Advice for Sellers


Too many sellers believe that a 'seller's market' means that you pop  a sign in the ground and start collecting offers. Unfortunately, in many cases, there are still some very important things that sellers must do to secure a good contract.
  1. Price: Pricing your home is both an art and a science. The 'science' is based on a thorough and comprehensive review of recent comparable sales. As a Realtor®, I understand what appraisers value and how to provide them the information they need to justify the price.  I spend a lot of time analyzing the data, examining the nuances of your home and the neighborhood and establishing a price that will get you the most money and still meet the appraiser's value.The 'art' of pricing comes in when the market is changing seasonally, when there is something unique and special about your home or when the market is quickly escalating. Certainly, my objective is to get you the most possible money; knowing when I can push the limits and price your home higher than others is when the 'art' of pricing comes into play.                                                                                                                       
  2. Preparation: Maybe the past couple of years have been busy for you and you have neglected some of the regular maintenance to your home.  Rather than doing some random surface improvements that may not satisfy buyers, I can help you spend your money on the things that will let buyers know that you care for your home. By pointing out areas that are often of concern to buyers and their agents I can help you make targeted improvements and repairs. Because I also work with buyers, I can help you determine how to spend your limited budget (every budget is limited when selling--no one wants to spend more than they have to on a house they are selling!) on those improvements that will give you the greatest bang-for-the-buck by being appealing to buyers.                                                                                                                            
  3. Marketing: All this work is worthless if the buyers don't find your house. Most buyers these days use Buyer's Agents, but they often direct these agents to the houses they want to see. My job is to make your house easy to find and intriguing to look at on-line. Our objective is to get those buyers in to see your home...and write an offer!
Yes, it is a seller's market, but those sellers that are most successful recognize that there is more to securing a great contract than placing an ad. Do the work necessary and you will reap the rewards!


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 Momentum Realty

A GREAT Real Estate  experience.

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Comment balloon 52 commentsHolly Weatherwax • August 15 2013 08:05AM


Good advice Holly.  All sellers need to have a reality check when listing their home in a seller's market.

Posted by Merline D Pennant - New homes, Short Sales and Pre-foreclosures, New City, New Towns, New homes (Regal Realty of the Treasure Coast LLC) over 6 years ago
I love that you recognize that sellers always have a budget. Especially on a home they are selling and won't get to reap the rewards of their improvements. Great post.
Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) over 6 years ago

Sellers misunderstand the term seller's market. They think that means they can sell their house for as much as they want and they'll get it. It's really more about the inventory than anything else. So while we are experiencing a seller's market in Franklin TN, buyers are still pretty savvy. It the condition, pricing and marketing isn't right, they will still have difficulty selling. Excellent information for sellers.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 6 years ago

Great Post and excellent tips.  I believe it's always a Buyer's Market, It's what a buyer is willing to pay for a home that really counts.  

Posted by Graziella Bruner, Associate Broker - Serving Wayne & Oakland County (NCS Premier Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Also have to make the commission attractive to the those buyer agents.

Posted by Jay & Michelle Lieberman, Creating Calm in the Buying and Selling Chaos (Keller Williams World Class) over 6 years ago

Holly: Very good outline of what a seller should do and be concerned about. There is something going on that nobody wants to taalk about  and that mortgage applications are down 15 of the past 16 weeks. What is coming sellers.

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) over 6 years ago
Excellent advice Holly. When it's a hot sellers market unfortunately some people do think that is all you have to do but in reality there is a lot more to it. Along with the analysis of recent comps I would add a list of what is active on the marrket in the neighborhood and compare their asking price as well. You can be damn sure any buyers will be looking at all available homes so price accordingly if you want to sell fast.
Posted by Frank Nolan, Jump and the net will appear (Nolan Realty Team / Pacific home Brokers) over 6 years ago

Holly...that is great advice.  Those important improvements will help sell the house.  Too often I see homes where Sellers have made improvements that were a poor choice over other things needing repair or updating.

As to comment #5 above, the commission paid to a buyer agent really has no bearing on whether the house gets sold.  I show my clients all homes that interest them regardless of commission offered.  It's about them, not me.

