Delivering the Bad News
Isn’t it more enjoyable when you get to deliver the good news? “Full price offer for your home with no contingencies!” Those conversations are the best and usually the easiest ones to have.
Many times when you are hired to do the job of marketing and selling a home, you have some bad news that must be delivered. I’m talking about the bad news when you wish you could just state the obvious, “Your home is a pig sty. Clean it up.”
Ain’t no Replacin’ Honesty
Honesty is always the best policy. When hired as a Seller’s Real Estate Agent, you are hired to be a professional lacking nothing when it comes to honesty. It will not be in anyone’s best interest to have a house that sits on the market because an agent wasn’t willing to advise the sellers of what needs to be done before the house hits the market.
Prepare for the Worst
Depending on the client, sometimes it helps to set them up first, “I’m getting ready to deliver some news that will be hard to hear. I realize this is your home, but I’m here to tell you what needs to be done to not only be a house for sale – but get it sold.” Most recently, I joked around and used Twitter, “At seller’s house for my inspection before listing….he says ‘Don’t be rough’ Think I should be?” (Then I text messaged my seller to read it). He responded @KimWood do your worst! I’m sure he can take it. (It was my way of setting him up.)
The List Delivered
When you go over each item, don’t fluff anything – be honest and straightforward based on facts.
- The front door needs a face-lift, why don’t you throw on a coat of paint and get new hardware.
- It is difficult to look at the house with all of the ‘stuff’. You might consider getting a storage unit and filling it. Keep what you need for a temporary vacation home.
- I love to see your family pictures and the memories you’ve made here. If you want to leave one or two, that is fine, otherwise, they all need to be put away.
- You may want to hire a professional carpet cleaner, if they can not get all of the high traffic stains out – I’d recommend replacing it.
- There is a basement odor, I know you keep the litterboxes down there. Strong scents whether good or bad are a major ‘turn off’ for buyers. It needs to be neutralized.
- I’m sure you probably haven’t noticed it anymore, but all of the doors having holes from being kicked in speaks to a buyer, “needs work”, it’s worth it to replace them.
Keep it Respectful
Whatever issues need to be addressed in order to sell the home under the provisions the seller desires (time, money, condition) it is the real estate agent’s responsibility to communicate the issues honestly whether it is hard or not. Just tell it how it is with respect and professionalism.
image courtesy of flickr