Have you been overlooked as a “First Time Home Seller”? I was reading an article the other day about Sellers. More to the point First Time Home Sellers. What dawned on me about our industry which I have worked for 30+ years: why is the majority of real estate advice addressed to homebuyers?
Go online to any Realtor, mortgage, or home site, and you find loads of information if you are a buyer; From how to get a mortgage to down payment assistance programs and explanations of every step in the buying process. Meanwhile, the seller and especially First Time Sellers are left in the dark.
In a quick tour of real estate blog posts, most seller advice is limited to how to choose a listing agent and admonitions to “clean, declutter and stage” your home. Even worse, the number of posts I found centered around how they can get “top dollar” for their homes vastly outnumbered the posts about valid seller concerns.
With that, let’s talk about you, The First Time Seller or for some of you those who have not sold a home for a very long time. First-time sellers have just as many questions about their part in the process as do first-time buyers. They lose just as much sleep at night, worrying about what they don’t know and how they’ll learn. Due to the lack of first-time seller advice, these clients can be filled with anxiety and have plenty of questions they may be too embarrassed to ask or don’t know to ask.
How many blog posts and articles have you read that claim some variation of “Your home may be your largest financial asset?” First, do agents think that homeowners don’t know this? Second, do agents believe this is a home seller’s biggest concern? Guess what? In a recent survey getting the home sold “fast and for top dollar” is far down on the list of home seller concerns. Timing how do I move from my house to another when I need the funds from the first house. What are the total costs involved in selling?
A majority of sellers crave information about which repairs and home renovations they should perform. Of course, somewhere in the back of their minds, they are most likely hoping to get “top dollar” by undertaking these projects. However, when asked what concerned them the most, getting the home ready for the market was twice as troubling as any financial aspect. They’re also worried about the emotional issues of the sale. Next on the list of home seller concerns is “the stress and anxiety of moving.”
More than a quarter of the respondents skipped right over the selling process and closing to thinking about the move. DIY or hire a moving company? How to find the best moving company.
Sellers are concerned about how to ease their young children into a new school and a new neighborhood. Older Americans voice concerns about leaving a community in which they’ve lived for decades and leaving behind neighbors who have become longtime friends.
As a listing agent, these are just some of the topics discussed to ease concerns and better educate sellers. So many nuances get missed with sellers. Just the other day, I received a call from a seller that is considering firing his current agent. He said he had received a call from an agent wanting to show his house and did not know what he should do. I had to explain to him what his current showing instructions were. I thought to myself how it is possible that this seller does not know the process his present agent has set up. A better question, why is it his agent has not made sure their client is not clear on the showing process. After all, this is the agents’ responsibility. I sometimes think what is so routine to us as agents we often overlook or fail to clarify the details to our clients. We sometimes forget you do not do this every day, so we need to stop and make sure you as a seller clearly understand how the process works. You can’t be of service to someone when you make assumptions.
Yes, money is a priority. I am in no way alluding that sellers don’t have financial questions. Indeed, they do; they don’t happen to be at the top of the list of what worries them.
When sellers were asked about the financial concerns that trouble them most about selling here is what the study found:
Nearly a third worry about how they will coordinate the timing of selling their current home and buying their next one.
Almost as many home sellers are confused about the tax implications of selling. The latter isn’t easy to address. With all the recent tax code changes, it’ll take some research. Moreover, don’t forget “always consult your tax advisor.”
Every seller is different, and their concerns certainly will vary. Discussing all the seller’s interests is always a top priority when meeting with a potential seller.
When you think you are getting ready to start this process, make one of your priorities to call and start the discussion. An honest conversation about all your concerns allows for a perfect stress- free plan to getting your home sold.
Let me know your thoughts and concerns: Take our quick survey.
Robbyn Battles selling real estate in the Foothills of La Canada-Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose, Sunland-Tujunga, Shadow Hills, Altadena, and all the surrounding neighborhoods for over 30 years.
Robbyn Battles • Battles Real Estate • JohnHart Real Estate • “Real Estate Redefined” 1420 Foothill Blvd. La Canada-Flintridge CA 91011, 818-388-1631