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - over 6 years ago

I agree with all of your points, if the seller would only understan them

Posted by Jack O'Neal (HomeSmart Elite Group) over 6 years ago

Somehow the small price differences in mindset are amazingly seasonal. The spring brings the adventure out in people I find.



Love and light,


Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 6 years ago

Price is everything.  In about a month I'll be writing a post about a REALLY BEAUTIFUL house that sat for over 6 years on the market.  It was all about price . . . and timing!

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) over 6 years ago

Price and Locations.  The 2 key elements in getting property sold.

Posted by Ginger Harper, Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County! (Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage) over 6 years ago

Not to bash the media, but I feel like Sellers have gotten so excited by what they hear the media saying that they are often unrealistic. Our job is to bring some perspective...if they are open to hearing it!

Thanks for all your comments!

Posted by Holly Weatherwax, A Great Real Estate Experience ( Associate Broker, Momentum Realty) over 6 years ago
Holly, sage advice for sellers. I think some of them are a little cocky these days.
Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Around here they missed the short period of time when it was a hot sellers market. More neutral right now, which is better overall for the market.

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 6 years ago

Great tips Holly. I still run into the old line, "yeah, but my house..."

Posted by Mitch Muller - Charlotte NC Real Estate, Certified Residential Specialist (ProStead Realty Charlotte, NC CRS SRES over 6 years ago

Great post.  Thanks for sharing:)


Posted by Angie Johnson, Angie Johnson (RE/MAX Luxury Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Good article Holly.  I call it the Three P's.... Pricing, Preparation and Presentation. 

Posted by Kevin Vitali, Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers (EXIT Realty- Massachusetts Short Sales & Residential Sales) over 6 years ago

Really important advice for sellers!  And you are so right that pricing is a complex....and crucial step.  Seller's market or not, overpriced means a home is likely to sit....and sit....and sit.

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA over 6 years ago

Great feature, and so true. 

Posted by MaryKay Shumway, Door County Wisconsin's Real Estate Expert (The Kellstrom Ray Agency, Inc. (Est. 1948)) over 6 years ago

Holly- well done.  It's only natural that sellers now feel like a little "payback" is due, however all of the points you mentioned are exactly right. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 6 years ago

Great post thank you for sharing pricing correctly is very important.

Posted by Laura Filip, What can we do for you today? (Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life ) over 6 years ago

I always believe in preperation "Preparation: Maybe the past couple of years have been busy for you and you have neglected some of the regular maintenance to your home.  Rather than doing some random surface improvements that may not satisfy buyers, I can help you spend your money on the things that will let buyers know that you care for your home."

Posted by Brian Sharkey, SharkeyRE - #SouthFloridaBroker (SharkeyRE LLC) over 6 years ago

Great post Holly.  Many of the Sellers I have talked to seem to have the perception a seller's market means it will automatically sell quickly and for a higher price! 

Posted by Bette Gottwald, "Bet"on Central PA Real Estate! (UNITED REAL ESTATE | Central PA) over 6 years ago

You make very important points for sellers, even in today's robust marketplace.  Property condition, in any market, can pay dividends on value and price.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 6 years ago

Such a timely post! With the media screaming about the strong housing market, some sellers think they can overprice their home or not prep it for the market. Wrong!

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) over 6 years ago
Love it! Right on with this blog. Takes more than a for sale sign sign in the ground. The market is good but lets not get crazy here folks:)
Posted by Kelly Barbus, Keller Williams Buffalo Northtowns (Keller Williams Buffalo Northtowns) over 6 years ago

Price is very important and so is location and condition of the property.. There are a lot of factors to be taken into consideration.. One thing some agents forget to consider is the competing properties on the market.  This can have a huge impact on how quickly your listing will sell vs. your home selling the competing listing.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 6 years ago

Sellers are hearing what they want to hear from what the media is touting.  The truth is that that today's buyers are more demanding, move savvy and more educated about the market and won't settle for a house that does not show well or is not priced right,  Great post!

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) over 6 years ago

Holly you forgot the part about "ask ten percent more than the last comparable sale."

Posted by MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty) over 6 years ago

I think the advice is very good.  Have a great week.

