Unforced Errors

Given that home sellers typically want (need) to maximize what they net on the sale of their home, you’d think that they’d do everything in their power to increase the odds of that happening.

But they don’t.

On the contrary, they often shoot themselves in the foot not one but multiple ways.

Here’s a partial list:

–Failing to do cost-effective repairs
–Not staging
–Hiring the wrong Realtor (or none at all)

A subset of “hiring the wrong Realtor” would be “insisting on a too-short listing contract.”

That’s because good Realtors invest most of their time and money selling a property at the beginning of a listing.

That’s when they work with the owner on staging, market prep, and required disclosures and municipal inspections; oversee photography and drafting (and proofing, and proofing) the marketing materials, both print and online; and network the upcoming listing to other Realtors and the public.

Recipe for Failure

So guess what happens when a client insists on a 60 day listing (vs. a more realistic six months-plus) for a $500k house in the Twin Cities?

Most Realtors would decline, because they know the odds of collecting a commission — and therefore covering their expenses and making a living — are unacceptably low.

Too often, the Realtor who will take a listing on such a client’s unreasonable terms protects them self, financially and time-wise, by not doing all the things needed to sell a home in today’s Buyers’ market.

So guess what happens next?

The Realtor does next to nothing to market the home.

The 60 days come and go.

And the owner is on to Realtor #2 (or #3 or #4) who, if they’re honest, will tell the client that they now need to discount the asking price of their home to overcome their “false start” and re-attract prospective Buyers.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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