What Message is Your House Sending Buyers?

What Message is Your House Sending Buyers?

Not too long ago, I was in a car with a very good friend of mine. The music playing on her car stereo was hard core metal. It sounded so pissed off and angry to me that I wanted to beg her to turn it off. She remarked that if I listened to the lyrics, I would find them insightful and contemplative. Being a communications major I knew I had to get past the non-verbal first, which was that loud, over-powered, fast paced music to have a chance of hearing the lyrics. And the way the artist was spitting out his words, it was not likely I would even understand them. The artists comtemplative and insightful thoughts were going to be lost to anyone who didn’t like this kind of music. It did not have wide appeal.

If you did not already know, most communication we encounter is non-verbal, even in a verbal message through conversation, music and so forth. How a person holds themselves, the words they chose to use, the pace of their conversation, the confidence in their voice and so much more all make up over ninety percent of what the recipient of our messages takes in. When the non-verbal conflicts with the verbal, the recipient can find themselves suspicious of the verbal. So how does this translate to selling a home?

Even in the strongly favored seller’s market that Bristow and Gainesville have been experiencing, non-verbal messages can overpower the message a seller really aims to make to buyers. Perhaps a seller has a very large floor plan with plenty of space. That message is not going to get through to buyers if the space is so cluttered with furnishing that buyers can’t actually take in the feeling of spaciousness. Maybe the home is targeted to luxury home buyers because it fits the mold of a refined home. It is not going to resonate with those buyers if the paint colors inside change from room to room and are reminiscent of trends that went by the way side and the carpet is stained. The disconnect between the intended message and what is actually happening are not going to lift buyer enthusiasm, but leave buyers hesitant to act. Or if they do act, they won’t act with the same gusto in the offer price they would if the intended message mirrored the non-verbal message a seller’s home is sending..

Listing preparation is where a seller’s intended message is edited to come through loud and clear. And when it comes to selling a home, the only way to achieve that is by de-cluterring, removing personal items, having fresh neutral paint throughout (preferrably professional painted with clean lines,) new carpet and rearranging furnishings to showcase the floor plan. Vacant homes will also do best with some light staging to help buyers visualize the space.

Of course, how to market to buyers is where a professional listing agent comes in. My job is make sure the non-verbal message of your home matches what you want your message to be. If it doesn’t, it will show in your offers. You don’t need to be a mind reader. Hire an agent well versed in the local market. This isn’t going to be your one or two deal a year agent. This is going to be a top producing agent with their finger on the pulse of the market. In Bristow and Gainesville, that is me. Get in touch for a no obligation market analysis that gives you an idea of your bottom line and how to best to increase it. If you don’t, you might as well be the deep thinker that wrote a song akin to poetry that will never be widely heard due to the overpowering music.

But the Neighbor Said…

But the Neighbor Said…

As a Top Producing Bristow Real Estate Agent, I can’t tell you how many times I have been involved in giving professional advice when my seller-client has let me know that the neighbor has graciously offered another opinion. These things happen out of a neighborly desire to help and to be the one “in the know.”

Real estate sales are always the source of natural curiosity. The comings and goings of neighbors often spark conversation. And just like the game of telephone we all played as children, the original message can be very distorted when handed down.

A great example is a seller I had counseled to take on some updates before listing his home. The neighbors saw him meeting contractors at the home, pulled him aside and advised him his agent may not be aware of the seller market conditions. They purported to KNOW that a neighbor on the next street over, with the same kind of home, had sold theirs”as-is” and for a higher price than the one my seller was likely to be hitting the market with. Needless to say, my seller got spun up about the situation and had a moment of second guessing my advice.

Over the years, I’ve learned that sellers aren’t going to absorb a word I say until I investigate the property in question, so I did. Turns out, the sales price was right on target. And the sellers in question did sell “as-is.” However, as the agent representing the transaction told me, “They sold as is because they had renovated the entire home in the last five years.” Getting into more detail, the updates these sellers did vastly outweighed what my seller was willing to do. Once the facts behind the neighboring property were presented, my seller was able to get back on track with what we had discussed.

Advertising a home in “as-is” condition is not a great plan if you want to get the highest price the market has to offer. As-is brings to mind a property with issues that makes people think nothing was done to the home and the next owner will need to deal with multiple issues.

Even in a seller’s market, the way to top dollar is building buyer enthusiasm. That still means preparing your home to be move-in ready for the next owners. You don’t have to renovate everything in your home, but you do need buyers to feel excited about your home when they see it online and in person. In general terms, new carpet and fresh paint go a long way to helping just about every home I have encountered. Of course, specific problem areas that could mean immediate expenditures for buyers should also be addressed for the highest level of buyer enthusiasm.

Combined with professional photography and top notch marketing that only an experienced agent in the marketplace can offer, a well prepared listing finds that that creating buyer enthusiasm is a breeze. Hitting the market is always in the best interest of getting the highest possible sales price. In the case of the neighbor’s property, they didn’t hit the market. The agent handling the transaction brought the buyers to the sellers. She told me if the sellers had hit the market, they would have made at least twenty thousand more.

The moral here is to take the neighborhood real estate gab with a grain of salt. When you hire me, I’ll track down the truth behind the neighborhood talk and help you set the course to pulling down the max the market will bear. Get in touch with me when you are ready to investigate the sale of your Bristow home.

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