Posted by Elite Home Sales Team, A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team (Elite Home Sales Team OC) over 6 years ago

Great advice. It's always a good idea to recommend to someone to give their home a good review if they've lived there more than a few years.  It's easy to get used to things not being 100% and then it all comes to a list at the end.

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) over 6 years ago
Holly, you did a wonderful job describing the art & science of pricing. Sellers will benefit tremendously from reading this blog.
Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) over 6 years ago

Holly, recently, before taking a listing, I went over staging, pricing and what not - to make sure home sells quickly. It did! To only create a doubt in the seller's mind - did he under price it?

It was difficult to explain him that we still have to do right things even in Seller's market.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 6 years ago

Good post. Yes it is a sellers market but buyers are still taking their time making up their minds and homes that show well sell faster for more money than those that do not show well.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 6 years ago

All very excellent and valid points. I keep telling my own clients that just because we are in a seller's market with low inventory doesn't mean their house will sell if not priced, staged and marketed correctly.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) over 6 years ago

Most sellers don't know what they don't know.  They only sell 2 or 3 homes in their lifetime and don't realize some of the things that make it more difficult to sell their house.

Posted by Rob Arnold, Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F (Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Great post.  It is hard to get sellers to see past their home and focus on it like a product.  Even when they are buying and selling at the same time, they can't seem to see their home as a buyer does.   STOP!  and call your trusted advisor to help you make decisions on where to spend money.   What sellers think is important is not important to buyers and what sellers think is unimportant can be critical to buyers.  

Posted by Yvette Chisholm, Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500 (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 6 years ago

I have always told my refinance clients that are now considering selling, the importance of the listing price coming out of the gate. Maybe some sellers like many small incremental price reductions to gain attention?

Posted by Ron Aguilar, Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995 (Continental Mortgage) over 6 years ago

Congrats on the feature Holly! I think the forgotten maintenance is such a big issue. If sellers would just stay up on the maintenance, the cost wouldn't hit them like a brick over the head when it comes to time to put the house on the market. A home inspector will find these doubt about it.

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) over 6 years ago

Often overlooked is ensuring that there are fabulous pictures of the property on MLS. This is the best marketing tool ever!!!


Posted by Janet Partlow, Lake Conroe area, Conroe, Willis and Montgomery! (JLP Realty) over 6 years ago

Some effort must be made ...besides just counting up the money when it comes in...How about earning that top dollar and making it memorable

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 6 years ago

Amen!  This is a very timely post, as a lot of sellers we meet with think that a sign is all that's needed.  Very good explanation of what a seller should do, even in a seller's market.

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 6 years ago

Oh that "seller's market" I'm watching some pretty funny prices show up in my area. I think so many sellers think they can get whatever they want now, without doing anything to the house. Much in the same way buyers were offering $100,000 less than asking when they thought it was a buyer's market.

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 6 years ago

I LOVE this line and plan to "steal borrow" it - " My job is to make your house easy to find".

Posted by Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker, email: / cell: 334-494-7846 (iXL Real Estate-Wiregrasss\) over 6 years ago

Holly, I love the way you presented this valuable information for Sellers.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) over 6 years ago

Great post & your job is to get the house in front of the most faces on the internet as possible.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 6 years ago

Oh you are so right.  Just because it's a sellers market does not mean that all of those buyers are ready to jump off the fence.

Posted by Chris and Dick Dovorany, Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty ( Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida) over 6 years ago

I thought all agents in any market believed that LOL. We do the same marketing regardless of what market we are in, the negotiations may be different but the marketing is the same

Posted by Charles Stallions Real Estate Services, Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc) over 6 years ago

Home sellers think that when it is a sellers market, the listing agent doesn't do anything, and that's just not true.  You have brought up some great points.

Posted by Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807, Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor (Good Company Real Estate over 6 years ago

Holly, good reminder to Sellers that it is indeed more than just placing a sign in the yard even in a Seller's Market and you listed some "musts" to get it done.

Posted by Lynn Pineda, Real Estate Promises delivered in SE Florida (eXp Realty) over 6 years ago

Holly, great post!  Unfortunately many sellers are listening to the media and believing it.

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) over 6 years ago

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