There are many misconceptions our clients have, and it is our job to assist them, using our expertise and knowledge to not only help them understand the market, but to also position them for a successful real estate transaction. We should not expect them to know what we know from years steeped in the real estate process.
So with that in mind, here are four common client misconceptions and how you can deal with them:
1. “Lengthy days on market means I can get a deal” – As we agents know, lengthy market time does not necessarily mean one can get a “deal.” In fact, that often indicates an unmotivated seller who has emotion in the mix, or simply does not have a necessity to immediately sell.
2. “I want to look at short sales and foreclosures because I want a deal” – I think we have all heard this one before. Every time that I hear this line, I just know that I need to inform the client that we are not in the market we were in 2008 through 2012. Back then, banks had their desks full of foreclosure files, and they may have let many properties slip through for well under fair market value. That, however, is no longer the case. When I explain that, clients do not like to hear it. I also let the client know that foreclosures and short sales can be a long and drawn out process, and sometimes foreclosures do not even go to a bidder. The banks will hold onto them for a while, rather than sell at the “deal” price.
3. “I will sell my home with a non-full-service brokerage and save money” – Sometimes this does work, but bear in mind, you get what you pay for. Most of those services have the homeowner showing the property, and as we all know, homeowners do not make very good showing agents! I always explain to my clients that I will personally show their property and be there to showcase all of the wonderful upgrades, as well as make certain that the property is secure after showings. When the situation arises, explain the major benefits I provide, such as marketing, photography, personal presence at showings and knowledge of the local real estate market.
4. “I am not going to paint, because the buyer will want to choose a color anyways” – In a perfect world, this would be true, but I do not necessarily think it is correct. Most buyers have a difficult time envisioning a space differently than what is presented to them. Therefore, when your seller’s home needs a fresh coat of paint, it is best to recommend at least one quick coat to make the home look fresh and clean before they put it on the market. Every detail counts, and the better the house looks, the better the chance of garnering a higher price.
Michael Rissman is a broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group in Chicago.