Real Estate Matters  ... By Rodger L. Hardy
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Interior design: an important element in selling your home
High-End Sculptures by David enhance the value of your home or office. Commissioned and collectable. 
By Rodger L. Hardy
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage — Orem, Utah

Press Services
A package of marketing for new construction
When I list your new construction or new development communities I bring a marketing program to the table from Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage packed with online advertising and other services. For example, I write press releases and place them with local news outlets to give you a boost you cannot get through paid advertising. They also work to enhance your SEO.

For developers I publicize plans, acquisitions and projects. I write about ongoing work, completions and staff changes. I position clients and industry spokesmen as experts in their field.

For residential communities I provide content for developments, model homes, amenities, and sales progress. I write about awards, architectural, landscape and interior design. I report on satisfied buyers and special events. Call me at 801-360-9133.— Rodger Hardy

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The most even-tempered sellers can get emotional when it comes to selling their house. 

Our homes are full of memories. It’s where we raised our kids, invited in friends and neighbors for parties or barbecues and spent time decorating it until it was just right.​But when it comes to finally selling, homeowners may not be aware of the latest laws and regulations governing the sale. 

If they are a first-time seller, just like first-time buyers, they may be stepping into an unfamiliar environment. Selling a home is complex, both legally, financially and emotionally, not to mention the work involved.​And if you go at it unrepresented, be prepared for buyer demands and low-ball offers. Buyers who shop for sale by owners — and there’s a lot of them these days — do so for one major reason: they’re trying the save the same real estate commission the seller is trying to save. 

I saw an ad the other day for a for sale by owner (FSBO) listing with one price for a buyer and another for a represented buyer. To me this makes no sense. If the house is truly worth the higher price why not ask it of both kinds of buyers? This seller was already giving in on saving the commission. 

Might well have listed it and save the trouble.​I talked with a seller last week and was surprised when she objected to staging her home. Staged homes, according to market studies, get 6 percent to 10 percent more than comparable unstaged homes and sell in half the time. But then, some people have a hard time living in a staged home with half a dozen kids running around. 

Yet a staged home can translate into more showings, better offers and higher appraisals.​Some sellers, even when they list their homes with an agent, don’t see why de-junking their home, making it neutral, and doing some paint and fix-up makes a difference. But it does. Ignored, those little fixes could cost them much more in a reduced offer than it would to go ahead and make the repairs. If you won’t a potential buyer could well move on and buy from someone who did.​

Today’s buyers expect a home to be in move-in condition, unless they are purposely looking for a fixer-upper. Many of the repair costs can be recouped in the sale. In fact, market studies show, staged homes pay off to the tune of 500 percent to 600 percent more than it cost to stage it.​

Our tight market may be different for many sellers, even for those who have sold a home before. With more buyers than sellers they may be unprepared for multiple offers. A major issue is determining which offers will stick. I’ve been in that situation several times and occasionally none of them stick. Most left after the inspection. In those cases the sellers refused my advice to make certain repairs.​With multiple offers the highest bid isn’t always the best. 

It’s more important to get the most qualified buyer so they won’t back out. It’s important to analyze each bid and consider the contingencies and the time factor. Sometimes it’s best to take a lower offer if that’s the one that meets your schedule best.​Commission is another issue. It often seems that private sellers are more focused on saving the commission than getting the most out of their home. What’s more important, what you offer in a commission or what you net? Consider buyer demographics. 

There’s a difference between a potential buyer, a serious buyer, and a qualified buyer. A potential buyer may buy, a serious buyer wants to buy but may not be qualified, while a qualified buyer is all three. Interestingly, most of the serious, 

​qualified buyers are working with agents and most agents don’t show private sale homes. So the bottom line is that by choosing to sell on your own means you’ve just eliminated most of the buying Perhaps that’s why the National Association of Realtors research shows that a private seller walks away from the sale with much less in his pocket, on average, then represented sellers. 

It’s like a fisherman focusing more on saving his bait than catching a big fish. Continuing with the fish analogy as market share, real estate is like fishing in two ponds. In one pond, the professional pond, some 95 percent of the fish are good, but in the other pond, the private pond, only about 5 percent are good. Which makes the most sense in your situation?

Thirty-five years ago 15 percent of home sellers tried it on their own. But in today’s world most are realizing it’s a task best left to the professionals. According to the National Association of Realtors only 8 percent tried to go it alone last year.

Most buyers are working with agents because they want to feel protected from all the pitfalls of buying a home and can without charge. They are fishing in the professional pond, for the most part, and often ignore the fish in the private pond. If your Realtor isn’t fishing in both ponds, request it.