Common sense in Minneapolis Real Estate is like deordorant. The people who need it the most never use it.
Have you ever had the feeling that the home you are showing will not sell this week—maybe even in your lifetime? When showing Minneapolis homes in this current market, I often acknowledge to myself that something is really wrong with the picture. Perhaps pricing, appearance, and marketing are missing from the big picture? It's as though the home was listed without a marketing plan. Someone just placed a sign in the ground, hoping and praying for an offer!
The home could sell, but my experience tells me that the home has little or no chance of ever selling as it is currently marketed. Why is this? Inexperience or indifference comes to mind.
You cannot help but wonder is anyone advising the seller on the homes' appearance, pricing, or any other negatives impeding the sale of the home. What is even more interesting in this current market are the opportunities for listing agents coming to the table to clean up after an initial list agent couldn’t deliver.
What seems like common sense to the seasoned, successful Realtors out there can be foreign or seen as an excessive marketing plan to the novice agents all of which can be corrected:
WORKING REAL ESTATE FULL TIME
Minneapolis real estate cannot be worked part time. The competitive nature of brokerage is that you are dealing with other people's costly possessions! It is an issue of trust. So if you aren't giving real estate 150 percent attention, you need to move on.
In past situations when we represent Buyer’s we have had to pull double duty to get the deal closed. If you work another job, you better disclose it up front! The only person you are deceiving is yourself. Return calls in a timely fashion -- the same day, and update listing status changes in real time or have an assistant that can manage these tasks.
PRICING A HOME TO MARKET
A real estate professional does not list a home at any price the seller chooses. Some agents have started to simply list homes at the seller's price. They do not qualify the price. In these situations agents are merely buying listings!
Telling the seller a Minneapolis home is worth significantly more than the market value just to get listings. The only problem is that now the homes are not selling! We are still transitioning buyer to seller markets in many areas of the nation. If you are so sure the home will sell at the agreed upon listing price … then place in the listing agreement a clause that states, "At no time during the term of the listing agreement will you request a price reduction!"
IDENTIFY THE COMPETITION
Agents, take off the rose colored glasses, be honest and inform the seller of real current conditions for his/her home. Competition in price range: from new homes, current market inventory, market absorption rates, offered builder incentives, bonuses, upgrades, improvements, increased commissions and other incentives.
MOVE IN READY HOMES SELL
Cleanliness helps homes sell more quickly -- and at a higher price. Walk the entire property, and take notes! Notes are critical! I like to date the notepad, and have the seller initial it. If the home needs interior or exterior paint, carpeting, a new roof, or furnaces -- be sure that it is done. The current market is brutally competitive, buyer’s expectations are high and there are more goods available for buyers to pick and choose what they want to buy and they can be negotiated on the buyer's terms.
NEUTRALIZE THOSE COLORS
Neutral colors appeal to more people, so they have a greater chance of selling. Darker and aggressive colors tend to be more spatial and confining.
MAINTAIN THE EXTERIOR AND ENSURE CURB APPEAL
Buyers from all ages have been raised on a daily dose of HGTV. Nothing is worse to drive into a great Minneapolis neighborhood that the buyer really likes and pulling up to the house -- overgrown lawn and all.
Homes offered for sale where the lawn is not trimmed appear as "foreclosure bait!" The buyer will say, "Next!"
MAKE AVAILABLE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION
Voice mails and recording machines need to forward, or provide your assistants numbers where they can be reached IMMEDIATELY. Return all calls the same day. If you're going to work real estate, then be willing to do what it takes! Not too long ago a broker remarked to me that the frequency to which an agent answers their phone and follows up with voicemails is DIRECTLY tied to their sales volume. I couldn't agree more!
Ben Ganje + Partners
Professional Real Estate Services
As a Residential Realtor, Builder and Developer Specialist, we sell homes in and around Minneapolis, Edina, Lake Minnetonka and the surrounding areas in the Twin Cities.
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