by Cynthia Cummins
Cynthia is owner and founder of Kindred SF Homes and a top San Francisco Realtor. Check out RealEstateTherapy.org for refreshing reflections on the meaning of home and for more “best real estate advice” (since 2013).
Reading time: 2 minutes 36 seconds
1. Your agent loves you like nobody else: As your Realtor, my sole goal is to help you sell your house so you can happily progress with your life. I am your biggest fan and I am likely the only professional – during your entire lifetime – who will love you as unconditionally as an ideal mother.
2. Stand back and let the stager stage: You’ve chosen to stage your home. This means you’re smart. But it doesn’t mean you’re now an authority on staging. Your design work is now done and you can and should focus elsewhere. (Critiquing and making suggestions is like telling your dentist how to extract your tooth after she’s put the dental dam in your mouth. It’ll be better in every way if you sit back and try to relax.)
3. If an idea upsets you, don’t take it personally: When your agent makes a suggestion for improving the way your home shows and it really rankles you, don’t get mad. Instead, listen up! His job is not to flatter you. His job – as your ALLY – is to provide an objective perspective for your benefit. What he’s recommending is exactly what you should prioritize. So, take a deep breath and say yes to recarpeting the entry stairs, repainting the front door and replacing the dining room light fixture.
4. Overthinking the details will make you unhappy and anxious: Real estate sales in San Francisco are all about supply and demand. With demand historically outstripping supply for decades, it’s highly likely that someone wants to pay a lot of money for your home. Your agent’s marketing plan will optimize the situation, but everything about the house doesn’t have to be perfect. You are welcome to explore (and ask your long-suffering agent about) tiny clever details that might catalyze more offers and more money, but a decently staged house will sell itself. You don’t have to hunt down and install white impatiens in the front planter because they match the house trim. Pink impatiens – or no impatiens – won’t make a dot of a difference. Try to let it go.
5. Your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues mean well and yet…: Everybody thinks they’re an expert on residential real estate but they’re not. They share wonderful ideas and cautionary tales but these are unfortunate and confusing distractions. Your former college roommate Mindy’s experience in buying a house in Reno has no bearing on your sale of a condo at The Madrone. Mindy bought one house three years ago in another state. Your agent has sold 268 condos in San Francisco.
6. Stuff happens and it’s okay: Something is going to go wrong. It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of what and when. Try to remember to remain calm when your agent calls to tell you that closing has been delayed, or that the pest control inspection came in at $75,000, or that – even though you’re staged, photographed and ready for business – the county just shut down all real estate showings for a month (ha ha) due to COVID. Real estate is just part of life, and life throws you curveballs. Luckily, you have an agent who cares almost as much as you do and – together –you’ll get through it.
7. Remember your manners: Express your gratitude when all is said and done. The work we do is so incredibly challenging and nuanced, and it’s a 24/7 job. Do you know anyone else who keeps such hours and works for $0 until you’re closed and satisfied? Yes, we are well compensated and no deal unfolds without a hitch or disappointment, yet we still deserve a thank you. A spoken word, a written note, a smile. If only for the sake of keeping your karma clean, appreciate the one who loved you through the process.
Photo Credit: Maurice Williams
At Kindred, we work hand-in-hand with you to find the best way forward. Contact one of our top San Francisco Realtors today to learn more about how we can enhance your selling experience.