Stop Sweating | Use These Listing-Prep Hacks = Article in “Seattle Real Producers” Magazine
Excitement builds on your way to your new listing opportunity: You’ve had a great phone call with the client, done your preliminary research, and you’re ready to bring the listing “home”! But, wait, you pull up to the house, and the landscape is overgrown, the exterior paint is in marginal shape, and the moss-laden roof looks questionable. You quickly realize that it’s going to be a process getting this home marketready. The interior is cluttered with personal possessions and “stuff,” and the furniture is dated. The client is going to be living in the home while it’s listed. Of course you want the listing, but how are you going to make this work? How do you get from Point A to Point Z?
Our ability to problem solve and be resourceful is what we get paid for. Working with a scene as described above all the way through to a successful closing and a happy client may seem daunting, but with a little finesse, you can do it!
Here are my top “hacks” from getting from Point A to Point Z quickly and (hopefully) painlessly.
1. Align yourself with a professional organizer.
One of my best resources, and one of my highest ROI activities in preparing my clients homes, is hiring a professional organizer for my clients. Not only does the client feel like you’re going above and beyond, the house gets decluttered, packed and organized much more quickly than your client could have done on their own, so you’re able to list and sell it faster! Depending on the listing price, I determine how much of their time I will pay for, but I guarantee, it’s been money well spent.
2. Have your service provider list at the ready, and make sure you kindle that relationship.
From painters, to roof cleaners and landscapers to house cleaners, make sure you’re treating these people well or else they’re not going to drop everything to get to your project. It’s the simple things: bringing them coffee, having pizza delivered to job sites, showing your appreciation for their time. This is especially true if you’re needing to get competitive bids on projects. Make sure you’ve left things with them so they’ll be happy to give you a bid on a different project.
3. Have your staging “A” and “B” teams.
Most of our best stagers absolutely will not stage lived-in homes. Here and there I see a new stager getting into the business on Facebook – connect with them! They might be your saving grace because they haven’t established hard and fast rules for their business.
4. Get familiar with the “Pod”-type services.
Many clients get overwhelmed by the magnitude of their house-readying project. There is just so much stuff! Having a storage unit delivered to the clients home and having your organizer help them pack it is also a fantastic way to hurry the process along.