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Monday, May 26, 2014

Are you "one of those" home sellers?

For some home sellers, they can get in their own way and prevent themselves from selling for the highest amount of money in the least amount of time... or even selling their house at all.  Are you one of them?

Read on and find out!

1.  Endowment bias + overconfidence + rigidity.
Virtually every seller — every human, even — can fall victim to what behavioral economists call “endowment bias”: the belief that something you own is worth more than the value you would place on it if it belonged to someone else.

The same goes for overconfidence: Due to the emotional attachments and the money, time, sweat and energy many sellers have invested in their homes, it’s not at all bizarre for them to start out being overly confident in how their home will stack up against the competition, how much they will get for it, or how rapidly it will fly off the market.

Your home is only worth what the market dictates.  It's not personal.  Can you accept the market price?  If not, you are the highest bidder for you home and you should not waste your time (or anyone else's) listing your home for sale.

Some people approach everything in the world with endowment bias. They simply, as a rule, cannot see the other side of any argument or understand why everyone in the world doesn’t hold their same positions and views.

2. “Cling-ons”
Some people are clinging to their home or are not ready or willing to move on to the next phase of their lives. These sellers may simply be going through the motions of listing at the urging of family members, their real therapist or their financial advisers, but are subconsciously sabotaging their own sale with their rigid, counterproductive behavior.

If you are having a severe internal conflict about moving on, it might be your sign to hold off until you are more accepting of the change.

3. Self-sabatogers
A sure-fire sign of the self-sabotagers are sellers who’ve already listed with half the agents in the market and have failed to sell their home.

It's time to meet with an agent that is straight forward and not offering cut-rate commission.  Take their advice and hire them.  If you don't like their advice, it's probably the honesty you neglected to get from your previous agents.  If you can't handle their advice, it's not the right time for you to sell.

4. Advice-a-phobes
If you are not interested in the feedback of the market on your home, or hearing the hard truth about the price or condition of your home, you will have a hard time selling.

Consider negotiating an inspection, staging and a price reduction timeline at the time of signing the listing agreement. This way, you will know what's coming and it will be easier to stay on the same page with your agent and prevent having to make changes during the listing that may cost you the sale.

5.  Gotcha! types.
Gotcha types are the types who are constantly looking for a way to trip up their agent — constantly asking you questions, not because they want the answers, but because they want to catch a mistake, start an argument or debate, or otherwise make the point that they are smarter and wiser. Gotcha types are often the sellers who don’t believe that agents deserve to make the commissions they get paid, and spend more of their time trying to prove that you don’t deserve it or that they could do a better job (even with zero professional experience or training).

Many smart, sensible, sane sellers will actually interview the agent at the listing appointment or later inquire about your thoughts on market dynamics and how they should factor them into their personal decision-making and selling strategy. If they decide the agent is competent to sell their home, they will actually value and want to know their agent's opinion and factor it in, even if they don’t follow your advice verbatim.

If you are the Gotcha type, there’s simply no way to win. If your home sells quickly for the price they got, they will be upset they didn't set the price higher. If it lags on the market because they overpriced it or didn't get it "showing perfect", they will fault the agent for not being a good enough marketer, smart enough strategist or persuasive enough negotiator to lure some poor sucker into paying tens of thousands of dollars more than the place is worth.

If you think you could do a better job selling your home than an agent, try it.

6.  Finger-pointers.
Finger-pointers are the sellers who are constantly looking outside of themselves for the reasons their transactions will not work, are not working or didn’t work. These folks view themselves as victims of the crazy market, nefarious agents, unscrupulous mortgage lenders, lowballing buyers, and the list goes on.

As a result, finger pointers fail to appreciate and use the very significant power every seller has over their transaction. They refuse to understand the critical nature of their own pricing decision. They are passive in the way they select agents in the first place, almost setting themselves up to be able to blame the agent when they run into problems down the road (“I loved your marketing plan, but I have to work with my hairdresser’s babysitter’s cousin, because of the relationships involved. Sigh, I just have no choice.”)

These are the sellers who will insist they are simply unable to proactively set a smart listing price, and are forced to overprice, powerless as they are against the market, the fact that they are upside-down, the fact that they need a certain amount of cash to move, and the fact that they took out a bunch of cash against their home at the top of the market — these are the sellers who will simply refuse to understand that none of these items have a thing to do with the value of their home or the dollar amount a buyer will pay for it.

Finger-pointers commonly do the very minimum they must to move a transaction forward, and are also prone to be lackadaisical with disclosures. Of course, if and when the buyer sues two, five or 10 years down the road, the finger-pointing seller blames the buyer, the inspectors and even their own agent for not somehow divining the fact that the sewer has backed up three times in the year prior to listing and making sure that made it into the disclosures.
These are the sorts of sellers who, even when they are selling multimillion-dollar properties, will commonly demand their agent dip into their commission to resolve bargaining impasses with would-be buyers, or to resolve repair issues that surface during inspections.

If you are not ready to take responsibility for the condition of your home, doing your part to protect your own butt, understanding the market and working cooperatively to sell your home, selling will be a painful, angry process for you.

 Need help working through your selling anxieties or the complexities of the local market?  Schedule a confidential appointment today and get honest advice.

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