SOLD! 5 days on market, over asking! Sounds great, doesn’t it? The seller was able to sell their property quickly AND received over the asking price. The listing agent was able to get the deal closed and only had to market the property for two days. Win-win for everyone involved right? WRONG! By accepting an offer so quickly, I am convinced the sellers could be leaving money and better terms on the table.
To start let’s go through the process of selling a home.
The home gets listed on a Wednesday. Through the power of technology, Buyers shopping for a home in that area are alerted immediately. Showings are scheduled. An open house is held over the weekend, traffic is great. There is a buzz, people are excited, and want to make that house their home.
The following Tuesday rolls around, offers are due. Several Buyers submit their offers and one is accepted. Three or four weeks later, the property closes and the Buyers move in and the sellers move on with their lives. Everyone is happy, right? The Buyers have their new home and the Seller has successfully sold their home. This sequence is hundreds of times each week, especially here in the Bay Area. In some areas this pattern is more common than others. Other times, a home does not even get to the open house and the listing agent and Sellers accept an offer beforehand. I believe this could be the wrong way to sell a home and here are some reasons why.
You are probably thinking, what do you mean? The house received offers and sold, right? Well yes, but I think you can do better.
What if you were a serious buyer but was out of town that weekend? What if you had a function you had to attend What if you had a sick baby at home? A lot of buyers work during regular business hours, and if they are currently living in a different city, traffic after work or the seller’s schedule may not allow for time to see the home.
After seeing a home, agents request the disclosure package to review. These disclosure packages are often hundreds of pages long. This information is a lot to digest in a short amount of time and home buyers, especially first-timers, have a lot of questions.
The vast major of home shoppers browse homes online before they are ready to buy. Many of these home shoppers visit open homes to get an idea of what is available. Home buyers go to open houses and fall in love all of the time. Then it becomes a mad scramble to find an agent, understand the process, get pre-approved, review disclosures, and submit an offer. Seeing a home on Sunday and getting everything to submit an offer by Tuesday is too much for some. The sellers would have missed out on great buyers by accepting an offer too quickly.
Getting a home ready for the market is a long and stressful process for everyone involved. The Seller’s lives are disrupted. Everything has to be put away including their belongings, and furniture in a lot of cases. The agent coordinates stagers, cleaning, photos, video, the property website, social media ads, and much, much more. This process often takes weeks to execute properly.
- Come up with a timeline and stick to it
- Make the home available for showings and at least TWO weekends of open houses
- Provide a FULL disclosure package will all seller disclosures, inspection reports, HOA documents (if applicable), and any other required documents.
- Review all offers at one time on a set date.
Why does this work?
Multiple offers – having the home on the market longer and allowing more people to view it will likely yield more offers. With more offers comes better terms and better price. It also allows you to be in a position of strength to negotiate better terms AND price. The buyers who submitted an offer knows there is competition and if they really want the property, they will come in with their best and often will be more aggressive. Combine this with the full disclosure package, including inspection reports from reputable inspectors, up front. We, more often than not, are accepting offers with ZERO contingencies.
While we aim for the full marketing cycle with each property we sell, we also understand it is not always possible. We have sold homes off-market or after just a few days because the situation dictated it. However, if you want maximum exposure and the best results, this is the route we would go.