TOP 10 REAL ESTATE SELLING FACTS & MYTHS
1STAGING & HOME PREP
Buyers will judge your home on what they see, feel, hear & smell. They will have a direct dialogue with the product only. If your house has not been prepped properly, you are leaving money on the table, or even worse, your property won’t sell. Ninety-nine percent of buyers have no vision!
2PHOTOS & VIDEO
All buyers will be using some kind of online resource to view your property. They will select properties to put on their “see list” based entirely on photography & videography. Professional photography is necessary whether the house is a one-room studio or a twenty-bedroom estate. The photos will only look as good as the house is staged!
3HIRE AN EXPERIENCED REAL ESTATE AGENT
You are not hiring the brokerage company! This is a technicality. A brokerage company is simply a “check the box” item. It will give you a baseline sense of reputation and has no bearing on the level of experience an agent has. All agents are independent contractors. There are many agents in today’s market that have very little to no experience. You need an agent with a minimum ten-year track record. There are 101 ways to get taken in a real estate deal. Rookie mistakes can be costly. Sometimes these errors can result in a buyer or seller losing tens of thousands of dollars. I can give you many examples in person.
4OPEN HOUSE SIGNS
Open-house signs are critical! Heavy signage creates noise. You want “real buyers” to see lots of activity while previewing your home. There is a stark difference between a buyer previewing a property quietly, versus a buyer viewing your property with potential competition. *Estate properties typically do not apply to this strategy, given that the buyer pool tends to be much smaller.
There is no such thing as a right price. An agent can offer comparable data that will give a general value range. The seller is the “Chairman and CEO” of the property. I have worked with sellers that will only sell; if he/she gets a magical number. This is a number based on the seller’s feelings about the property. I have worked with sellers who have major financial problems and must move the property quickly. I have worked with sellers that fall in between these two examples. Everyone is correct! The agent must provide the seller with a “pricing spectrum.” It is solely up to the seller to make the executive decision regarding price. The agent offers advice based on experience, but the seller must make the final decision.
In the last five to six years there has been an evolution in the residential real estate business. Given the competitive nature of the business, agents have clustered together to create teams. The primary reason behind this, in my opinion, is that it allows agents to co-op other agent’s listings & sales. There are a lot of smoke and mirrors here. For example, you may see a post on social media that says, “Sixty million sold in the first quarter.” Yet; what the consumer does not realize, is that this number is made up of ten different agent’s efforts. Sellers are told that teams better service their listings. This is not true. Typically, what happens in this scenario, is that a junior agent ends up showing the property and servicing the deal as a whole. Additionally, agents that are very new, claim sales and experience they do not have.
There are so many misconceptions about social media as it relates to real estate marketing. Social media is a fantastic tool; primarily for an agent’s brand and not for a client’s listing. Consumers who are “real buyers” are not scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube looking for listings. Online search tools have matured to such a point, that consumers know exactly where to view inventory in an organized fashion (Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc.). Additionally, real buyers are set up on automatic feeds from their respective agents. However, social media can be a nice compliment. A friend may spot a listing that appears on their feed and forward it to a friend, etc. This is the exception and not the rule! I have never sold a property to someone who says, “I saw your listing on Instagram” and I want to submit an offer. Ninety-nine out of a hundred instances, real buyers have been tracking new listings through an online search engine, or have been presented with the listing by their agent. Rarely, do real buyers stumble upon an unknown listing scrolling through TikTok.
Real Estate Influencers: These are individuals who have Instagram/YouTube channels that film various luxury properties around the world. Real buyers that are in the market for a fifty/sixty-million-dollar property, are not discovering them on these outlets. The average Joe follows these people for entertainment! The “Beyonce and Jay Z” types are not looking to these channels for information.
Followers: There is so much fraud surrounding followers. If you see an agent with fifty-sixty thousand followers, more often than not, these are fake followers. There are companies out there that you can pay to boost follower counts. These companies have millions of fake accounts, and with a click of a button, they can have an account followed by thousands of fake followers. Additionally, they can be paid monthly to like posts (this is unethical at best). You can spot a fake follower by going on to their account. They will have one or two photos and they are following several thousand people. These companies have gotten a little better and have put several random photos on an account to make them look more authentic.
Thousands of Followers: The only agents that might have hundreds of thousands of real followers, are agents that are on TV programs. This may sound impressive, but also does nothing to sell your property. These followers are typically there for entertainment value and are not in the market to buy a home.
8FREE FOOD AT OPEN HOUSES
Taco bars, burrito bars, broker parties, hand sandwiches, cookies, and sushi do not sell your home. Food can make your home messy and smelly at best. real buyers are on purpose! These tactics do not attract real buyers or real agents. They are looking for the right deal. Good sushi from Nobu will not get someone to write a check for five million dollars. The above does nothing, but make the seller feel good that the agent is somehow being creative. Ask yourself: “Am I going to see this property, because I understand it’s catered?”
9PRINT MARKETING IS DEAD
Ninety-nine percent of all buyers will get their information from an online resource: the MLS (Guest Access), Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com, Openhouse.com, private email updates, proactive emails from agents, etc. We advertise in print media, simply because it is still in the DNA of most sellers. I can tell you that the last fifty-plus deals I have sold did not come from the LA Times!
10NEGOTIATION AND TRANSACTIONAL COMPETENCE
It is critical that your agent is an expert in the following skills:
• gauge leverage and when to use it.
• create a sense of demand for your property.
• understand the different strategies to utilize in a multiple-offer scenario.
• understand and be able to distinguish strong buyers from weak ones.
• know the purchase agreement.
• how to properly draft a counteroffer to maintain leverage.
• have superior communication skills with the buyer/seller.
• how to reduce transactional liability risks.
The agent competency list goes on and on. It takes years to master this craft!