84% Recently Experienced Seller Regret

CNBC recently reported on a Zillow survey that was released at the beginning of the month. And, uh, it turns out that according to Zillow, which, you know, Zillow ticket with a grain of salt, right? But, uh, okay, let’s just, you know, go with it here. According to Zillow, 84% of first-time home sellers have regrets about the way their property was sold in the last two years.

According to the Zillow survey, the number one regret of first-time home sellers is that they did not have a winning pricing strategy. Actually, 39% of respondents stated that they did not know what a winning pricing strategy would have looked like. So I’m guessing what they mean is that they felt that by using the pricing strategy, they didn’t get as much money as they could or should have if it had a better strategy. Perhaps it took too long to sell, or perhaps it sold too quickly. And I believe that the reason many of these first-time home sellers felt they didn’t have a, uh, really good pricing strategy was because either A, there was no pricing strategy, or B, that strategy wasn’t clearly articulated to them by their REALTOR. I’m guessing it’s more like a, that there wasn’t a clear pricing strategy from the start.

Everyone wants to know…

Uh, and uh, that is one way to not have a winning pricing strategy. They simply do not have a strategy. Okay, so the second biggest regret that first-time home sellers expressed in this Zillow survey was that they ignored curb appeal. Again, they don’t say it explicitly in the Zillow survey, but 39% of respondents felt that way, that they might have had a better experience selling their property if they had better listing photos, or if they had a virtual tour. I’m not sure what their virtual tour has to do with, uh, curb appeal, but I think these days curb is more like what you see from your screen before you get in your car and drive over there laugh>.

So I think that’s a more modern, updated way of talking about curb appeal. But, yes, curb appeal is crucial. You must have good curb appeal. That is something I frequently tell my clients. It’s one of the first things that anyone will notice about your property. The first thing they will notice is the location. The price is the second thing they will learn. The third thing they’ll know is what it looks like. Uh, and so you really want to make sure that all three of those things work really well to get the buyer excited enough to come and see the property in person. And if you don’t do it correctly, you’ll get a lot fewer people interested in your property. Okay, so the third most frequently cited reason for having regrets about the way their property was sold was, and this one surprised me, bad timing.

Take all your equity when you move

Remember, this survey is from the last two years of sellers, and the last two years have been pretty good, minus the last nine months or so, which, you know, is a big chunk of, uh, of two years. But, I mean, this is how the market works, right? I mean, if you’re anywhere near the peak, which you certainly are, even if you sell today, your timing overall in the macro sense is actually pretty good. It’s extremely difficult to reach the market’s peak. And if you do, it’s mostly by chance. So, rather than bad timing, they had bad luck because they didn’t happen to hit it at the absolute peak of the market. I’m not sure. However, I believe that most people who have sold their homes in the last few years have done quite well in terms of timing.

Okay, so the fourth most frequently cited regret for first-time home sellers was that they neglected to make repairs before listing their home. They felt they could have gotten more money for their properties if they had done repairs before listing them for sale. Yeah, you think, you know, that’s not surprising at all because it’s a simple law of supply and demand that homes in good repair are in higher demand than homes that, uh, need a lot of work. It’s not the 1970s anymore. As if people don’t have a lot of time. People also lack a wide range of skills. They frequently lack the tools required to put their homes together, and outsourcing that work to someone else can be costly. It’s inconvenient and risky. They have no idea how long it will take or how much it will cost them.

People are willing to pay a premium for a house that is move-in ready because it eliminates the hassle and risk. Now, I’m not saying you have to make your house look brand new before putting it on the market, but guess what? That is what buyers want. Buyers want new homes, and they love new construction, but they rarely find it in their price range or in the neighborhood where they want to live. So the closer you can get your home to that, uh, new ideal home, the higher your sale price will be when you go to sell your property. So we’ve covered the four factors that caused 84% of first-time home sellers to express regret about the way their property was sold.

Your Customized Improvement Plan

And I believe it all boils down to one simple problem. That is, 84% of people chose the wrong real estate agent to help them sell their home. So, how did 84% of first-time home sellers end up choosing the wrong REALTOR? I believe the answer is very simple: most people use one of two criteria to choose which REALTOR they will work with in the sale of their home. The first criterion I’m sure most of them use is which agent charges the lowest commission. The second criterion is which agent promised them the highest possible price for their homes. These are the two most common mistakes that home sellers make when selecting a REALTOR to help them sell their property. And I understand why they make those mistakes because, of course, sellers are concerned with receiving the largest check at closing.

They want to make sure they get the most money possible. Of course, that is natural, and I want all of my clients to walk away with the most money possible. So let’s start with the commission by selecting a REALTOR based on how much commission they charge. That assumes that all of the REALTORs you’re considering will do the same thing. That, of course, is not correct. Every REALTOR has certain strengths and weaknesses, and one of the key weaknesses of a REALTOR is the inability to negotiate. And if your realtor can’t even negotiate their own commission, I have to wonder what kind of job they’ll do for you in negotiating the highest possible sale price for your home. You can’t buy the second one, in which the REALTOR promises the seller a specific spectacularly high price, unless that REALTOR also promises to buy the property if it doesn’t sell for that spectacularly high price.

And, of course, no REALTOR will make that promise. Now, I just want to mention that any REALTOR who tells a seller that they can get a specific high price, and if that REALTOR does not actually believe they can get that price, and hey, it happens, that is a violation of the REALTOR code of ethics, and you do not want to work with anyone like that. So, how should a seller select a REALTOR to guide them through the process of selling their home, which is likely to be the largest financial transaction of their lives? I feel like I should make a separate video just about that. But I don’t want to leave you hanging in a nutshell. You should select a REALTOR in whom you have a high degree of confidence will assist you in preparing your property for sale so that it has the broadest appeal to the greatest number of buyers and who can get you a tremendous amount of exposure for your property and bring in a large number of buyers, well-qualified buyers through your door and get you offers or many offers in a short period of time.

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About the Author
Seb Frey helps long-time Bay Area homeowners make their next move easily the next one yet. If you're looking for a minimum of hassle, maximum net cash on sale, and certain results, contact Seb today.