Buyer Feedback Helps Home Sellers Fine Tune Appeal of Their Property, RE/MAX Reports

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When a home is for sale, finding out what prospective buyers think of the property after visiting it can be vital to a successful sale, according to experienced RE/MAX brokers. The longer a listing lingers on the market, the more valuable buyer feedback becomes.

Sellers need to realize they aren’t competing against HGTV. Their competition is the other houses for sale in the neighborhood.

After a real estate broker lists a home for sale, a prime responsibility is learning what prospective buyers think of the property after visiting it. Gathering this information isn’t always easy, but it can be vital to selling the property.

Buyers and their brokers often look at many homes in a short period, and providing detailed feedback isn’t their top priority, but a conscientious listing broker works hard to get that information.

Feedback can be invaluable, according to Peggy Alexa of REMAX Synergy in Frankfort, Ill.

“Especially if a property has condition challenges, we can take steps to improve the home’s condition based on what buyers say, or maybe we need to adjust the price,” she said.

Depending on the property, feedback can be more or less important, but it is always useful, said Alexa.

“For example, if buyers consistently cite the layout of the home as a problem, there isn’t much you can do about it other than adjust the price,” she said. “If a home is priced right and in great condition, most of the feedback will be complimentary, which is great, but getting an offer is the ultimate goal.”

The longer a listing lingers on the market, the more valuable feedback becomes, according to Terrance Muse of RE/MAX Vision 212 in Chicago.

“In the current market, if a home has been listed for three weeks and is getting showings but isn’t attracting offers, that can be a cause for concern,” he said.

Muse recently worked with a rehabber who had done a great job upgrading an existing home but had replaced only some of the old windows.

“We were getting consistent feedback that the old windows were a concern,” he said. “So, I explained that to my client; he replaced all the remaining old windows, and we soon had an offer.”

Feedback can also help sellers fine tune their listing price.

“If a house isn’t selling, the seller will want to know why, and often the sellers will place a higher value on their property than the market will support,” Muse explained. “But if we’re getting consistent negative feedback about the price, sellers usually will be willing to re-evaluate.”

Among the most useful aspects of feedback from a broker’s perspective is that it can reinforce advice they’ve given the sellers that was not initially accepted.

Elissa Palermo of RE/MAX in the Village, Realtors, in Oak Park, Ill., recently held an open house for brokers at a newly listed home and then had several showings.

“Our feedback was that the house looked dark and dated, and what that did was reinforce advice I’d already offered about staging the property and improving the lighting. With that additional input, the sellers were more willing to act on those recommendations,” she said.

Palermo believes strongly in holding open houses for brokers because they provide the most valuable feedback.

“Local brokers know the market conditions, the competing properties and what has sold recently. They’re in an excellent position to evaluate the strengths and weakness of a given home and how well it is priced,” she said.

Another benefit of feedback that Palermo sees repeatedly is its ability to serve as a tiebreaker.

“Often, a couple selling a home can’t agree on what should be done to get it sold,” she explained. “Feedback from buyers or brokers often will convince one of them that the other had a valid point about the need to replace carpeting, put some furniture in storage or reface the kitchen cabinets.”

Feedback should be accepted with a grain or two of salt, advised Julie Humpal of RE/MAX Property Source in Rockford, Ill.

“Buyers today are less interested in making a home their own by working on it. They are busy and prefer a home requiring minimal work. Anything that doesn’t conform to their wish list can draw a negative comment, even something as easy to change as the paint color in a bedroom,” she said.

Humpal noted that because there has been little new residential construction in the last decade, nearly every home listed in the Rockford market draws feedback about looking “dated.”

“Homes here don’t look like the newest designs folks see on HGTV, and that comes across in the feedback,” she said. “Sellers need to realize they aren’t competing against HGTV. Their competition is the other houses for sale in the neighborhood.”

RE/MAX agents consistently rank among the most productive in the industry. In 2016, RE/MAX Northern Illinois agents averaged 18 transaction sides. RE/MAX has been the leader in the northern Illinois real estate market since 1989 and is continually growing. The RE/MAX Northern Illinois network, with headquarters in Elgin, Ill., consists of more than 2,250 sales associates and 105 independently owned and operated RE/MAX offices that provide a full range of residential and commercial brokerage services. Its mobile real estate app, available for download at http://www.illinoisproperty.com, provides comprehensive information about residential and commercial property for sale in the region. The northern Illinois network is part of RE/MAX, a global real estate organization with 115,000+ sales associates in 100+ nations.

EDITOR’S NOTE: RE/MAX® is a registered trademark. Please spell in all caps. Thank you. This release is posted at blog.illinoisproperty.com.

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Chris Calomino
RE/MAX Northern Illinois
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