The Wistrick Team - In The Name Of Being Honest
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Expert Tips

In The Name Of Being Honest

April 15, 2024

Homeowners looking to sell naturally have biased opinions about what their home is worth and how presentable it looks. The challenge we face as good Realtors is telling these clients what they do not want to hear. When our clients’ money and time are on the line, there’s no room for being a “yes” man…. even if we risk hurting a seller’s feelings. You’re hiring a pro to consult you on how to make the most money, otherwise, why use one at all? 


Is brutal honesty a little awkward for us even after 20 years of listing homes? Uh, yeah! Imagine meeting someone for the first time in their most personal of spaces, their home, going room by room, pointing out all its flaws. Not fun, but a true professional that’s hired to maximize a seller’s profit will do just that. 


First Impression Killers!

Most sellers are used to the setup of their home because it suits their personal circumstances. Many have the mindset that buyers can see past these details and imagine what could be. Something as “minor” as using the dining room for the kids’ playroom crushes first impressions, and rooms need to be staged for their intended use. Master bedrooms shouldn’t have a treadmill ruining the pictures. They should be staged as a cozy retreat for the owners. Dining rooms aren’t playrooms. They should be staged as an entertaining space for family and friends. Living rooms shouldn’t be rockin’ a Lazy Boy recliner. They should open and free-flowing. The rusted relic of a trampoline in the backyard might just make a potential buyer bounce to the next listing. Yet, we still get insane pushback because it supports the current family’s routine and they don’t want to change it!

Most sellers are their own worst enemy when it comes to prepping and staging a home to list, and it’s our job to steer them in the direction of generating the best possible sales price and terms.


Tale Of Two Different Outcomes


Scenario 1: Say the Realtor you hire is your neighbor’s brother’s wife who just got licensed and is hoping to generate income selling real estate part-time. (You might laugh, but we see this all the time! Most people don’t trust Realtors, yet many sellers feel a philanthropic urge to “gift” a newbie the control over their single largest investment.) Because this agent has done little to no business, they are desperate to land a new listing. There’s a 99.9% chance they aren’t going to tell you the truth about what needs to be done to strategically prepare your home. Could be out of fear of losing the listing opportunity, or they simply don’t know what’s strategic. Either way, the seller loses. 


Scenario 2: Say the Realtor you hire not only shoots you straight, but also takes charge. From suggesting the most lucrative paint colors (yes, there’s cash in correct paint colors) to working with the best staging companies to bringing in vetted contractors, they do enough volume to know who to call on a moment’s notice for the best value. 

Listening to an experienced Realtor’s advice on how to prep and stage your home will score you tens of thousands of extra dollars on the sale and far fewer days on market. In pre-listing appointments, sellers loathe what we tell them needs to be done, but love us in the end. That’s how it should be. Remember, the ultimate goal is to make you the most amount of money. We can be friends afterwards.


The Wistrick Team knows that, statistically, when homes are beautifully staged, showcase professional photos and videos, and priced strategically, they sell anywhere from 3-10% more and 80% faster than homes sold “as is.” That said, why wouldn’t everyone take these steps? Sometimes sellers care more about time and convenience than they do a spare $20-$50K at closing, OR they were simply ill-advised by their Realtor. 


Here’s a common question…

“But Mike, if the house will sell no matter what in a hot seller’s market, why would I spend any money to prep it?” 

An unstaged, unprepped, poorly marketed home will still sell in this market. Say it sells for $500,000 as is, but if spruced up like a gem, it could easily sell for $525,000. If repairs, updates and staging cost $10,000, for example, who wouldn’t invest $10K to sell for $25K more? The Wistrick Team will always recommend updates and staging if we know there’s extra money to be made as a result.

So let the truth spill out, and we’ll watch your bank account grow! Sell the right way and avoid leaving loads of cash on the closing table.

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