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Blog: Tips for Sellers

Know Why You are Selling

If you know exactly why you are selling then it is easier for you to follow the right plan of action for getting what you want.

If you are a seller who needs to close a sale as quickly as possible, then you should know that getting the highest price possible is not one of your priorities. It does not mean that you won’t or cannot get the highest price, but it means that the price is not the deciding factor. A buyer who can give you a quick closing time will appeal much more to you than a buyer who can offer you more money but the negotiation and closing time drag on.

It’s always good to know how low you will go in terms of selling price. This will help to eliminate some of the offers that you find simply offensive or ridiculous. Even though you should consider all offers seriously and take into consideration the terms of each offer, sometimes, if you know the bottom line and are strict about it, you can save yourself time.

Once you know what your limits and reasons are, discuss them with your agent so that they can help you set your goals realistically. If you decide to list your home on your own, make sure you do research on the current market, and you get the proper advice you need in terms of legal issues, etc. The key is to be realistic and to know what your goals are so they can be met.

Considering Offers

When reading an offer, keep in mind that you are out to get the best price AND the best terms for you. If you focus solely on the price, you may overlook terms that could be favorable to you as a buyer.

Some terms that may work in your favor:

  • higher-than-market-interest in a second mortgage for your home
  • the buyer will pay for most or all of the closing costs
  • the buyer will take care of any repairs
  • quick close - the buyer is pre-approved and ready to close in a timeframe that best suits you
  • all-cash deal

When reading through offers, remember to look at the whole package. Take the time that you need to assess what is being offered and if it meets your needs.

Setting the Price

The price is the first thing buyers notice about your property. If you set your price too high, then the chance of alienating buyers is higher. You want your house to be taken seriously, and the asking price reflects how serious you are about selling your home.

Several factors will contribute to your final decision. First, you should compare your house to others that are in the market. If you use an agent, he/she will provide you with a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis). The CMA will reflect the following:

  • houses in your price range and area that were sold within the last half-year
  • asking and selling prices of houses
  • current inventory of houses on the market
  • features of each house on the market

From the CMA, you will learn the difference between the asking price and selling price for all homes sold, the condition of the market, and other houses comparable to yours.

Also, try to find out what types of houses are selling and see if it applies to your area. Buyers follow trends, and these trends can help you set your price.

Always be realistic. Understand and set your price to reflect the current market situation.

What is a Short Sale Anyway?

An increase in foreclosure rates will inevitably bring with it an increase in short sales. But what is a short sale?

A short sale happens when you sell your house for less than your remaining mortgage balance, the proceeds of which go to the lender and in return the lender forgives the remaining balance. Selling your home as a short sale is one way to avoid foreclosure.

As a general rule, lenders lose money when they foreclose on a property. Consequently, they would rather not have to foreclose if it can be avoided. A short sale represents an opportunity to cut their losses because a short sale usually allows them to recoup more of the cost of the loan than a foreclosure process would.

However, don’t think that a short sale is an easy thing to accomplish. In order to get permission for a short sale, you must provide documentation showing a genuine financial hardship. And don’t think that the decision for accepting a short sale is solely in the hands of the lender. Sure the lender must first agree, but this is not the final word. If there is mortgage insurance involved, this company also gets input on the decision. If there is an investor backing the mortgage, they also get input as to whether to accept a short sale.

The transaction process for a short sale can be rather cumbersome as well, whether you’re on the buying or selling side. Many short sales fail due to additional demands by the lender, such as requiring the broker to reduce his or her commission and/or that the seller signs a document requiring him or her to pay back the shortfall.

If you’re on the selling side of a short sale, consider having your agent or other experienced professional negotiate with your lender for a better deal. And remember, if the lender does accept a short sale and forgives part of your debt, that is considered taxable income and you must declare it as such to the IRS.

Getting the Highest Price in the Shortest Time

In order to get the highest price in the shortest time, you need to know how to market your home. The better you market your home, the more offers you will get. And the more offers you get, the more choices you have to get the price and terms you want.

The most important factor of marketing your home is pricing it right. Your price should be adjusted to reflect the market and your property’s worth. The key is to get as many people as possible checking out your fairly priced property. If your property is not priced fairly, there will be no buyers because your price is set too high.

Another important factor is the condition of your home. Make sure that your home looks ready to be sold. Fix any defects (peeling or faded paint, cracks, stains, etc.) Condition alone can sometimes prompt fast buying decisions. Not only should you fix any defects, but consider upgrading your home by making major repairs and cosmetic improvements before selling. A nice looking home triggers the emotional response that can lead to a financial response.

Learn how to negotiate the best terms for all parties involved. Terms are another factor that may be adjusted to attract buyers. If you insist on getting your asking price, think of what you can offer to the buyers. For example, improvements you’ve made or even offering seller financing at a lower than market interest rate on a portion of the sale price. Convince them why they should be paying the price you have set.

