Home Selling Series, Part One: Creating a Positive Psychological Environment for Potential Buyers

If you are thinking of selling your home, or are in the process of selling, take a moment to read 6 Things That Turn Home Buyers Off (and What Sellers Can Do To Prevent It)!, on Trulia . In this article, Tara identifies  six behaviors and home appearance issues which can deflect buyers.  Most valuable, however, are  the reasonable, concrete suggestions for sellers she offers in the article, to help avoid these six common pit-falls.

Let’s discuss right now the three  turn-offs  which involve how the sellers interacts with buyers. The deflective behavior may occur in person,  through marketing material or online information. Thankfully, these pit-falls can be averted through diligent background work, trust, flexibility, emotional management and honesty on the seller’s part.

Not surprisingly, Tara lists “stalking” potential buyers during a showing as the number one turn-off. Potential buyers need to experience the house they’re viewing; they need to imagine themselves interacting with their family and friends within the home. The personal space to discuss the merits, and detractions, of the home is essential to the buying experience. Tara even notes, “… the more nitpicky a buyer gets about a house and the more detailed their list of things they would change, the more serious they are about considering making an offer…” As difficult (and disruptive) as it may be for the sellers, leaving the home for showings is one of the best gifts they can  give themselves. Let the house and grounds, along with the listing agent’s presentation materials, do the “talking.” Any questions potential buyers have will be followed up by their agents with the listing agent.

What things can sellers do to make home showings easier to mesh with their schedules, and emotions?  Having  pre-made meals in the freezer prior to listing helps.  Sellers maintain their family dinner time, with some flexibility, and reduce cooking odors, by serving pre-made meals. Planning a special treat to indulge in may take the emotional edge off of showing.  How about an exercise class, coffee with a friend, or a nice long walk?  Taking the family dog on a walk, or to the local dog park, is not only a special treat, but also removes the pet from the home during the showing. Sellers might also consider hiring someone to help clean the home during the sale process.  The extra help, especially if work schedules keeps the sellers away from the home for long hours, is a priceless stress buster.

The next turn-off (number 3) involves the home’s list price. Over-priced homes are not attractive to buyers, period. Sellers can avoid this pitfall by doing their home work. They need to learn what the realistic  current market value of their home is, by investigating what comparable homes are selling for locally. Sellers should attend  open houses in  their neighborhood and request a current market analysis for their home from multiple agents.

Sellers should ask friends and relatives for referrals, and interview potential listing agents. Finding an agent with realistic, up-to-date knowledge of the local real estate market is imperative.  If a seller discovers that what is owed on the home is more than what comparable local listings are selling for, the next step is to discuss seriously what would be better for their current situation:  a short sale, or holding off on listing the home.  Overpricing a home, then letting it sit on the market, is not a viable solution.  Emotions and stress can impact how a seller navigates the  list price step in the sale process; by working with a knowledgeable real estate professional and honestly examining  the realities of home sales in the area, the emotional aspect for sellers can be lessened.

Situations which cause buyers to feel misled also creates a huge turn-off (number 4).  Sellers will avoid this pitfall by being honest and forthright at all junctures of the sale process. The listing agent the seller picks to represent them needs to be an honest, knowledgable professional. This is why taking the time to find the right agent to work with is so important when considering a real estate transaction. It will serve sellers well to double-check how the home’s online and print marketing material is written, and correcting mistakes before it goes live.  Being honest about the short sale status of the home is important.  Avoiding this pitfall also involves the “golden rule”— treating others how you would like to be treated if in the same situation.  Sellers need  to make sure the ultimate goal, the sale of the home, does not cloud their judgement about how to represent their home to potential buyers.

Next in this three-part series for sellers is discussion of the three home appearance turn-offs which can deflect buyers. Stay tuned!

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