Agents and sellers across the country are singing “Happy days are here again.” Why? Because in many markets the tides are turning. Skittish buyers are exiting the fence, lending rates are still near historic lows, and typically spring is primetime for those who are finally ready to list.

Unfortunately, when market factors start to feel like magic, too many sellers fall prey to the risk of thinking homes just “sell themselves.”

Here are five potholes you and your sellers, literally, can’t afford to stumble into this spring:

1. Demand “Dumbification”

Yes, I just made the word up, but the complex is real. It’s bad when a client can’t see beyond their emotional attachment to a home. It’s even worse when your sellers ignore the facts about what’s making today’s buyer’s fall in love.

According to a recent National Association of Home Builders survey, the top features that will help your home compete with new listings that are hitting the market are:

  • Walk-in Master closets
  • Energy efficient windows and appliances
  • Laundry room and
  • “Great” rooms that are multi-purpose for the family

Instead of highlighting key features like these, many time sellers just want you to focus on emphasizing the features that mean the most to them.

While your seller’s pay you to stay in touch with the latest real estate trends, like these, it can pay for you to pass the information on when making staging and renovation recommendations.

2. Over-Meditation

Spring buzz means busy buyers who are looking to make a move fast. Long before an offer, buyers deliberate on which home is their best choice. And, while your listing may be option one; remind your sellers that there’ s always an option two, three, and four who are ready to close now.

That means you and your sellers need a selling plan. Sit down and discuss important questions like these to prepare for likely scenarios:

  • What is your ideal sale price?
  • What is the lowest price you’re willing to accept?
  • What repairs, improvements, or concessions are you willing to make?
  • What other important factors, like closing date, are high priority for the transaction?

Knowing and documenting these answers up front can save a lot of time during negotiation. Ensure your sellers don’t end up with withdrawn offers over something as simple as a slow or an unreasonable response. In this market, the best way to negotiate is to think ahead.

3. Hidden Gems

After living in a house for 20, or even three, years sellers can forget some of the most important reasons they love to call the place home. These missed selling points can make a real difference in moving a home in days verses months. To jog the sellers memory and make sure you have a full list of selling points to share on Trulia, social media, and everywhere else you advertise,

  • Have your sellers complete this free Survey for Home Sellers,
  • Ask the sellers to have friends and family e-mail you one-thing you like about the home, and
  • Make your sellers take you on their own personal showing where they try to sell you a home.

Yes, these things take time but they could save you a lot of work when it’s time to put together online listings or other collateral.

Related articles about working with sellers:
 
Free Guide for Sellers: How to Get to Sold
 
Top 10 Home Improvement Myths Sellers Need to Know
 
The 3 Summer Sellers You Need to Know
 

4. Un-Staging

We led off this year with a 25 percent surge in visits to real estate websites across the nation according to a recent Inman News article. That makes every piece of online listing content even more valuable and important.

Online shoppers want to see themselves in a home; and let’s face it, imagination is easier when someone else does the work. Help your sellers see the benefits of staging by

  • Taking them to well-staged homes,
  • Clicking through photos of other blank rooms online, or
  • Showing off your past staging talents with your portfolio.

You know that a few small tweaks can make a world of difference when trying to get buyers to see the potential in a home. Help your sellers see the light and avoid being edged out by the competition because they didn’t make the effort of proper staging.

5. The Sure Shot Mindset

Yes, spring is typically a hot season when it comes to home sales. However, this year hasn’t shown to be the magic turnaround some were hoping.

According to Trulia’s Chief Economist, Jed Kolko, “Spring home buyers might be surprised that national housing data have pointed to a recent market slowdown…nationally new construction starts and existing home sales have been sluggish.”

In fact, the National Association of Realtor’s March Home Sales Report showed existing home sales were almost flat from February to March.

The sure-shot mindset that a home is “guaranteed to sell” this spring is probably the most dangerous of the potholes. The truth is, a home sale isn’t a guarantee until buyers have closed and have the keys. That means sellers need to be prepared to compete in every way possible including making renovations, being flexible with showing times, and doing whatever else you advise to move their home into a new buyer’s hands.

Tell us! What are some big spring seller mistakes your clients have made?