Lastly, get the buzz out about your home. List your house with a hot agent that ensures your house is listed on the MLS and on the Internet. On your own, get the word out. It should always be visible to passersby that your house is for sale, whether it is through signs, local advertisements or you telling friends, family, and acquaintances.

SOLD…It’s all about Marketing and Price

The words we all want to hear is It’s Sold…It’s all about marketing and price.

In every real estate sale the price is ultimately the owners choice. If you have a sellers agent working for you, they should provide information and documentation to help educate you about market conditions and home values so you can make wise choices.  If you have hired a transaction broker all I can say is I’m sorry, they are not allowed to give advice or opinions.

The agent is responsible for the marketing of your property.  It is about more than just putting it in the MLS and sitting back and waiting for it to sell.  If that is their plan you have chosen the wrong agent. You need to make sure and discuss with them what their marketing plan is? What are they going to be doing for you?

97% of People see their future home on the internet 1st. This is where you need to impress the buyers, 1st impressions are made on the internet, your pictures better be good, your remarks need to describe the property accurately and rooms sizes are important to many buyers.  Most buyers who are scheduling a showing on your home have already decided they like it, now they are coming to rule it out.  Make sure whatever you do, do no over sell the house, you never what the buyer to be disappointing when they walk in your door. We strive to use our marketing to entice the buyer to come and look and at the same time we make sure when they arrive they are happily surprised.

We would love to apply for the job of representing you and getting your home SOLD…It’s all about Marketing and Price.  Since this is the Internet we cannot put all our secrets on here but we would love to share them with you at your kitchen table.  Let us know if we can help you.

Gwen Chambers  Selling Missouri Homes since 1993

Listing Agent Should Not Be Present For Home Showings

It is usually not a good idea for the listing agent to be present when the Buyers agent is there representing their buyers.

Look at the scenario from a buyers perspective and you will understand why the listing agent should not be present for home showings.  If you yourself were going to look at a home that you were considering buying would you really want the agent that is representing the seller overhearing everything you have to say?  I do not think so! Besides the fact that you feel like you are being spied on, ultimately too many agents showing the property can feel intimidating and sometimes a little overwhelming.

I have been selling homes since 1993 and I can tell you from my experience that buyers will spend less time in a home when the sellers agent and or seller are present.  If you want the buyer to fall in love with your home the listing agent should not be present for the home showings.  Many sellers are just uninformed and want their agent be present but that has proven to be a deal killer many times.  The real negative is the buyer cannot speak freely about things they like or dislike with the agent whom they trust and have a relationship with.  The showings are usually shorter when the listing agent or seller are present because the buyer does not feel comfortable, it’s hard to hang out in a house with the opposition.  Just in case you are unaware, the longer the buyer hangs out in the home the better chance you have of them wanting to buy it.

There is a simple solution to this problem.  As an agent for the seller it is our job to educate them and explain to them that by being present for all showings we are actually not representing them very well.  If we explain that it ill hurt the showings most sellers can understand that.   The Buyers agent is also a licensed professional and are bound by all the same laws as the listing agents are. The buyers agents have the same responsibility of protecting the property and it’s contents as the listing agent does.  If the property is vacant and you are concerned about the property being locked up properly you can always ask your listing agent to check on the property (after the showing time) to make sure everything is secured. The Buyers Agent does have the same responsibilities to make sure everything is locked up and left in the same condition as it was when they arrived as the listing agent does.

I know may agents and sellers say well that is how it has always done it, but in 1995 when Buyers Agency became a law it changed how properties should be shown.  It is not only wrong it is an ethics violation for any agent to get involved in any conversation or relationship that another agent has with their client unless the client initiates the conversation. The listing agent putting themselves in the middle of a Buyers Agents showing of a property is not the client initiating it.

If the listing agent is also representing the buyer as a dual agent or transaction broker that is a different story that makes the situation acceptable.  By all means if the Buyer has a buyers agent there is no question the listing agent should not be present for the home showing.  The moral of this article is too many people can be overpowering and usually does not get us the results we are looking for which it a Sold Property.

Think twice before you insist that your listing agent be present for all showings. The secondary problem with this is now not only do we have to coordinate times for the showing that are convenient for the buyer, the buyers agent and the seller, now you will need to come up with a time that works for the sellers agent also.  In Southern Missouri I have had multiple times when the sellers missed showings (possible sales of their property) because the listings was not available when the buyer and buyers agent wanted to view it.

The real moral is let the buyers agent do their job without interference with the listing agent. The listing agent should be marketing the property to attract more buyers the buyers agent should be the one’s to sell the property.

Gwen Chambers Southern Missouri Homes and Farms Listing and Marketing Specialist

Motivated Buyers Buy Year Round

Spring is not always the best selling season, motivated buyers buy year round.  Relocating Buyers buy when the job changes, which happens a lot of times around the new year, or when they retire which is also a new year thing.  Homebuyers with children like moving at the change of the semester after the Christmas break.

