Selling your house, even in a busy market like the one Roanoke has now, can be a trying experience. You've got a lot wrapped up in your house -- money, of course, but also emotion and memories. Add to that the stress of having strangers in and out, navigating negotiations with buyers and preparing yourself for a move.
A good Realtor should make selling your home easier. He or she will get to know the particulars of your situation -- how much you need to get out of your house, how fast you need to sell it and where you can and can't compromise. Your Realtor will act as your negotiator, advise you as problems arise and help you see the facts if emotions start getting in the way. With the right agent, selling your home should be a good experience.
But what if your Realtor is actually adding to your stress? What if you've signed a listing agreement, but now you're just not seeing eye to eye with your agent about selling your home?
There's a lot more you can do than throw up your hands and wait for the agreement to expire. Consider these tactics to improve your relationship with your Realtor:
1. Talk to your Realtor as soon as you start having concerns.
Realtors depend on referrals and word of mouth, so believe me, a good Realtor wants to hear from you as soon as possible if you're concerned about something or feel things aren't going well. There's a lot at stake here, so don't be afraid to approach your Realtor if you feel there's been a misunderstanding or you're not getting your needs met for whatever reason.
For example, if you're not getting feedback and quick responses to your questions, be sure to express that, as it's a huge part of client representation. (And if you don't get quick responses from the Realtor before you sign the contract, take that as an indicator.)
2. Talk to your Realtor about comparable properties.
If you're doubting your listing price -- whether you think it's too high or too low -- gather examples of comparable properties and their selling prices to present to your Realtor. Then allow your Realtor the opportunity to explain why the examples are or are not applicable and talk about whether or not you should make an adjustment.
Remember, there are lots of variables beyond size and numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms. A Realtor might price your home less than a comp because the comp has a better-located lot, more relevant upgrades or simply shows better than yours.
By the way, your Realtor should share comps with you after completing the comparative market analysis when determining your listing price. Be sure to ask at that time if you have questions about why the Realtor recommends a price that's significantly different from the sale price of another property. And if you're still not convinced, ask for a second or third opinion.
3. Ask for feedback from buyers.
If traffic is decent, but you're not getting offers, ask for feedback from buyers who have visited your home. This can be hard to hear, but it might be just what you need. It's possible that you and your Realtor have overlooked something that's been a turnoff for buyers.
Again, this is the sort of thing that your Realtor should be asking for anyway. Just make sure that feedback is getting to you so you can work with your Realtor to do something about it.
4. Work with your Realtor to jump-start your marketing plan.
Even when inventory is low, buyers are going to be most interested in the properties that get their attention. Ask your Realtor for some creative ideas to get your home in front of more people. This can be as simple as using additional signage or harnessing social media to spread the word. It could also be as significant as lowering the price a little and advertising the home as reduced.
5. Ask to be released from the listing agreement.
If your relationship has soured over the period of time that your home has been listed, ask for a release from the listing agreement and start interviewing other agents. If you're at the point of asking for a release, chances are that your Realtor is frustrated, too, and will grant the release in everyone's best interest.
6. Do your research and trust your gut.
The best way to ensure a good relationship with your Realtor is to be open and honest about your needs and expectations right from the beginning, and this starts before you ever sign the listing agreement. Ask for referrals from friends and family members, and ask the Realtors you interview for references. And if you just don't click with a Realtor, move on to the next interview.
If you have other questions about selling your home in this busy market, I'd be happy to answer them for you. Contact me anytime at (540) 793-0442 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to like my page on Facebook, where I share more tips for navigating market.