How Communication Affects Your Home Sale

senior couple meeting with realtor

There’s a lot of fear that people experience when setting out to sell their home. And that’s perfectly natural.

After all there’s a lot of money, not to mention emotional investment, on the line. No one wants to be taken advantage of. Potential pitfalls include getting less than market value for the home, or not being able to sell a home at all. But if you let your fear do all the decision making, you may miss out on a timely sale and the right price.

It’s important to communicate openly with your real estate agent. They need all the information they can get if they’re going to be able to sell your home.

The first step, however, is to be honest and open with yourself.

Are You REALLY Ready to Sell?

The first step to prepare for a property sale is to simply decide it’s time to sell.

It’s natural for most of us to feel attached to a home, but if life changes you may find yourself itching to change your home as well. Longing for a shorter commute, a neighbourhood closer to schools, or a home with more space or lower costs can all be signals that it’s time.

The key is, do you want or need the advantages that come with a new home more than you love your current home? For some the decision is easy, but if not there are things that can help. A great exercise is to evaluate how motivated you are on a 1-to-10 scale, or to do a “pros and cons” chart. Talking with friends and family can help too.

It’s important to fully commit to a decision so you can have a clear head and objective mindset going forward.

Be Honest With Your Agent About Why You’re Selling

When hiring an agent, of course you need someone with market expertise who sells dozens of homes every year. But you also need someone you trust and can communicate openly with. Once you hire them, your listings agent is legally obligated to represent your interests under the codes of ethics of the Ottawa, Ontario, and Canadian real estate boards. So don’t be afraid to tell them the truth, even if you’re embarrassed.

If your agent is a professional (and we’ll assume you’ve done your homework and found a true professional), they are obligated to keep your reasons to themselves. That’s because you don’t always want buyers or their agents to know your personal motives. For example, if you’re divorcing and need to sell soon, you want to keep that between you and your listings agent.

It’s also important to be honest about the condition of the home. Aside from general principle, you’re not going to be able to hide foundation issues or a bad roof from savvy buyers or their home inspectors.

Your agent can’t help you achieve your goals if they don’t know what’s going on. Information you provide may influence how they’re able to market your home to best advantage.

Listen to Post-Showing Feedback

Communication is a two way street, and when the time comes to listen, it’s important that you stay objective when it comes to feedback from buyers and their agents after a showing.

Your agent should sit down with you and walk you through the comments. We’ll assume that your home is in reasonably good condition to sell and that you or your agent has done a good job of staging your home instead of leaving it vacant for sale. So you should already be well aware of the pros and cons of your property, and be past the point when your heart breaks because someone hates the paint colour or your sofa.

Opinions Can’t Be Wrong

Your goal while listening to feedback is to keep an open mind – remember, you are trying to sell a property on the open market. Some home sellers make the mistake of becoming defensive when they hear critiques of their home. They can even begin to convince themselves that the feedback is “wrong”. Keep in mind that it’s an opinion, and in the case of selling a property the opinions of buyers do matter.

Another mistake is to fixate on any positive feedback that seems to justify the current property price and condition. How do you tell if positive feedback is valid? If the current approach leads to offers. While there will always be some “nosy neighbours” and tire kickers at an open house, if no one is making any offers for showing after showing, the house hasn’t been priced and/or positioned correctly.

Buyers view multiple houses and they’re comparing your property to others they’ve seen. If you need to, repeat to yourself, “this is business.” Letting negative emotions get a hold of you will only hurt your interests.

Make Adjustments if Needed

Look for honest critiques that allow you to take immediate action and adjust your competitive standing in the marketplace. If you’re ready to sell, that can mean adjusting your price, or even having some additional repairs done quickly.

A Real Estate Sales Expert in Your Corner

Having an experienced, professional realtor on your side not only gets your home sold more quickly, but it helps you get a better price. Because the Paul Rushforth team sells hundreds of homes every year, we know what works and what doesn’t in the Ottawa market.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, it’s easy to find out what your property is worth. We provide a free service that will factor in the real selling prices of homes in your area – not just the asking price.

Find Out What Your Home is Worth

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