As part of being a Jacksonville Realtor and home stager, my job is to set appropriate expectations for my sellers. when we sit down at the table to discuss listing their home, we discuss important aspects like price, neighborhood comps, condition, and staging recommendations. One of the biggest questions I'm asked is, "How long will it take to sell my home?"
Breaking down the comps, we can always see a trend. While there will always be homes that sit for an extended period of time, a market trend for their neighborhood will emerge. I've found, however, that no matter how you break this down the vast majority of sellers will end up with what I call SAS, or Showing Anxiety Syndrome.
What is Showing Anxiety Syndrome?
Let's say that the comps show that your neighborhood's average days on market is 30 days. We let the seller know that professional staging and photography along with proper pricing should help them beat the market comps, but that they should expect the time from listed to offer will probably take 2 or 3 weeks.
Suddenly after about 2 or 3 showings, probably by the end of the first week, the seller inevidably will come back asking us, "Why haven't we received an offer yet?" and "How much longer?"
You see, SAS always comes down to the fact that sellers never think that they'll be on par with market comps. It's much the same way that they feel that their home is worth more than any other home in the neighborhood.
home staging by Rave ReViews Home Staging
Creating appropriate seller expectations
Going back to that moment at the listing table, when they begin asking the question, "How long will it take me to sell my home?" I take a few moments to set appropriate expectations. I not only tell them what the market says, I tell them about Showing Anxiety Syndrome.
"Just to let you know, no matter how many days I tell you the average is, you'll ignore it. Every seller feels the same way. After each showing, you'll anxiously await the feedback from the buyer's agent. I can tell you that it will take 30 days to sell, but after only a few showings you'll begin to wonder what you need to do to make the home sell. Why hasn't it sold yet?"
By acknowledging SAS upfront, at the listing table, it gives me more room later into the listing period... and when I say later, I really mean a week or two from list date... to remind the seller that this will take time and that we are doing everything we can to create a beautiful, welcoming home for potential buyers.
I remind them of the steps that we've taken, doing all of the preparation prior to listing, including professional staging and photography. I remind them that we are priced correctly and reassert how long the market says it will take.
When the offer comes....
The beautiful thing is that when we do everything that we were supposed to do to get the home ready prior to listing, about 98% of the time we statistically beat the market. When the offer finally does come, the seller has been told that they will have to wait x number of days and now we are significantly less than that. I call this the Scotty effect.
In Star Trek (that's right, I'm a trekkie and not afraid to admit it), Scotty always told Jim that it would take significantly longer than it was really going to take. This created the sense that he was a miracle worker when he managed to accomplish the task ahead of schedule. (Which is great because in Star Trek the time he quoted means that either the ship, or the universe would meet with dire consequences.)
Managing expectations up front always reduces Seller SAS, creating a much smoother transaction, and ultimately a glowing review of your services.
Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging
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For more information on buying or selling in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, or Jacksonville, area, visit StageListSellNEFL.com or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at gmail.com), Keller Williams First Coast Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).