From a listing agent's perspective, who is your ideal seller/client?

Asked by Malya, 08863 Tue May 19, 2009

Trulia is an amazing resource. I am heeding the true professionals' advice and skipping over those who use public forums to vent their personal hostilities. Thanks to the former for your time.

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12
Catherine "C…, Agent, Metuchen, NJ
Tue Dec 15, 2009
Hi Malya,

Sorry to be coming a bit late...
In a nutshell, my ideal client is a VERY educated and informed seller. The more educated and informed and the more chance we have to go to the closing table.
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Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Tue May 26, 2009
Hi Malya, Jeannie Feenick back again - neatly stacked boxes in the basement are no problem. As to preference in showing a home vacant or furnished, as long as clutter and neatness is not an issue, I prefer to show a furnished home. Most buyers do have a problem envisioning scale and furniture helps a great deal.

I'm glad that we were able to be helpful - that is what Trulia is all about!

Best,
Jeannie Feenick
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Fri May 22, 2009
One that is responsive, responsible, and reasonable...the three R's.
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Malya, Home Seller, 08863
Fri May 22, 2009
Forgot to add that the house is clean, not cluttered, not odoriferous (animal or otherwise), and has nice curb and interior appeal. The only possible issue is color of the walls -- relatively new paint, but colors might not suit all comers. If we had a couple of thousand lying around, we'd get it repainted white. We don't have a couple of thousand lying around, so we'll gladly offer credit for paint.

Best,
Malya
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Malya, Home Seller, 08863
Fri May 22, 2009
Ms. Mitchell and Ms.Karen/Mr. John -- thanks for responding to my question. I happened to come across Trulia after listing our property for 2 months with an agent. How I wish I'd seen this site when first thinking of selling the property! There are so many things I wish I'd asked and established the optimal working relationship with the agent. My husband and I sought a professional because we value their knowledge and expertise. However, in terms of communication, Houston, we have a problem. All was sweetness and light prior to our signing the listing agreement. Things changed gradually.

I've never been called or e-mailed after a showing to be given feedback; the scant infomation I get is after me calling or e-mailing one week later to find out what transpired. I did write an advertisement to help with the marketing -- the agent seemed insulted, as if her judgment was being questioned, when that wasn't the case. Ditto with our asking for a prospective marketing plan. I did take photos and "stage" the house (thanks HGTV). I don't mind doing this, but all we get are generalities like "the market is slow" and "lower your price" to any questions. Yes, I don't have blinders on and know how bad the economy is. But, when even the agent's manager says our price is on track -- should we hold a fire sale? Frankly, this has been a wretched experience for a first-time seller. Who wants to second guess their agent or themselves? Who needs the stress? We aren't perfect people -- no one is of course. I'm trying my best to keep working with the agent and listening to her calls for patience. It's with the knowledge that there are good agents out there who know their field and want to help their clients that we're proceeding.

Thank you for your time.
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Karen Barrett, Agent, Angola, IN
Thu May 21, 2009
Love the internet and laptops except for the sensitivity of the skid pad and hitting submit before your done.

The ideal seller client is one that listens and asks many questions thru out the process. The seller knows that the home should be in MOVE IN condition for a buyer and ready to show with short notice, the seller should pre-inspect the property so as to pull the rug out from any buyer on discovering any defects and thus stopping any re-negotiations on an already existing accepted offer. The seller should be able to take criticism of their property. The seller should be easy to contact and should be willing to help the agent with marketing the home, I am not talking the costs, I am talking about helping to write the ad, or helping with some maybe summer photos when or if the home is listed in winter or vice versa, The seller is and should be and want to be part of the "Selling TEAM".
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Karen Barrett, Agent, Angola, IN
Thu May 21, 2009
Malya
I know that you had asked about your own property earlier having the many showings that you have had, and I too love the Trulia resource. The problem that I am seeing thru out this site is the fact that many of the buyers and sellers out there that are 'working' with a realtor, either do not trust their realtor for the advice and direction that they need, or they do not like their realtor, and that, quite frankly, is very disturbing to me. Quite honestly, I am glad that trulia is offering a place for people like you to go for answers. I am extremely disappointed in those realtors whose clients turn to the internet and seek out the answers or 2nd opinions that they seem to need.
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Margaret Mit…, Agent, York, ME
Thu May 21, 2009
Hi Malya - What a thoughtful question. My answer tracks a lot of the answers below.
My ideal Seller client:
1) Takes my advice. You are hiring my expertise. Why not use it?
2) Has the home accessible. Easily. Lets me use a lockbox. So I can put in the agents notes on MLS - easy to show, show on short notice.
3) Recongizes that the most important aspect of overall condition: clean. I mean really clean. How we live and how we sell are 2 entirely different ways of living. Anything less than scrupulously clean turns off buyers, even if they themselves are slobs.
These are the 3 aspects of my ideal Seller. Now my DREAM Seller will also:
4) Takes my minor staging tips.

