There are many common problems selling a home with a real estate agent in Atlanta.
Before we get started, let us first say that there are some truly great agents out there.
However, selling with a Realtor in Atlanta isn’t always the best way to sell a house.
Every house is unique as is every situation sellers are facing.
This is why there should be options when selling.
Before you decide to list your house, consider all of the ways you can sell your Atlanta house, and then choose which method is right for you.
Below are a few common obstacles sellers face when working with an agent.
Selling with an Agent Requires Repairs and Storage Costs
Every seller wants their home to sell fast and bring top dollar, but it takes more than luck to make this happen.
It involves careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home so that you’ll convince homebuyers to scurry for their checkbooks.
Depersonalizing Includes Decluttering
People tend to collect an amazing quantity of junk. If you haven’t used a certain item in over a year, you probably don’t need it. If you don’t need it, why not donate it or throw it away? Do you really want to go to the trouble of packing it up and carrying it to your next home?
Remove books from bookcases and pack up those knickknacks. Clean everything off your kitchen counters. Essential items that you use daily can be tucked away in small boxes that you can place in a closet when they’re not in use. Think of this process as a head start on the packing you’ll eventually have to do anyway.
Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Storage Cabinets
Buyers love to snoop and yes, they will open closets and cabinet doors. Maybe they’re curious or maybe they legitimately want to see how much space is inside. Think of the message it sends if items fall out.
When a buyer sees everything organized, it says that you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. This means alphabetizing spice jars and neatly stacking dishes. It means turning the coffee cup handles so they’re all facing the same way. Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction. Line up shoes.
Consider Renting a Storage Unit
Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces that block or hamper paths and walkways and put them in storage, along with that garish sofa that only you like.
Your bookcases are now empty, so store them, too. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture to showcase the room’s purpose with plenty of room for buyers to move around.
Remove or Replace Favorite Items
If you want to take certain window coverings, built-in appliances, or fixtures with you, now’s the time to remove them. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great-grandmother, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, she won’t want it and they’ll be no dispute later. When you tell a buyer she can’t have an item, she’ll covet it, which could blow your deal.
Make Minor Repairs
In some seller’s markets, you can sell a home in lived-in condition without much complaint.
But in normal markets or a buyer’s market, repairs can make or break your sale.
Replace cracked floor or counter tiles and patch any holes in the walls. Fix leaky faucets and doors that don’t close properly, as well as kitchen drawers that jam.
Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if they’re currently hot pink or purple. Don’t give buyers any reason to remember your home as “the one with the orange bathroom.”
Replace burned-out light bulbs and consider replacing those that have been in service for a while as well. Avoid the potential of having them give up the ghost and blink out at an inopportune time, like when you flip the light switch to show someone the room. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s all about psychology.
And you do want light, as much of it as possible. Throw open the curtains and blinds and turn those lightbulbs on. Houses show better when each room is bright. Which leads us to the next issue…you don’t want all that illumination to reveal dust bunnies congregating in the corner or under the sofa.
Make the House Sparkle!
Cleaning your home should go beyond the usual weekly or day-to-day cleaning jobs, even if you have to hire someone to do it. It could take all day to complete this job, so you might want to pay for assistance.
Wash the windows inside and out. Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and the exterior. Re-caulk tubs, showers, and sinks. Polish chrome faucets and mirrors.
Yes, you’re still living there so it’s not going to be absolutely spotless 24/7. But make it a habit to clean up after yourself daily—maybe more than you would normally bother with until the weekend. Vacuum daily instead of weekly. Wax floors, dust furniture, and clean ceiling fan blades and light fixtures. Bleach dingy grout and replace any worn rugs.
Pay special attention to the bathrooms and the kitchen. Hang up fresh towels. Bathroom towels look great when they’re fastened with ribbon and bows. Make it a habit to keep the toilet lid closed when it’s not in use.
Kitchens are a big selling point for many buyers, so you’ll want your kitchen to be as spotless and uncluttered as possible. Don’t forget those snoopers—make sure the interior of the fridge is clean and orderly, too.
