Hello my fellow Rainers. As you may know we have quite a few consumers who visit ActiveRain on a regular basis. Yesterday, I received the following Email from one of our regular visitors.
Hi Broker Bryant, I am getting closer to listing my home for sale. One of the things I do, when I can, is check out local open houses to see what my competition or sold comps will be. I came home so disgusted today I looked on AR to see if this subject was addressed anywhere. I did not find anything and I hope you will be willing to post about it. Of the several opens I viewed today, two were in DISGUSTING condition. I know you would not take a listing if the seller was not willing to put effort into putting his home in show condition. But, what about other realtors? Apparently two listing agents were desperate enough for a listing that they signed sellers who did not even clean bathrooms before open house. Dirty dishes in sink, filthy walls, piles of clothes and blankets stuffed in a crib. A Christmas tree still in living room! Both of these homes smelled bad. Sadly, one of these will be considered a comp to mine when I list. This will hurt my selling price. It angers me. No appraiser evaluating my home is going to know that these two are priced so low because they are dirty and in poor repair as opposed to the declining market. What are these agents thinking? Can you help educate your Rain buddies please? Thank you.
Now folks, what do you think about this? How would you like to be one of these two REALTORS? Would it be good for your business to have the consumer feel like this? Can you get any clearer reason, than this e-mail, to make sure your listings are show ready prior to placing them on the market?
Did you catch the part where she looked at these homes yesterday and one of them still has a Christmas tree up? How about dirty dishes, filthy walls, dirty bathrooms and laundry everywhere?
The effect this has, is that IF these homes sell, the Buyers are going to discount their offers based on the crud. IF the Sellers are able to negotiate a deal, the lower selling prices WILL affect the property values of similar homes, whether they are in pristine condition or not. So, folks get your listings in show condition prior to placing them on the market. If not:
It will be difficult to sell.
It will damage your reputation.
It will affect property values in your area.
You are not doing your job as a professional REALTOR®. And in my opinion you have no business taking the listing
"But Broker Bryant, my Sellers don't have the time or the money to get their house ready." Well, I know this is the case sometimes. Maybe they work two jobs and have kids running around trashing the house all day. They may be absentee or elderly Sellers. Here's what I do:
I will gladly pay my lawn man $65.00 a month to keep the lawn mowed (this is a good link) and trimmed until I sell the house. They can reimburse me at closing.
If they are not able to clean for whatever reason, I will gladly pay my cleaning crew $250.00 to go through the house top to bottom including cleaning the carpets.
Sit the children down at time of listing and give them jobs to do. In most cases I have found that the children are excited about moving and are more than willing to participate. Make a game out of it. Give them a reward of movie tickets or something if they keep their end of the bargain. The parents will love you for this.
The bottom line is get proactive. Wouldn't it make more sense to spend a few bucks, out of your pocket, to get the house ready to be shown than wasting money advertising a dirty house? Price it right, clean it up and get it sold. I can assure you this will do wonders for your reputation and your business.
So what do you think? Want to step it up a notch? What are some things that you do?
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