Most would agree that buying or selling a home can be one of the most stressful projects to take on, even for the most masterful multitasker. Now, imagine trying to do both at the same time..on top of a full-time job, time with the family, eating, and (hopefully) sleeping. For many home sellers, it’s the most anxiety-inducing part of the entire home-selling process. In fact, according to a recent survey by Lending Tree, it’s the top stressor for nearly a third of home sellers today.
Another 16% of sellers report that costly repairs and upgrades are the most stressful part of selling a home, while 15% stress most about failing to sell their home at all.
As an agent, you are used to dealing with this type of seller stress. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help guide your clients through the process and relieve their anxiety.
1. Set Cost Expectations
The average cost most sellers are planning (and willing) to spend on upgrades is between $8,000-$10,000, so they need to be sure to include that in their budgets. Having a range like that up front can help prepare the seller, so that it isn’t a surprise for them when the time comes to shell out some cash.
One of the best ways to yield a return on their investment is by making exterior improvements. According to the 2020 Cost vs. Value report by Remodeling magazine, these three exterior projects rank the highest for ROI:
- Manufactured stone veneer installation (95.6%)
- Garage door replacement (94.5%)
- Siding replacement with fiber-cement material (77.6%)
- Wood or composite deck projects and window replacement also provided high returns.
Having a guide of which rooms/areas to focus on can help relieve their stress of not knowing where to begin.
2. Make Sure the Price is Right
As an experienced real estate agent, it’s up to you to advise your seller on the most realistic listing price. Before listing a home for sale, advise your seller that a home inspection is the best way to identify issues that may need to be addressed right away. And remind them that that isn’t always a bad thing! An inspector’s job is to find areas that need improved, and it’s way more likely that they will find something than no issues at all. Preparing for those findings ahead of time allows the seller to be ahead of the game in terms of pricing structure and strategy to resolve the issues, as opposed to being blind-sided after the fact.
Setting the right price also means setting realistic expectations for your client. You can reduce their stress by helping them to understand what a typical timeline for selling is. Once they have a clear idea of how long the process will take and how much it’ll cost, they can prepare themselves accordingly.
3. Stay Ready for Home Showings
Help your clients to understand the importance of maintaining a neat and clean home throughout the listing period. This can be a challenge for them to keep up with while they are still living in the house, so try to make showings as painless as possible.
Having a showing system in place helps them to be ready in a shorter amount of time, which can help sell their home faster.
4. Establish Worst-Case-Scenario Plans
Help your clients to understand that even the worst-case scenarios won’t be as bad as they imagine. Let’s say they are afraid that their current home won’t sell in time to close on the new home they’re buying. You can put contingencies into their contracts and keep an eye on the market for alternative houses that they will love just as much in case their home can’t close in time.
On the other hand, they made be stressed that their house will sell before they have even found another home to buy. You can ease their worries by advising them that they can always store their belongings and rent a furnished apartment or extended-stay hotel until they find their dream home.
As a real estate agent, you wear many hats. When it comes to helping your client navigate the home-selling process, your most important role might be therapist! You will be the one they look to for support. You can help them reduce stress throughout the entire process by keeping your cool, answering their questions and keeping these tips in mind.
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“29% Of Sellers Stress Most Over Buying, Selling at the Same Time.” LendingTree, www.lendingtree.com/home/mortgage/nearly-a-third-of-home-sellers-top-stressor-is-buying-selling-at-the-same-time/.
Richardson, Brenda. “Sellers Plan To Spend Top Dollar To Make Their Homes Stand Out.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 3 Aug. 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/brendarichardson/2020/08/03/sellers-plan-to-spend-top-dollar-to-make-their-homes-stand-out/.