Whether you’re selling your home today or sometime down the road, whether you’re our client or you’re working with another broker, follow these 10 Commandments for Sellers in order to sell your home quickly for top dollar.

1. Thou shalt price correctly

The absolute most important period of time that your home is on the market is the first 7-10 days, because this is the period of time during which buyers who are already in the market come to see yours. They’ve already see the competition and haven’t found the right home.

It’s important that your home be seen by the right buyers from the get-go.

Buyers and their agents search for homes based on all kinds of criteria, but none is more important than price.

For example, if the market analysis your agent prepares suggests your home is worth $320,000, then your list price shouldn’t exceed $325,000. Because that puts it in the right price range and you seem like a reasonable seller.
If, however, you insist on listing for a much higher price like $350,000, you run the risk of having the most qualified and ready-to-act buyers dismissing it altogether.

Pricing it really close to where you expect it sell means the property is being compared to the right homes on the market. When overpricing, your home ends up being compared to more expensive homes than yours, which is not a good thing.

Even if you “just want to try it to see” thinking you can always reduce the price later, there’s a good possibility the buyer you needed to attract found something else while you were wasting the most important days on the market.

2. Thou shalt hire an expert

Just like doctors don’t perform surgeries on family members and attorneys don’t represent themselves at trial, home owners should never represent themselves in the sale of their most important (and likely most valuable) asset.

Selling your home requires a full-time expert with experience, a professional who is much better equipped to handle everything that goes into the process from start to finish.

You need an expert to represent your best interests and coordinate pricing, showings, and marketing. You need an expert in negotiations and contracts. You need someone on your side to deal with appraisers, mortgage companies and title companies. And you need someone on your side at the closing table to make sure everything goes as planned.

3. Thou shalt disappear during showings

Nothing makes a buyer more uncomfortable than a seller hanging around while they’re trying to get a feel for your home for the first time.

Buyers need to be able to speak freely with their agent about the positives and negatives about your home. When you’re home, they can’t.

Buyers rush through properties quicker when a seller is home. They feel as if they can’t comment on the things they don’t like (and there is always something they don’t like).

In those situations where a seller may have to be home, say hello and stay out of the way. Don’t ask questions, don’t lead a tour, and don’t offer information. Anything you say can and will be used against you.

4. Thou shalt leave out the emotion

Sellers should never let emotions cloud their judgment or influence their negotiations when selling their home.

Because for sellers, it’s a business transaction. It’s about dollars and terms, risk and reward.

Emotions are for buyers.

You want the buyer’s decisions to be swayed by feelings. You want them emotionally engaged and mentally moved-in. You want them to tell all their friends and relatives about the home they’re buying. You want them invested in the outcome.

5. Thou shalt use quality photos

Photos are extremely important when selling a home.

But more important than having good photos is not having bad photos. Because bad photos prevent people from even coming through the front door.

Photos are for generating interest. Just because you can add 50 photos to a listing doesn’t mean you have to.

6. Thou shalt clean up and make necessary repairs

If you want the best price when you’re selling your home it should be in tip-top shape with no excuses.

Those “little things” you’ve lived with should be addressed before your home hits the market.

Buyers willing to pay the most are willing to do the least. They tend to overestimate what things cost. And when they see deferred maintenance they assume there must be more.

You want your home to look good, smell good, and feel good.

7. Thou shalt understand the documents you sign

Selling real estate means lots of paperwork and it’s unlikely you’re familiar with the terms and conditions you’ll be expected to understand.

There are listing agreements, disclosures, and sales contracts. There may be amendments and addendums.

Every one of them has legal ramifications. Some may have tax implications.

A good Realtor will explain the paperwork you sign and refer you to experts like attorneys or accountants to further discuss potential risk whenever warranted.

8. Thou shalt consider every offer

Not just the first offer. Not just the highest offer. Not just the offer from your own agent.

As a seller you need to objectively weigh each offer and understand the terms and qualifications of each buyer.

9. Thou shalt disallow your agent from representing your buyer

If a seller typically wants to net the highest price and a buyer usually wants to pay as little as possible, how effective can one agent be in representing opposing parties in a single transaction?

Can you imagine a lawyer representing opposing parties in a courtroom trial?

In real estate, when an agent represents both buyer and seller it’s called dual agency. It relieves the agent of certain legal responsibilities, weakens their representation of the seller that hired them, and often earns them double the commission because they don’t split it with another broker.

Dual agency isn’t a good idea no matter which side of the table you’re sitting at, and as a contracted seller it is in your control to prevent your agent from working to promote the buyer’s best interests.

10. Thou shalt have your home ready to show at all times

Showings for your home may be occasionally inconvenient, but you must make the home accessible to every buyer possible when it is convenient for them.

Buyers taking the time to view your home should be welcomed on a moment’s notice, and they should never be asked to re-schedule for a different day for any reason, even if you’re in the middle of dinner.

Want to learn more?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.