Above all, clean and air out any musty areas. Odors are a no-no. This might also include not cooking anything particularly odorous the evening before you know the house is going to be shown…or if you really want to be on the safe side until you have a purchase offer in hand. If you have pets, keep on top of those litter boxes and other potentially smelly areas.
Of course, odors work both ways. Consider making a small investment in some pleasantly scented candles.
Most houses will require not only repairs but also a thorough cleaning and continued upkeep.
Many home sellers forget that you aren’t supposed to “look’ like you live in an overly cramped home!
This video will help you with cleaning the entire house to get it ready to go on the market.
The only way to look the part is by storing your belongings in areas that will not look obvious and therefore unappealing.
If you are preparing to sell your home, use these tips to help you put your belongings out of sight… and therefore out of homebuyers minds.
You might want to stage or pay to have some of your belonging put in storage to make the house appear less cluttered.
These costs come into play before the listing agreement is even signed.
Skip making repairs, keeping your home clean, renting storage space, and moving all of your stuff. Selling to Breyer Home Buyers makes selling easy on you. We will buy your house “as-is.” Fill out the form below to get an offer on your house and get just be done with it.
Beware of the Marketing Fees (Not All Agent in Atlanta Are All-Inclusive)
Not all agents are full service.
A common commission for real estate agents is 6% of the purchase price of the property. The fee is paid at closing by the seller unless some other arrangement has been made.
Some will charge you additional fees on top of their commission.
Or they will leave certain aspects of the marketing up to you.
There are flat rate agents who will list your house on the MLS and that’s it. You will need to show the property, handle questions, pay for additional marketing and more.
All of the details about a real estate agent’s fee should be in the agreement you sign when you hire an agent—don’t be afraid to ask questions if there’s anything you don’t understand.
Every agent is different in what they offer. If you choose to work with a Atlanta real estate agent, make sure you know what services they provide.
Generally, things like photography, the cost of listing the property, and the cost of any printed materials or signs are included in the fee, along with the real estate agent’s services, of course. If you have to do major staging or repair work, those costs will come out of your pocket.
Agents Will Inflate the Listing Price to Get Your Business
This isn’t true of all agent, but some will glorify your listing price in order to have you sign with them.
This can hurt your ability to sell your house quickly as a high price will make many people look the other way.
You will eventually need to lower the price, which only wastes your time in the long run. Houses that sit on the MLS get no way near as much attention as fresh listings hitting the market.
This is why it is important to price your property correctly from the get-go.
A Non-Responsive Agent Leaves You to Market Your Own House
There is nothing worse than being stuck in a listing agreement with someone who doesn’t return your calls.
A good agent will make you feel as if you are their only client. They will answer all of your calls and questions and touch base with you frequently to let you know of any developments in the selling process.
A bad agent, well… Just read this question on Bankrate.
I signed a one-year contract with a selling real estate agent in June, but she isn’t proactively trying to sell my home. She doesn’t show up for meetings, is slow to return calls and doesn’t report to me after an open house. There isn’t even a “for sale” sign posted now. What’s more, the MLS hasn’t been updated with the pictures I gave her a while ago. Now, she says she’s unable to sell the place and suggested I short sell. This isn’t the “assistance” I expected. How can I terminate this contract with my real estate agent?
If you are in a contract with a bad realtor, you may have to wait until the contract is over unless you want to pay cancellation fees to void the contract with them.
If they resist, you may have to resort to legal action to get them to relinquish the contract.
Don’t forget that while you’re fighting the realtor, you’re still paying utilities, mortgage payments, taxes, storage fees, and cleaning.
Being Stuck In A Contract
Getting stuck in a listing agreement can be very frustrating.
Most agreements will state that the agent is entitled to their commission no matter how the house is sold.
Even if you find the buyer yourself, you will still be required to pay your agent.
It is especially frustrating when you get stuck with an agent who isn’t working as hard as they should be.
You can find yourself doing much of the work, only to have them collect their fee when all is said and done.
Selling Direct Might Be For You
For many houses in the Atlanta area, a direct sale can be a much better choice.
There are no commissions, fees, repair costs, or marketing expenses.
You won’t have to wait around for a buyer or worry about the sale falling through.