You may think that selling your home is only about selling the home. It’s not. To maximize your selling price, it’s essential to create a perception of “Better Circumstances.”
When deciding how much to offer, homebuyers consider three factors in addition to the physical home; the asking price, time on the market, and the sellers’ reason for selling.
Buyers typically know your homes asking price before they look inside. Since most buyers don’t waste their time looking at homes they can’t afford, every buyer who looks at your home should be taken seriously.
Real estate agents often misperceive that buyers make offers on homes based solely on floor plan, decor and amenities. This is not true. Other factors weigh heavily.
Buyers rarely find the perfect home. They usually compromise. Buyers buy less than perfect homes if they’re motivated by close to perfect circumstances.
Perception of circumstances is critical to motivate buyers to make reasonable offers. Creating a scenario of positive buyer price perception can make a reasonable asking price seem like a bargain asking price. This should be your listing agent’s goal.
Time on Market
After price, the second question buyers ask is, “How long has it been on the market?” I won’t belabor this because I’ve written about it before. You should not allow your home to be thrown in MLS immediately after you list.
The MLS allows buyers (via their agent) to easily learn your homes days on the market. Buyers presume that a home with months on the market is overpriced, even if it’s not. Realtors should first aggressively market newly listed homes (to buyers and other agents) outside of MLS. It’s more work for your agent, but you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. MLS can always be a last resort. Tossing a home in MLS rarely generates showings that good marketing to every Realtor in the community won’t create.
Making time on the market not easily discoverable is a key to creating a perception of better price circumstances among buyers.
The third question buyers ask is, “Why are they selling?” In teaching home sales to Realtors across the country, I am amazed that more agents don’t intuitively know how important it is to have a compelling, well-rehearsed, “why” the sellers are selling story.
Buyers are more likely to make offers on homes when they feel the sellers are highly motivated and anxious to sell. That’s why it’s critical to take a seller’s reason for selling and build it into an accurate, but compelling story of urgency that reinforces why the listing price is such a good price.
Some sellers have a concern that emphasizing a strong motivation to sell might incent buyers to make a low-ball offer. It’s actually just the opposite if you do it correctly.
A seller’s “urgency for selling” story should not suggest that a buyer could pay less than asking price. Just the opposite. Your listing agent should stress your urgency to reinforce why your have priced your home so attractively. This actually motivates buyers to make higher offers.
It is your listing agent’s job to make your list price sound like a bargain price. Once again, the idea is to create an aura of better price circumstances.
The Bottom Line
Selling homes involves more than selling homes. The physical home is only part of a buyer’s decision-making process.
When your Realtor skillfully (and truthfully) creates an aura of better circumstances, this increases the probability your home will sell faster, at a higher price.