Ever heard the phrase “Hurry up and wait”?
How about the bastard cousin: “If you hurry up, expect to wait.”? Not as catchy?
Anyhow, the fastest way to sell a house is to slooooooow doooooooown and do it right from the beginning. A rushed job will NET you less and take 3 times longer to sell.
A month ago I was contacted by a seller that wanted their house on the MLS tomorrow!
In one day! Could I have done it? Could I have thrown it up on the MLS? Sure, but it would look like throw up, and that doesn’t sell… slowly. And no you can’t just put it up quickly and make it better later (I’ll explain later). So, I had to send her elsewhere…
Time and time again, the seller wants to have it sold yesterday. I don’t blame you! The process is pretty stressful, and the faster you can unload the property, the better, right? Here is where the counterintuitive part kicks in… you sell it FASTER if you give your agent, stager, and sometimes painters and photographers the proper amount of time to get everything done perfectly straight out of the gate.
- Put all of your efforts behind the first weekend LAUNCH!
The best way to sell a place is to have 2 offers. Yeah, maybe a bidding war will occur, but I’m talking about getting that extra nudge to make 1 of the 2 interested parties put in an offer.
The best way to do that is to:
a) have a delicious product.
b) compress most of your efforts into the first “launch” of your product.
Microsoft doesn’t release a new big software and THEN advertise slowly. They are like a fireworks display in reverse. They start with the grand finale. They have a HUGE media blitz up front. You need that for your home. (this is also one of the reasons why it hurts you to “try it” FSBO for a couple of weeks, you deflate the parade, read: Go FSBO! Save $20,000! Realtor Tells All!)
- List EXACTLY on Wednesday night or Thursday.
If your Realtor says “so when you think you wanna have your listing thingy up?” Please fire them and go to the phonebook and pick the first alphabetically listed agent, chances are, they will be better.
Why Wed/Thur? Email alerts for new listings are automatically sent around midnight to home buyers that have signed up through various MLS searching services. If you list on Friday at noon, everyone getting alerts at work will see them on Monday. After your “weekend launch!” If you list on Monday, the lead time is too long before the exciting weekend. You might have some interested parties, but why not compress the interest to a few days and make your house seem more appealing? Also sometimes you can kill your chances for a bidding war as those fast buyers tend to give Thursday deadlines, before the weekend push. So yes, given the choice to rush a listing in on Sat, versus waiting until the following Wed, I think waiting will sell your house faster! (Ok, maybe I’m a little too into the psychological science of selling, but I have seen it work)
Here are some made up stats of mine:
- 80% of your visitors will see your place in the first 10 days.
At any point in time there are a certain number of buyers waiting on the sidelines for a home to go on the MLS in a certain zip code. They have MLS email alerts set up. Once it hits, that backlog of buyers will see your house within the first 10 days. These are the best buyers since they probably have been looking for a while and are ready to act on the perfect house.
After those 10 days, traffic will tank. You might first blame the agent thinking that they have slowed down their marketing efforts, but that probably isn’t the case. Now you have to to wait for newcomers into the market. And the longer it sits, the higher the chances it will sit even longer!
- You only get 1 chance to impress!
If you throw up the listing and it has no photos, only a couple of photos, ugly photos, unstaged photos, the potential buyers will see your place and hit the delete button. Maybe only to reconsider you again when the next alert hits, your price drop (alerts are sent out for new listings and price drops).
- Sidetip: Never list “freshly painted” in your remarks.
Also people don’t like places that appear fixed up just for the sale. Why would you highlight “this place used to be a dump and a rental.” Instead, just let them come in and in their mind think “wow the former owner was meticulous.” Which scenario gives you a better warm and fuzzy? A good agent and stager will manipulate that feeling to the seller’s benefit. (all part of our master plan)
- Staging takes time! (see Bidding Wars? It’s The Staging Stupid!!)
While I used to think staging was swinging past Target and picking up $100 worth of junk and plastic flowers, it is so much more (and now I’m learning that there is a huge difference between a 2-day certified “stager” and a design degreed professional. It makes a difference, that difference nets you more. Blog coming soon.). Actually we recommend taking staging a step further and oftentimes undergoing light construction and repainting. Each house is different, but it takes time to do it right. Expecting designers to work their magic in one day would overflow mental institutions across America!
It takes some time to get things down right. Maybe a week, maybe two weeks or more, if we need to coordinate a team of workers to work on your house. Maybe one day there will be a drive through MLS service that can get the stager out to the house within the first hour, and the construction crew out by hour 3 and photography etc etc. (Sounds like a reality show to me: “Ready to Sell in 4 hours!”)
Oh and that seller that wanted the “rush job,” her place is still for sale, and she has already dropped her price $10,000.
Bottom line is, we understand that you want to sell it as fast as possible, but lets take a moment, breathe and do it RIGHT, Not RIGHT NOW! And net you more, and faster!
– Written by Frank Borges LL0SA- Broker/ Realtor FranklyRealty.com