Tempted to spread the word quietly?
You’ve probably seen realtors who install their for-sale signs well before inputting the listing onto the MLS. Their intent is to hoard both sides of the commission, not to sell for top dollar.
The ‘pre-marketing’ of a home diminishes the urgency, which is the vital ingredient to selling for top dollar.
To create maximum urgency, surprise the marketplace with a hot new offering that is decked out, priced right, and easy to see.
Urgency is a selling tool – it gets buyers to make a decision now, instead of hesitating. But any premature leaking of the opportunity drains the urgency. Why? Because there is no fear of loss.
If the home isn’t on the MLS/open market, then buyers won’t feel like they have to decide today. Given the chance to hesitate, buyers almost always will. If they don’t, it’s because the price is less than top dollar.
Other ways to stick a dagger in a top-dollar sale:
1. Letting buyers see the house while under construction. Buyers are looking for ANY reason to pay less, and they focus on everything that isn’t fixed. In addition, the house won’t have the ‘clean’ smell.
2. Not having a specific price. If you are vague about price, buyers will hesitate. If they do offer first, it will be their price, not yours, and one that makes them comfortable.
3. Bluffing about the comps. The most-motivated buyers are experts on recent sales nearby – and have probably seen more of them than you.
4. Not paying a commission. Always offer to pay a full commission to the buyer’s agent. Why? Because if they have an agent, then it doesn’t get messy for the buyers to figure out how to include them. If they don’t have an agent, then it gives them an obvious amount to discount off the price. Buyers want to offer less, but are typically unsure of an exact amount. Giving them an easy way to knock off a little is smart, especially if it doesn’t affect your bottom line (you already added the commission on top of your price, right?).
5. Letting them leave the house. If you are pre-marketing the home, both sides figure that the decision-making will be sometime in the future. Buyers will either cool off, or disengage altogether as time goes on. If you hear yourself say, “Let me know if you have any questions”, then you know top dollar just flew out the window.
Yes, there is a chance that this buyer defies the odds and pays top dollar anyway, just like there is a chance you might win the lottery. But how do you even know if you are asking top dollar?
There is only one way to know for certain that you sold your house for top dollar: Have your house in top-notch condition, make it easy to see, and have a great agent maximize the urgency and work the fear-of-loss in your favor.