The Truth Behind the “Guaranteed Sale” Programs
If you listen to the radio while in the car or have even paid attention to the billboards and other advertisements found around the Guelph area, you've probably heard or seen an ad for a realtor offering to buy your house if it doesn't sell in however many days. And while your first thought might be that it's a scam, you can rest easy knowing that it's not. It does, however, come with a lot of fine print guidelines and stipulations. This blog post is dedicated to sharing many of the "fine print" that many realtors may use when offering a promotion like this. I am by no means trying to talk negatively about this type of promotion, about the realtors who offer it or am I saying you should avoid it, my goal here is to simply help you better understand the promotion so that you can make a more educated decision when it comes time to sell your home.
When reading the requirements below, it's important to remember that every realtor will do things differently and they may require one, all or even none of the conditions below be met before offering you a "guaranteed sale" offer. The requirements below are merely some of the more common practices.
Requirement #1 – Home Warranty
Different from homeowner’s insurance, a home warranty covers costs if major appliances or home systems fail. They typically cover one year and can cost a few hundred dollars up to a thousand dollars. Many realtors require you purchase a home warranty because it increases the appeal of your home to buyers. It gives buyers confidence that they're covered if they buy your house and something goes wrong, and it can also be the deciding factor between your home selling or sitting.
Requirement #2 – Home Inspection
A home inspection is a standard service when buying and selling a house. But what differs in this scenario, is that you, the seller, are the one having the inspection completed. Typically, this is something a potential buyer would do, but again, to maximize your home's appeal, realtors may require you have the inspection completed beforehand. This brings any immediate problems to the forefront and will attract more buyers. Buyers will be intrigued knowing that they don't have to complete an inspection themselves and that any significant issues have been brought to their attention.
Requirement #3 – Get a Third-Party Appraisal
The third common requirement many realtors may ask of you is that you receive a third-party appraisal. While realtors are typically experts in estimating the value of a home in specific areas of their region, a third-party appraisal will take into account many other details. This not only provides the homeowner with a look at the real value of their home but will also guarantee that the house doesn't get priced too high or too low and risk not selling. In many cases, this requirement also becomes the foundation of the "guaranteed-sale" contract helping both the realtor and the seller understand what kind of value they are looking at if the home does not sell.
Requirement #4 – Professionally Stage Your Home
The majority of sellers aren’t interior designers. And that's ok. You have a full-time job where you're an expert at something else. But as another requirement, some realtors may force you to have your home professionally-staged before it hits the market. While your décor and furniture may fit your family's lifestyle, it won't match that of prospective buyers. But by having your home professionally-staged, it guarantees that your home reflects the latest design trends and has furniture and décor that suits its style and amount of space.
Why do Realtors have requirements?
As you can probably tell the majority of requirements, a realtor puts in place are focused on maximizing your home's appeal. And that's precisely why they put them in place. They want to know that your home is ready to wow potential buyers the second it hits the market. That every last effort was exhausted to sell your home and that if it doesn't sell it was not for lack of trying. At the end of the day, if they do buy your home, you end up getting what you wanted (albeit, possibly less than if it had of sold on the market), but the realtor will be paying out of their own pocket and can potentially have to wait a long time before they get their money back.
Marketing Ploy or Legitimate Offer?
As with everything we read or hear nowadays, it’s important to take these offers with a grain of salt. Every realtor will have their own opinion about these promotions, but as the seller, it’s important to feel comfortable and confident with whatever decision you make. My advice is to ask as many questions as possible. Most realtors will have no problem explaining every last detail to you, and if they have a problem, they’re not the realtor for you. As long as you and your family feel comfortable and confident with your decision, then there's no reason that these promotions can't benefit you.
I hope I've helped debunk some of your preconceived notions of the "guaranteed-sale" promotions we all hear far too often. As I said above, my goal for this article was not to talk negatively about the offers or the realtors who offer them, but merely shine some light on the entire situation and help you make a better-educated decision. If you have any questions regarding anything discussed above or would like to ask a different question about these type of promotions, I encourage you to reach out to me by phone, email or even on social media.