Mar 7, 2010

Feedback - What EVERY home seller needs to know

Knowledge is power. And every seller needs the knowledge of what buyers think of their home.
I ask for honest feedback every time a potential buyer visits a property that I have for sale. And when I'm showing my clients homes for potential purchase, I provide feedback to the listing agent (if they ask for it).

Feedback is important. Its designed to help you sell your property. If you're a seller and 5 out of 10 feedback responses say that the carpet needs to be replaced, then guess what is keeping your property from selling? The ugly carpet.

Keep in mind that everyone has an opinion and while one family hates the kitchen, another loves it. But look for trends in the responses of potential buyers and agents who view your home. It should guide you as to how you compare to other homes in the same area and price range. Almost every buyer compares homes before buying and you need to know how you stack up against the competition. If you need to sell a house in this tough market, you need the feedback from buyers who are comparing your property with the competition.

Keep in mind that most people are polite and don't want hurt anyone's feelings. If the owner is present for the showing (or the property is for sale without an agent) don't expect honest feedback. Folks are just too reluctant to criticize the owner's personal taste. Instead of saying 'yuck, this carpet is hideous' they'll say 'it is not our style'. Fortunately, when agents know each other well, they'll give pretty honest feedback to each other.

If your property is for sale, get that honest feedback. Not everyone will give it, but you should insist that your agent gets responses from most showings. And don't be offended by it. If your late mother decorated or you spent hours choosing the cabinets that everyone hates - please realize that the comments are a reflection of what most buyers do and don't want. Take it with a grain of salt. Change what should be changed and do what it takes to get your property sold.

If your property has been on the market more than six weeks and you don't want to hear negative comments, then price it low enough that the condition won't matter. Find out what homes in your neighborhood are selling for per square foot and price it 15% less.

Honest feedback is your friend. And listening and acting on that feedback is crucial to making a sale.
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