A House is Like a Box of Cereal

A FACEBOOK FRIEND BRINGS UP A GREAT “LISTING” QUESTION.  When preparing a house for sale:  “Extreme Makeover.  Is that the direction of today’s real estate market?”

I enjoy interacting with customers, clients and friends on my Facebook page (Val-A-Homes.com on Facebook).  This week, I had a potential seller post a web page showing some before and after photos of a house.  She was curious about the “after” shots.  She felt the makeover was pretty extreme (if this were a house being prepared for a listing) and wondered if that was the direction of today’s market.

SPECIAL NOTE TO THE OWNER OF THE HOME PROVIDED IN THE WEB PAGE” LINK REFERENCED ABOVE:  Your house is absolutely gorgeous!  The before and after shots are fantastic.  Your decor and creativity are top-notch!  The notes below are simply using your photos as examples of what to consider when listing a home.  (Not necessarily your home).   Thank you!  ~Agent Val, metro realty

One thing I pointed out was the “BEFORE” photos were of the house when it was listed for sale.  The “AFTER” photos were of the house after the family moved in.  BIG difference.

For the best results, appeal to the majority. The more people a house can attract, the higher the percentage of interested buyers. With taste-specific decorating, we minimize our “audience,” and can lose potential buyers.

In today’s market, Sellers are fighting to get back what they’ve lost. So, to get top dollar, a house MUST stand out from the rest. It’s more than paint color. It’s about staging, rearranging, reorganizing, and repairing. To list a house, a seller needs to start thinking of the house as if it were a “product” on a store shelf.


[EXAMPLE “A”]  A beat-up box of cereal will stay in the back of the shelf. When a potential buyer picks it up, even though the contents are not destroyed, the buyer will probably ask for a discount.

If buyers see a property in need of repair (even if it’s only cosmetic), they’re going to look for a discount.  Oftentimes, the discount is LARGER than the cost of the actual repair.

[EXAMPLE “B”]  A box of cereal that’s over-priced just because it’s “organic,” might stay on the shelf a little longer, because it doesn’t appeal to the majority.

Over-priced listings will get little to no showing appointments.  So, the small “audience” will result in a small percentage of potential buyers.  Why would a seller over-price?  Well, one obvious reason… MONEY.  Another reason; sellers take great pride in the house they’ve lived in.  There’s personal attachment and almost EVERY seller will think their property is an exception to the “fair market value.”

If a seller reaches too high on price, it’s very likely the house will sit on the market too long and become a, “stale,” listing.  Stale listings are perceived as deficient.  Even if there’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with the house and the Seller is simply “testing the market,” Buyers will think one of two things:  “What’s wrong with the house?”  and/or  “The seller must not be negotiable (or may be greedy).”  Yes, there may be a buyer willing to pay the price, but how long can you wait?

[EXAMPLE “C”]  A box of cereal that’s priced right in the middle, and hits all the right sugary spots, will get picked up every single time.  It appeals to the majority, so it’ll always fly off the shelves.

Listings that fall within the “Fair Market Value,” will receive serious offers and often sells closer to a seller’s asking price.  “Fair” is the key word.  A house will sell at a price the BUYER thinks is FAIR.  So, if a house is listed in the fair market range for the area, the house will get LOTS of attention.

THE GOOD NEWS: There’s a buyer for every box of cereal (and house).
The question is, how long do you want it sitting on the “shelf?”

Brought to you by:  Agent Val

Texas law requires all real estate license holders to provide the Information About Brokerage Services to all prospective clients. TREC’s Consumer Protection Notice.


Published by AgentVal

Val's architectural studies, military background, and love for teaching became the pathway to her real estate career. From day one, she realized that the grand world of real estate was more than just closing deals, that it was about building relationships, building trust, and building opportunities for everyone to become a homeowner. Since 1998, Val has dedicated herself to coaching home buyers, home sellers, and home investors with integrity, honesty, experience, and resourcefulness. Whether buying or selling a small tract of land or a luxury estate, Val believes every client deserves eXtraordinary first-class service.

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