When the Best Defense is a Good Offense

Not every “For Sale” home is in “mint, move-in condition” — nor is that a realistic goal for many sellers (be it due to limited time, money, energy, or simply a cold-eyed cost-benefit analysis).

spinWhen that’s the case, though, getting top dollar for the home hinges on the how well the listing agent (representing the Seller) markets and prices the home (the owner has a little to do with the latter).

“Nice Try” Dept.

At one extreme is what I’ll call “the spin approach.”

That is, the home’s negatives are downplayed or even¬†characterized as pluses (the old wood paneling isn’t dated, it’s “vintage”; the too-close airport runway is “white noise,” etc.).

Not surprisingly, the Seller’s asking price is equally unrealistic.

So, what’s the other (more effective) sales strategy?

To acknowledge the negatives, price for them — and thereby defuse them.

Even better:  to proactively address them.

Depending on the home and its condition, that can mean the Seller paying to have the home pre-inspected; purchasing a one-year home warranty for the Buyer; and/or — if the home is vacant — showing its potential by having it virtually staged.

See also, “Real Estate Euphemisms — New & Improved.”

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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