few weeks.

House hunters are often strongly attracted to homes that are advertised as being “just on the market.” Those words can be very compelling because they imply newness, a limited opportunity, and scarcity. As the advertising industry has known for generations, consumers are drawn to products and services that are new, fresh, and in demand. However, just like yesterday’s news or day-old bread, the longer a house is on the market, the less appealing it becomes.

According to a Zillow study, homes for sale priced around or slightly below market value are almost 50 percent more likely to sell within 60 days than those priced 12 percent or more above market value.

Working with a knowledgeable real estate professional can help make sure you don’t lose that initial out-of-the-gate momentum by pricing yourself out of the market. They’ll base their recommendations on a number of factors, including a comparative analysis of recently sold homes in your neighborhood .

Here’s a house-selling mistake that most people probably don’t know about: You might be losing potential buyers because you’ve chosen an “odd selling price.” The National Association of Realtors points out that listings may sometimes be excluded from Internet search results if the asking price is just a few thousand dollars above a typical pricing range. “Buyers search real estate websites for price ranges, such as ‘homes between $250,000- $300,000.’ If you set an odd price to make your listing stand out, say $302,499, you may miss some of your best potential customers.”

If you realize after a few weeks that you’ve incorrectly priced your house, it not only becomes necessary to lower the price, but you also have to contend with a lower perceived value among prospective buyers.

Buyer Psychology

A few other words and phrases that tend to whet the appetites of prospects searching for their next home include “move-in condition,” “landscaped,” and “updated.” Many people also like the sound of granite countertops, maple hardwood floors, and gourmet kitchens.

While it pays to know a little about pricing, home staging, and buyer psychology, getting advice and guidance from a seasoned real estate agent is usually your best bet for producing the fastest and most satisfying results in selling your house.

Selling Your House On Your Own is a Rocky Road

You can’t help but admire people who have an independent spirit and are determined to do things on their own. It’s reminiscent of early pioneers who lived by the belief that “God helps those who help themselves.” While it may be true that qualities like self sufficiency and initiative can help you get ahead in life, there are instances in which it makes sense to team up with an expert. You can’t always go it alone, and when the stakes are high — like in real estate sales — the last thing you want to do is try to reinvent the wheel!

Advantages of Working With a Professional

Realtors and real estate agents know the ropes, when it comes to the intricacies of marketing a home, finding qualified buyers, and negotiating the best possible deal. If you attempt to sell your own house without the benefit of an agent, you’ll be facing a steep learning curve and a lot of potential pitfalls.

Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons for hiring a real estate agent is that time is of the essence. From the minute you put your house on the market, the clock is ticking. If your property is still on the market after a few months, then its perceived value will start to drop. Many people will assume there’s something wrong with it — whether it’s a diamond in the rough or a polished gem!

Real estate professionals are not only attuned to the pulse of the local marketplace, but they can guide you through the often complicated process of selling a home. Here are a few of the many ways that agents can simplify your life, help you avoid costly mistakes, and increase the probability that you’ll receive top value for your home and sell it in the shortest possible time.

  • Home staging: By taking advantage of their knowledge and expertise, you can make sure your home is presented in its best light. Your agent should advise you of cost-effective ways to improve your home’s curb appeal and correct any potential issues on the inside that may detract from its marketability.
  • Salesmanship: A good real estate agent is skilled in the art of persuasion, establishing rapport with people, and helping them focus on both the positive aspects of your home and its future potential. Many homeowners, on the other hand, tend to either undersell or oversell the desirability of their property. Their lack of objectivity can also cause them to overprice their house, resulting in lost opportunities.
  • Negotiating skills: One of the skill sets that real estate agents have is negotiating the terms and final price of a home. Since they do this for a living, a seasoned real estate agent has the practical experience, knowledge, and insights to help you get the most value for your home. They generally know how to push the envelope, without pushing too hard. Homeowners who attempt to negotiate a real estate sale on their own may make one or more “fatal errors,” which can derail a potential sale.

If you’re unsure whether you want the help of a real estate agent or Realtor in finding a buyer, handling the paperwork, and jumping through all the legal and regulatory hoops that real estate transactions involve, then test the waters, first. Set up a meeting with a couple different real estate agents and pick their brains. That way, you’ll be sure to make an informed decision when you decide which path to take in selling your home.

Why Should I Hire a Real Estate Agent?

Many people think they can go it alone when it comes to selling their home but there are many good reasons to hire a professional to do the job. Here are just a few of the many reasons to hire a real estate agent when selling your home:

According to a study done by the National Association of Realtors, a seller who uses a real estate agent typically gets 16% more in the sale of their home than an unrepresented seller.

It won’t cost you a dime unless the home sells. A real estate agent and their company take on all of the costs of marketing your home and don’t get paid unless the home sells.

Negotiating can be tough especially when it is your own home. Your agent will do all the negotiating for you.

Real estate paperwork can be confusing. Your agent will take of all the paperwork and make sure everything is done according to the laws in your area.

There is no emotion. Selling your home can be emotional and using a real estate professional will help you objectively evaluate offers and determine a selling price.

Just like any job it is always better to hire a professional.

“When you hire people that are smarter than you are, you prove you are smarter than they are.”  R.H. Grant