by Cindy King, for The Bulletin Special Projects
Your Realtor® may come out of the woodwork and ask you to perform one or more tasks that will make you scratch your head. They also may have some suggestions that make you go hmm? What do you do when they ask you to do some unfathomable feat, like completely remodel your kitchen within two months before they list your home? Here are some outrageous requests and tips on how to navigate them:
“Take all your pictures down and hide them away.”
I am asked this question more often than not. When I preview a seller’s home for listing, if there are so many pictures that even I have forgotten why I’m there, I will recommend removing at least 80 percent of the pictures. You need to pack them anyhow so why not get a head start? If you have trophy animals on your wall or on your shelves, remove most all of them if you can. Some people are very afraid of trophy animals and they will walk out of your home very, very quickly.
“Removing your pets for showings will put you at a great advantage.”
This isn’t outrageous – it’s actually true unless you own a cat who could care less when “company” arrives. Your friendly dog is usually not so friendly when strangers are approaching him. I showed a home recently where the Realtor® had to be present for showings to warn people to not approach the dog that was securely kenneled inside the garage! I asked her if she was there to convince those of us who love dogs that this dog doesn’t love people. She smiled and said, “Yes! People are ignoring the sign.” No one needs a bitten finger while touring a house.
“The Realtor® needs to be present for all showings.”
If your agent is suggesting this, perhaps your house is extremely unique to where the floorplan is disorienting, the area is dangerous or they need to explain the permitting process of your home project. If your home is fairly standard (not meaning plain or boring) but standard and you do not have any expensive artwork, gun displays or diamond-trimmed countertops, it’s usually safe and secure allowing access to the buyer’s agent and his/her clients. The buyer’s agent knows how to use their phone to ask questions afterword.
“Ms. Seller, your value is $525,000 but let’s pump it to $650,000 and see what happens!”
As I choke on my afternoon tea, I’ve seen and heard of this phenomenon called “wiggle room.” This, my friends, isn’t wiggle room. This is very likely an agent trying to buy your listing. It is completely outrageous for an agent to recommend you list this high above the market. I’ve heard of agents responding with a higher price when a seller tells them, “We don’t really need to sell,” but why overprice by this much? The Realtor® is doing you a huge disservice. Even in our strongest markets a seller can over-price their home and it could take years to recover. There are times when an owner feels their home is worth more than what the professional is showing. Feelings sometimes interfere with data, facts and numbers but buyers don’t base their decision on your “feelings.” They definitely don’t write offers if a property is negligently overpriced. If after reviewing the market data with your Realtor®, and you think your home is still undervalued by the agent, consider if your emotions or your family memories are vying for your attention.