IMO neatly stacked boxes are fine in the basement and garage. RE: vacant or w/ furniture - it all depends! In general, some furniture helps with seeing the scale of the rooms. When I sell my own home, I remove all clutter, all really personal items like knickknacks and photos, and quite a bit of furniture. It still has furniture but about 1/3 less than usual. Also, it depends on the furniture. Nice furniture will help to sell a property. Soiled, torn furniture would hinder a sale. If the furniture is in tough shape, I much prefer vacant.

With your insightful questions, you sound like the ideal seller to me!
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Malya, Home Seller, 08863
Thu May 21, 2009
Ms. Feenick, Mr. Sacktig, and Ms. Kimberly -- thank you for your terrific and detailed responses.

My husband and I are working with our agent and heeding her suggestions regarding pricing and presentation of the house. Definitely, we've already said goodbye to our place as far as not being tied emotionally to it. No worries if anyone were to criticize any aspect of it -- we are not our house, and we wouldn't take things personally. We've enjoyed our time in the house but know that it's time to (literally) move on. It's been a great home, but hopefully it will be someone else's in the near future.

After reading your comments, we'll make doubly sure to ensure the house is "showable" to prospective buyers. On two occasions -- a sick child and visiting relatives -- the house wasn't free to be shown. From now on, these will not be impediments. We'll go to a friend's house when the need arises.

Finally -- some further questions -- is a house better shown when it's empty or occupied? What's your preference?

Also, is it acceptable to have neatly stacked boxes in the basement? Not lying around in the house's living areas of course, but boxes which are there because we the sellers are moving shortly. Our agent says that it's okay, just wondering what your perspectives are?


Thank you for your time!

Malya
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Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Tue May 19, 2009
Hi Malya,

I couldn't agree more with the value of Trulia as a resource for sharing info and learning from one another.

From a listing agent point of view, sellers who listen and are prepared to act on the facts and feedback of the market are a particular pleasure with work - and also are far more likely to succeed in their quest to sell. It is so very hard to detach yourself from your home, but it is helpful to do so when you sell. Take a step back and look at your home through fresh eyes as a transaction rather than a beloved possession - consider it a means to an end - your ticket to the next phase of your life. Shift your focus - your gaze - in the direction you hope to go.

The ideal seller/client selects his/her agent carefully and then once that choice is made, listens and values the agent's input. I respect sellers who thoughtfully select their agent - and don't quite get it when sellers operate randomly.

Cooperation is key - the ideal seller embraces the process by making the home accessible and confidently showable.

And then once success is achieved, my ideal seller remembers to say "thank you" by providing a testimonial.

Good thread - thanks for kicking it off.

Best,
Jeannie Feenick
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
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John Sacktig, Agent, New Jersey, NJ
Tue May 19, 2009
The ideal Seller is a person that has done their due diligence.

I mean due diligence in all aspects of the sale of their home, from the selection of the selling Realtor to the wide eyed look into their own home and realizing internal faults. Such as not making the beds, vacuuming the rugs and having the home presentable for buyers at all times. Yes, at all times. I never want to hear.. can you tell them to come back tomorrow? Tomorrow never happens.

The seller needs to understand that real estate is local and the comps and current market in their area could be different then three towns north of them and it is possible that your neighbor’s house is better then yours and vice versa.

Being educated about the market is key. Being educated about your Realtor is also key.
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Kimberly "KI…, Agent, Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Tue May 19, 2009
Hello Malya,

Thank you for your question. From a lising agent's perspective my ideal seller/client is the owner of the property that will communicate without being hostile due to the market conditions. Take the information provided to them by the listing agent regarding the price and condition of the homes currently on the market with similar amenities such as location, bedrooms, baths, condition and lot size ect. competing with seller's property as well as what is currently under contract and sold within the last 4 months objectively. Understand that the prices of those home determines the pricing of the home going on the market.

When the property is on the market, make the home accessible, if agents can not get into to show the home, there are so many homes currently on the market agents will just pass up showing a home that is difficult to show.

Have the home ready at all times to be shown, clean, neat, landscaped and lighted. if the listing agent makes recommendation as to what would help, take the advice and get it done, like painting or removing some furniture.

When your listing agent presents an offer, do not get upset. Hear your agent out then give your concerns. Your agent should listent to you also. The buyer should be qualified and your agent should make sure of it. Lots of times the initial offer is a starting point to open negotiations. Negotiate wth the buyer through your agent. Don't just say no or no counter.

When you have a contract you agreed to, follow through, keep your end of the contract. If you signed the contract stating you were going to take care of things, do it in a timely fashion and have the home ready for the closing on the date you agreed upon. When a seller does not line up movers or make arrangements for the buyer to get into the property in time for the closing, that is frustrating to the buyer which trickles down to the listing agent.

Above all, keep in mind, not all agents are the same. There are good honest hard working real estate agents out there doing great jobs, wokring long hours, saturdays, sundays and holidays keeping thier clients best interest at heart.
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