Getting Your Listings Sold — And Fast

by Chicago Agent

By Wendy Jones

In this fiercely competitive marketplace, you want your clients’ homes to stand out from the current glut of listings. Not only do you want them to stand out, but you also want them to sell fast. However, from Lincoln Park to Rogers Park, these days, homes are on the market longer. What can be done to move your properties? Aside from ensuring that a residence is priced correctly, you need an “edge” – a way to not only sell fast, but also tap into the lucrative FSBO market.

Preparing Homes For A Fast Sale
I can’t think of any agent who enjoys convincing sellers to de-clutter and clean. It’s a task that is usually met with resistance, but a messy home will not help you sell at the speed you’d like. There is, however, a way to handle this touchy situation, and below are some tips that will help. For more detailed information, you might wish to refer to the eBook, “450 Ideas To Help Your Home Sell Faster.”

The Problem
For most owners, their home is an extension of who they are as individuals. They enjoy every memento and every photograph. As for clutter, many homeowners no longer notice it. Therefore, in order to sell a house quickly, you need to ensure that the seller sees exactly what a potential buyer sees.

Imagine this scenario: A couple is out looking for a new house. They arrive on the doorstep of a residence belonging to owners who believe their home is perfect. The fact is the house is a mess. For instance, when the buyers view the kitchen, they notice the stove is dirty and appears to have parts missing. The refrigerator is okay, but plastered with photos and drawings. A rude remark is scrawled on a notice board. The appliances are covered with utensils and bowls. The windowsill contains a baseball, an earring and a broken pot with a wilted flower. The sink has definitely seen better days, and the dog must have still been munching on his food while drooling his way toward the back door.

A home like this will make a potential buyer feel as though they are trespassing; it’s all too personal. They potential buyers can’t wait to leave, and you can’t make the sale.

The Solution
Once your seller sees their home through the eyes of the potential buyer, they need to understand a buyer’s first reaction is usually emotional. Someone looking for a new home must be able to walk in and immediately imagine where all the furniture will go. For a really quick sale, the rooms should also look appealing enough to move right in.

The first step in this transformation is the need to clean and de-clutter. If possible, packing up extra personal items and moving them into temporary storage arrangements is ideal. It’s important to remind the sellers that their home isn’t being altered for them, but rather for potential buyers. The second step is to create small and inexpensive stagings in each room. These are room settings that are designed to connect with buyers at that emotional level.

To make it easy to proceed with these steps, the eBook “450 Ideas To Help Your Home Sell Faster” includes individual room charts with lists of things “to do,” as well as easy ideas for staging. This way, each seller can prioritize what needs to be worked on in order to quickly sell his/her home.

The Problem Revisited
Let’s look at the kitchen, now that the sellers have converted it from a personal space into a more appealing home for buyers.

The room has now been polished and swept. All appliances are in one piece and working properly. The counter is empty except for an open cookbook, a beautiful cutting board and a white china bowl of oranges and bananas while a coffeemaker brews fresh coffee. Laid out on a tray are mugs, cream, sugar and a plate of delicious cookies. All clutter has been removed from the refrigerator and the windowsill only displays a ceramic pot filled with tumbling ivy and the kitchen table has bright red place mats. There are matching blinds in the windows. The dog is apparently eating somewhere else these days and posted on the notice board is a list typed up by the sellers containing all the reasons why buyers will enjoy living in this house.

Results Driven Way To Work With FSBO
The above advice is a great way to get things moving and get your clients’ homes sold. Another idea is to use the entire eBook as a way to creatively promote yourself and your business to the FSBO market. FSBO homeowners will find the advice valuable, and you can drop it off – no strings attached – wherever you see a house for sale by its owner.

Why would you do that? It’s a known fact that a vast number of FSBOs will eventually hand their listings over to the traditional real estate market. And when that happens, they will seek out agents who have offered them this superb “hands off” assistance.

Wendy Jones has a background in Interior Design. For the past six years she has been assisting Realtors with creative ways to sell their properties. Jones’ eBook, “450 Ideas To Help Your Home Sell Faster,” is geared to assist real estate agents to stand apart in the real estate market. For more information, visit GetYourHouseSold.com.

Copyright 2008 Agent Publishing LLC

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