Here are some of the questions typically asked by Sellers, and my answers
- What do I need to do to get this property sold?
Depends on the condition of the property, your budget, what will add value to the transaction. A lot depends on your timeline. Much depends on the nature of the sale (trust, probate, long-distance, local, relocation, rental property, vacated property) – I’ve been involved with them all.
- How much money will I net after expenses?
I prepare a net sheet with typical expenses, at various price points once we agree on a range, subject to determining the condition of the property. I can quickly revise net sheets to reflect specific offers.
- Why should I pay for inspections up front?
Buyers make better offers when they have an idea of what they are buying. Shocks and surprises are avoided. You, the Seller, need to understand what you are really selling. I can recommend strategies to deal with health and safety issues. Yes, you can still sell the house ‘as is’, you and the Buyer just know better what that means.
- Do you have references?
I have hundreds of them… in writing… and can share phone numbers and email addresses with you.
- How long have you been doing this?
A long time and it’s never boring… since 1986.
- How long will all this take?
It depends on your personal preferences (motivation), market conditions, pricing, and property condition.
To that list I would add:
- Where is your primary market area?
Alameda. I seem to do a couple of San Leandro transactions per year.
- Show me your sales activity for the past 12 months.
Easy…want it emailed, printed out and mailed?
- Do you represent the Buyer as well as the Seller in the transaction?
Nope. It gets messy. When I have the listing you know I am representing you.
- How do you market the property?
I use the multiple listing service, loads of internet sites that upload the MLS data, a website dedicated to the property that contains still photos, a virtual tour, a video tour, descriptions, floor plan, and the property reports. It’s a one-stop-shop for buyers to bury themselves in with info. They love it. Print media is on the way out- too slow, too small of a readership. PRICE is what gets attention, brings them in, and then generates offers regardless of the market. We work to really understand the market. Open houses are for neighbors, shoppers, walkers, bike riders, and skate boarders.
- Why should we choose you?
I give you straight information, if I don’t have the answer I find it. I do what I say I’m going to do, and I have the track record to support it. I see the inventory weekly. I expect you want a professional, not someone to be your best friend. Often friendships develop and we may even laugh and cry together. But the work comes first.
Marilyn, if these are common industry complaints from Sellers, how do you make sure your clients don’t have them?
- I never heard from or saw the agent once the listing was signed.
One of the hardest calls I make is telling a Seller that there is no activity for the property. If that is the case it is essential to discuss what is happening and what is not. I don’t disappear without you knowing about it AND I have wonderful partners who follow my work should I be gone.
- The agent didn’t fully explain the market conditions to me.
I keep you informed even when there may be little to report. You deserve the truth and we work to find solutions. I often try to offer Sellers other options to selling, ones they may not have considered or even known about, before they put a property on the market. Even a slow market has trends and they need to be observed and then explained. That’s my job!
- The agent didn’t obtain feedback from agents who showed the property and then tell me.
I can’t force an agent to return a call for feedback but a sincere call on my part often results in both the buyer’s as well as the agent’s comments.
- I didn’t get a net sheet showing me expenses associated with the sale.
I show you a spreadsheet with the basic costs associated with a transaction and we refine that as we move forward.
- I didn’t get a revised net sheet reflecting terms in an offer that was presented.
See #4 above.
Ask any of my clients about any complaints or concerns they may have. They are straight-forward about their satisfaction levels. I hope you don’t hear too many and if you do, I’d like to know about them.