I'm an identical twin so the concept of cloning is a fact of nature I've lived with my entire life. However, when it comes to the world of real estate, Buyers and Sellers aren't sheep, they're uniquely different individuals; a quality that makes our jobs both more interesting and more challenging at the same time. Turns out, that people are highly complicated beings, which means that EVERY transaction is an opportunity for growth (and Jill, Sarah and I certainly grew a lot in 2021)!
With all due respect to the Myers-Briggs "16 distinct personalities," (and sheep), when it comes to real estate, I'd say home sellers fall into two main categories: those who like to micromanage the process, AND those who don't.
Guess which sheep (I meant Sellers) have the easier journey?
With the clear understanding that this is your house, your risk, and your reward, and with first-hand knowledge of just how satisfying it feels to attempt to control the home-selling process (Or our kids, OR life in general, OR the Universe for that matter), it's important to understand that the work we do on your house tends to progress more easily - and far more rapidly - when you follow our lead.
Having said that, we recognize how difficult the concept of letting go is. Even so, every once in a blue moon, we are hired by Sellers who relinquish control almost immediately and move straight into faith and trust. Gratefully, we're working with several such Sellers now.
"Once we sign the listing agreement," the ladies warned, ""the house is all yours!" (Thank you.
Don't forget to leave us a hose and a few checks for the inspections.)
True to their word, they meant it, including letting us set a price we believed would garner the greatest response. Long story short, this house has received more attention than any property we've ever represented, and come Tuesday, we expect offers in the double digits, Stay tuned.
It doesn't hurt that the house transformed beautifully, features three bedrooms and three full baths, offers several additional plus spaces for home offices and such, and has a large sunny rear yard. Moreover, there are few competing properties on the market this time of year, loads of pent-up demand, and the very real threat of rising interest rates in 2022 spurring Buyers to hit the ground running. In short, these dream Sellers let us go to town with nary a comment, and trusted the market to do the rest . . . .
Ladies, can I clone you?!?
Unfortunately, here's where the other 95% reside:
"But we just painted a few years ago, and we worked with a very expensive designer on the colors." (Got it, but the choices we make reflecting our own taste are decidedly different than how we appeal to a broader population.)
"We liked having carpet in the bedrooms; it's softer on the feet." (No doubt; however, I assure you, prospective Buyers will prefer the hardwood floors beneath.)
"Do you really think we need to fix x, y and z? (Yes, we really do, or we wouldn't have mentioned it.)
Please understand that we aren't criticizing or judging your house; we're trying to get you the biggest bang for your buck. The reality is that the more you object, the more you resist, and the more you tie our hands, the tougher the task becomes, which only hurts you in the end. Frankly, once we've closed escrow, we'll be moving on to the next project, irrespective of the results, although we're always aiming for a BIG win.
Here's the thing, Realtors are paid on commission; consequently, the more you profit, the more we do as well. In other words, it's in BOTH our bests interest to sell your property for more - not less. We're not making recommendations haphazardly; we actually know what sells best, and why. Keep in mind we've sold hundreds of homes and spent countless hours at Sunday Opens overhearing the comments of engaged Buyers. We also rely on data analytics to show who clicks on what, and how often. (It truly is a whole new virtual world out there.)
Unfortunately, we also know the pitfalls and hurdles of selling homes as we've run into more Seller objections than naught throughout the years. Setting aside disclosure issues (and please don't fudge the disclosures - they are legally binding documents!), the presentation of your property, its "wow" moments, and its curb appeal are what draws Buyers in, or stops them at the curb. And because ONLINE marketing drives the level of interest (not print), how a house photographs is EVERYTHING! In short, we're curating a dream vision and we need your permission and buy-in to let us do that.
"You want to do what? I don't think so. We spent a lot of money on those vertical blinds, they're custom made, and the Buyers will want them." (Uhh, probably not, but we'll keep them in the garage just in case.)
Seriously (and I mean this respectfully), do you really care about the blinds now that you are selling the house and moving on? (Hint: the correct answer is "no.")
In my experience, when Sellers struggle to let go, it's NOT the blinds, the carpet, or the color we painted the front door . . . it's usually underlying fear and anxiety. Granted, the unknown makes for some powerful emotional responses that we should, and must, acknowledge.
However, fear, anxiety, stress, ego, pride, etc., never, ever improve the course of events. They do however, tend to get in the way of logic, reasoning, and common sense. So yes, go ahead and recognize these negative thoughts for what they really are, and then firmly kick them out the door and on their way. (Not that I'm superstitious but karma is part of the process too.)
While we acknowledge this is your house and you know it better than anyone else, therein lies the problem - most of us are too close to our own homes to look at them "objectively." Here's where you need to step aside and trust the shepherds you've hired to expertly guide the process, to understand the lay of the land, and to steer a course that best serves your goals.
Still, if you insist on breaking away from the pack, and going against our advice, we CAN sell your home "as is," but I guarantee you, it won't have the same result. Ultimately, the choice is yours to make, but I strongly encourage you to take the easier path.
We promise to keep the wolves at bay.
How can we help you?
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 17 years and has published more than 650 essays. She is also a frequent contributor to the Sound Off column in the Real Estate section of The San Francisco Chronicle.