There's No Fool Like An April Fool

If your home has been on market for more than 100 days, it may be a good day to take a hard look at why that may be. Being wrong from April 1st until June 30 is a whole lot worse than being wrong from January 1st through the end of March.

1) Write down the 5 best things about your house and the 5 worst things about your house. If you can think of 20 things that are good about your house and can’t come up with 5 things that are bad about your house, you likely are in the wrong mental space to sell your home. In my experience, owners who can’t get themselves to say one bad thing about their house, out loud, take a much longer time to sell their home.

2) If you are priced at anything 09 or 59 change that to 00 or 50 right now. $259,000? Make it $250,000. $309,000? Make it $300,000. $459,000? Make it $450,000. Someone who didn’t pick your house to go and see in the $450,000 to $500,000 category, may have picked it if it were in the $400,000 to $450,000 category. Don’t miss the boat by being in the wrong price tier.

3) Remove all words from your public remarks section that are negative. Don’t be unique or unusual. Don’t be cute or cozy. Don’t tell them the chandelier does not stay.

4) If you have had no showings in the last 20 days, stop waiting for “just the right person”. No showings equals wrong price.

5) If you have had 30 people come to see your house and no offers, your price and mls presentation are probably right and what is wrong is at your house after they get there. Smell? Smell is a big one, especially if you have pets. Dark? Turn the lights on…Yes, ALL of them. Did they say “you have a lovely home” as they were leaving? That usually means your home is too personalized and they visited you. They couldn’t picture anyone there but you. Remove the personal photos and your “treasures”. Give them a blanker canvass to picture themselves in.

If you have been on market for 100 days, don’t just say “Oh goodie! It’s April 1. NOW someone will buy my house because it’s Springtime. Change something…today.

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: cell: 206-910-1000

36 thoughts on “There's No Fool Like An April Fool

  1. In my opinion, RCG needs more posts like this (if you want to attract consumers, not just people in the biz). Simple, straight-talking, down-to-earth advice without being condescending, patronizing, clichΓ©, or getting into details that 99% of consumers couldn’t care less about.

    I like it. Keep this up, Ardell.

  2. Thanks Tim. It is the season for practical advises, and will be for a few months, so hopefully I’ll be putting out a few more that are to your liking. Maybe I’ll tag the practical ones Seattle Bubble so you can find them easily πŸ™‚

  3. Hi Ardell,

    Haven’t talked to you in a while. Great post. You are telling it like it is. I particularly like “they were visiting you and not the house.” Great way to say it.

    But 9 times out of 10, price will cure all evils.

  4. Debra,

    Often people selling the house themselves will ask that question. Why does everyone seem to love it and say “you have a lovely home” when they are leaving, but no offers?

    If the “home” hasn’t become a house by the time it goes on market, you may get more visitors than buyers.

  5. I’m a new agent on the North Oregon Coast (Astoria) and posts like this (and the enormous amount of financial info I’ve learned here) keep me coming back for more, more more. Fantastic post! Thank you (all) for sharing your vast knowledge!

  6. Hi Jennifer, I went to jr high and high school in Ilwaco, and learned to drive in Astoria too! How’s the weather down there,it is blue and sunny up here!

    I often wonder how many agents in your area are licensed in both OR and WA, do you have any idea?

  7. Hi Leanne – You learned to drive on the hills in Astoria – oh you have my sympathies! We relocated from PHX (sun!) to Astoria (rain!) in 2006 and love it here, but may be relocating to the Kirkland area in the next year or so.

    Not many agents here with OR/WA licenses, which is why I aim to get my WA license ASAP πŸ˜‰ It’s very ‘old school’ here – which can be good and bad (and slowwww). But it’s gorgeous. Gorgeous!

    We’ve had sun all week – after an odd snow day Sunday. Loving it!

  8. Yes, I do know it’s very ‘old school’ there, it’s too bad, but eventually things will change.

    We used to tell people we didn’t TAN in SW Washington/Oregon, we RUSTED!!

    If you get really bored, you can go climb the Tower :-)! Once we could drive, we spent a good many summer nights going between the tower, and the ocean beaches (you can drive on low tide on the Long Beach Peninsula). Lotta fun!

  9. Ummm, insanity?

    Seriously, we were tired of the rat race in Phoenix, the traffic, the heat, the poor air quality, the urban sprawl…we needed a change.

    I got my Feb 2006 Sunset mag that has a two-page spread on Astoria, I took a flight, fell in love, and moved the family up. My husband is in healthcare IT software and took over as RVP for the PNW for his company. He works from home. In our 1918 craftsman that we’re remodeling (two years in).

    The rest is history. I’m getting a bit itchy to get back to the real world and start work again – kids are now in K and 2nd. πŸ™‚ We love the Seattle area and the schools are awesome…so I see a move in our near future.

    Looks like I’ve taken over this post….apologies!

  10. hooo boy! Astoria! Well, you got a charming small town, and absolutely clean air, and plenty of mist, which is great for skincare :- …

    But, back to Ardell’s homework assignment for her sellers – writing down the 5 good points and the 5 worst points is a great way to get a seller to think about how the buyer will see their house. And, she’s got it right when she gets them to think HOUSE and not HOME. No one is buying your memories, they are buying a house to become their own home.

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