Start your Search today!

In 25 years of  Selling Missouri Homes 11 of those years, December & January were my most productive months.  That alone tells me people still purchase homes when it’s cold outside.  I have waded through deep snow and skated on icy sidewalks many of times while showing a property.  I can tell you the clients who were following me in those homes were highly motivated buyers.  I am pretty sure one of those times it was a full-scale blizzard (or at least a Missouri blizzard).

The positive for buyers is the sellers have fewer buyers looking so they are sometimes more motivated with price reductions especially if they have been on the market for a while. Of course for sellers, the positive is the buyers have fewer homes to choose from (less competition)  because many sellers take their homes off the market in the winter.  Motivated buyers buy year round so if you are a seller and you want to sell I would always advise you to keep your home on the market through the winter.  You never know when that buyer that is going to fall in love with your home, comes along and you don’t want to miss them.

West Plains Real Estate with Real Results

What does West Plains Real Estate with Real Results mean?  It means we do what it takes to produce Results for you.  We do what it takes to attract the buyer who will be willing to let go of their cash for your property.  We do what it takes to get your property SOLD.  We do what it takes to get you the best deal for your situation. We do our  Real Estate business to produce Real Results for you.

West Plains Real Estate with Real Results

When that time rolls around and it’s time to move everyone is looking for an Agent that they believe will do West Plains Real Estate with Real Results. We at Southern Missouri Homes and Farms strive to offer just that.  As we have all experienced not all Lawyers are the same ( I’ve met a few bad ones)  not all Doctors really care, I’ve met Teachers that don’t like kids and I’ve met Real Estate Agents that don’t care about anything except their paycheck.  Every field has a few bad apples and none of us enjoy that experience if we end up with a bad apple.

We will tell you what you need to hear (not always what you want to hear) and we will continue working until your home is SOLD

List your Missouri Home in the Fall

Here are 10 Reasons to List your Missouri home in the Fall

This is just a little Myth-busting, so many people believe that homes only sell during the Spring and Summer months.  I am here to tell you that is not completely true.  Missouri has 4 seasons which many people enjoy and appreciate. So here is a list of 10 reasons why you should list your Missouri home in the fall.  Just remember every season has its benefits to list your Missouri home.  Give us a call and we can share with you the benefits of every season in Missouri.

  1. Missouri is Beautiful in the Fall; Curb appeal is great and our Missouri landscapes turn into a vibrant canvas of warm colors.  It is a great time for those professional photos and drone video’s which make your home stand out from the crowd.
  2. Demand is still strong;  There are many who are planning to transfer from out of state our out of the area and they are planning to move during the Christmas break. It’s a good time for job changes with the start of the new year and the 2nd best time for school changes with the break in the semester.
  3. Fewer Competitors; There are not as many homes on the market so buyers have fewer choices.  It is much easier for your home to stand out when the inventory is low.  This is many times a result of (agents wanting to take time off) so they convince sellers it’s not a good time to sell.
  4. Buyers have fewer distractions; The children are back in school and Mom & Dad finally have a little free time to start dreaming, planning and house hunting.  Buyers spend a lot of time outdoors during the spring and summer with weekends spent at the lake, horse shows, camping hiking and all sorts of outdoor activities, which cause a lot of distractions and make it hard to focus on the task at hand.  Buying a home.
  5. Buyers are more motivated;  Buyers have the extra motivation to find their home in the fall to avoid that winter move but are usually prepared if it takes that long. They are usually not just lookers (which is what a lot of springtime buyers are doing, just looking)
  6. No one wants to move when it’s too hot;  Our Missouri summers can be brutal and moving in the fall can make a normally hot and sticky situation very cool and comfortable.
  7. Homes show great during the holidays; nothing makes a home feel warmer than the aroma of fresh baked goods (which happen more in the cooler months) and of course holiday decorations.
  8. Buyers spend more time online: Internet use goes up during the fall & winter as our days get shorter.  While the Buyer is scrolling around dreaming of a home purchase wouldn’t it be great if they stumbled across your home.
  9. Buyers are typically more emotional during the holidays; and what better time to have your home on the market so an emotional buyer can make an emotional decision.
  10. We still work:  Unlike many agents, we work year round. We do have a little more time in the fall & winter months which works out well for you with added customized advertising, marketing, and attention. Typically the fall & winter transactions are smoother.

If you have tried selling your home in the past and di not get the job done, this article Listing Expired may also help you.

Don’t let a myth stop you! List your Missouri Home in the Fall, we believe you’ll be surprised by the results.  If you are considering listing your home or farm in the near future give us a call and we can help you sort through any questions you may have and help you make a plan.  We promise you that we will not pressure you to sell before you are ready.

Want to know a little more about us, just give us a call Gwen Chambers 417-712-0077

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