We eat/sleep/breathe all things real estate, and most of us definitely know why selling your home is stressful. As experts and advocates in the field of real estate, sometimes we find ourselves in the position of being counselors to stressed out sellers. We understand how you feel.
A wise man once said it’s the fear of the unknown, so let’s talk about it and turn on the lights. The monster in the closet often turns out to be a pile of dirty t-shirts when you shine a light on it.
How do you determine a price to sell your home?
You’ve probably looked at your Zestimate and have an idea of how much to sell your home for. But don’t sweat that one. This is not part of what makes selling your home stressful. You have an agent and this is part of his or her job. Your agent should do a thorough analysis of the market to properly price your home. And the agent should tour your home, review comparable home sales, examine market trends, and take a look at your urgency to sell. This will help make everything less stressful. And all of these things will impact the price you should list your home for.
How often will we have showings on our house?
In a seller’s market like Seattle or Denver, you should expect to have one or more showings each day. If your home is new to the marketplace or you are in a high-demand neighborhood, possibly several per day. It can be stressful to have to leave your home at a moment’s notice. But remember this: the more showings you allow, the more exposure your home has and the faster it will sell. Every single showing is an opportunity for a potential buyer to interact with your home. And if the question is, “Can you take a showing?” the answer should be a resounding, “Yes!”
If you have kids or pets, build in systems to help you keep the house in order to make things less stressful. And keep an empty laundry basket on each level of the house so you can do a 5 minute stash-and-dash before a showing if necessary. Train the kids to make their beds each morning if they are old enough. And get into the habit of clearing the table and loading dishes right away until the house is under contract. Assume you’ll have a showing every day of the week. Murphy’s Law guarantees that the day you let it all hang out is the day you’ll have multiple showings and be scrambling to put the house back in order. This is one of the reasons selling your home is stressful for some people.
Should I worry about strangers being in my house?
It takes a certain level of trust in the process to allow strangers into your home when you aren’t there. Common sense dictates that you must put away medications, firearms and jewelry. Chances are good your things will be left untouched. But we don’t recommend you leave your diamonds atop your dresser.
That said, showings will be conducted at your home in the company of a licensed real estate agent, so no one will be given free reign access to the property unaccompanied. Do be aware potential buyers will open a cupboard or dresser drawer, peek in the fridge, and pull back the shower curtain. Just like cats, potential buyers are curious creatures. They want to know what’s behind door #3, and chances are they are going to check for themselves. Be prepared for that, and don’t panic if you find a dresser drawer ajar or the ketchup at a different angle.
What do I do with my dog during showings?
Fido may be your BFF, but he is going to be a bit of a hassle once your house is on the market. And if your pup is fine with strangers, make sure the showing instructions clearly indicate that there is a dog present to make visitors to your home comfortable. On the other hand, if Fluffy is a dead ringer for Stephen King’s Cujo, avoid catastrophe and kennel your pet. Keeping a pet in the backyard during showings is acceptable but consider the bark factor, since it’s stressful for the pet too. Raucous barking can distract buyers from the wonderful features of your home and be a turn off. And remember this situation is temporary. Wherever you settle next, Lassie will have the run of the house once again.
What if the offer on my home falls through or the buyer changes their mind?
Like many people, you may be emotionally invested in your home, and is another reason selling your home is stressful. It is disappointing to receive an offer that doesn’t turn into a contract, or to enter into a contract with a buyer only to have it fall through. Losing a deal is one of the risks of playing the real estate game, and you should list your home with the knowledge that this sometimes happens, and could happen during the sale of your home.
It is more likely that an accepted offer will successfully make it through to closing, but you can rest assured knowing you are backed by an experienced team of professionals who will walk you through the ups and downs with a goal of successfully closing the sale of your property. Speed bumps don’t have to be stop signs – they are simply hurdles.
What if my home doesn’t sell right away?
This is tough for some people to hear, but how quickly your home sells is, in part, up to you. Are you willing to price your home competitively during this stressful time? And do you accept every possible showing? Did you make an effort to declutter and stage your home before your listing went live? If you have followed your agent’s suggestions and your home isn’t selling, it may be time to think about a price adjustment. Because the market sets the price of your home. And if showings have slowed down but the rest of the market is still moving ahead with contracts and closings, the market has spoken and your home is overpriced.
For some people, a “quick sale” means they’ll be moving into their new home in 6 months. For others, they expect to be packing in 6 weeks. What does a quick sale mean to you? Think through what your level of urgency is to sell your house and price it accordingly.
If you need help with pricing your home, let us know. We can help ensure that selling your home is not as stressful.