Ready to sell? Put on your 'buyer's eyes.'


So you’re thinking of moving.

It’s time to get a bigger house with a few acres. Or maybe it’s downsizing you really want.

You go online to see what’s available.

“Right now, we are still at a very low inventory,” said Yolanda Zuger, Realtor with Keller Williams in Dallas. “We’ve been at historically low inventories since last fall. They’ve dropped to the point now, if you have buyers that want to buy, but there’s no listings to look at, they don’t buy.”

That feeds the vicious cycle. If there’s nothing to buy, people decide not to sell. When something is available at a price they feel they can afford, competition is stiff.

“Everybody’s jumping on it,” Yolanda said. “So you have this competition going on, and you have agents helping their buyers make the highest and best offer.”

“Highest and best” used to mean $1,000 above asking price. Now, Yolanda says it means more like $5,000 to $7,000 above asking.

“That’s a huge number for somebody to wrap their mind around,” she said. “So when you win the bid, you’re wondering if you paid too much.”

It becomes a real challenge, Yolanda said.

“They have tried three, four, five times on different houses just to get nothing. So they stop. And now their home isn’t being sold,” she said. “So the whole momentum of real estate comes to a skid.”

When you make the decision to list your house, it needs to be marketed and priced correctly, and everybody needs to understand there’s going to be an emotional ride, Yolanda said.

As an agent with more than 20 years’ experience, Yolanda said she knows it is important to have key conversations with her clients up front.

“You need to keep focused on why you’re selling; what’s your goal,” she said. “Is it work; is it school; is it a good reason; is it a sad reason.”

The whole process is hugely emotional, Yolanda said.

“Unfortunately, sentiment has nothing to do with dollar value,” she said.

Sellers need to put on their “buyer’s eyes,” and really have a look around. Start with decluttering, and then look at big stuff like the landscaping and roof.

“Look at other listings on the internet, and look at the condition of the house and quality of the pictures,” Yolanda recommends. “It doesn’t need to be ‘House Beautiful,’ but I’m talking about the amount of stuff in your house and the number of things you have sitting on the floor.”

The more you have taking up space, the smaller your house will look to buyers, and the harder it will be for them to see their stuff in your house.

Decluttering helps you in multiple ways. It starts the process of letting go of your old home and thinking of your new one.

“Remember their goal and where they’re going,” Yolanda said. “For the people who are downsizing, you need to start thinking about what things in here are you going to take to your new house. What are you going to pay to move? That old antique piano – are you going to pay to have that moved? Or is it time to pass it on to one of your kids or donate to your church?”

Getting rid of unwanted items now will make the actual moving process much less stressful and easier, Yolanda said.

“I counsel people on how to prepare so when, now we’re a week before close, and you have seven days to move and you’re looking around your house, you’re not thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t even know where to start. I don’t even know what’s in those drawers or in these cabinets.’”

The right Realtor can help with the whole process. Communication and experience in the market are key to success for both the seller and the buyer. For more information:

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