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Why Crofton Home Sellers Need Written Goals

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A series based upon 12 Key Questions for All Home Sellers 


1.  WHAT ARE YOUR SPECIFIC MEASURABLE GOALS?  (Be sure to write them down and prioritize them.)

CleaningPreparing your home for sale is hard work! 

Clean the closets, clear the counters, shampoo (or replace) the carpet, paint the front door, polish the chrome, organize the garage, board the dogs…  Oh my, the list just goes on and on.  

You’re probably thinking, “And now Margaret wants me to take time to write down my goals for selling?  Is she kidding?  In all my spare time?  I don’t need to write them down because I already KNOW why I’m selling my home!”

Okay, let’s compromise.  You don’t have to write them down if you’re working with me as your agent because I will ask about your goals and write them down for you.  (Note, not all agents do this – or even understand the importance of this practice.)  If, however, you sell your home without an agent, this IS one of the things you should do.  Failing to do so could cost you the sale of your Crofton home.  I’ve seen it happen, and that’s why I call this a KEY QUESTION.


Why write down your goals? 

Goals - SellersWell, let’s start by clarifying that your goals must be MEASURABLE so you know success when it happens – or doesn’t.  Ask yourself the following questions (and write down the answers):

1.  How much do I want/need to net from the sale of my home after all closing expenses? $                    

2.  What sale price is necessary to end up with this bottom line?  $                   

3.  What is the drop-dead date for selling my home?                                      
By the way, what exactly will I do if it doesn’t sell by then?                                            

Next, PRIORITIZE them.                                                                                     

Okay, now I’ll answer your question about why I say that Crofton home sellers need written goals. 

Negotiating the sale of your home can be an emotionally draining experience.  It’s very easy to get caught up in details such as the buyer wanting all your curtains (but you LOVE the ones in the bedroom that match your bedspread), or the buyers are asking for $10,000 in closing help (and you’re against that on principal) or the buyer wants you to clean the gutters before settlement (you just did that last month, and you’re highly offended that he asked).

This is when you need to pull out your prioritized measurable goals to evaluate any offer.  If the terms meet or exceed your written goals, then nothing else matters.  Right?  Anything and everything else is (or should be) negotiable.


Lessons LearnedExperience counts!

I cannot tell you how many people I’ve seen reject a good offer, based on their selling goals, only to settle for a much less desirable contract much later – these examples are real-life cases from my days as a real estate rookie.  That is why I began the practice of writing down sellers’ goals, many years ago. 

This is just one of the hundreds of lessons I’ve learned through 30+ years of experience in real estate sales, settlements and management in Crofton.  It is one of the many intangibles that go far beyond the MLS listing for your home and the sign in your yard, when you choose me or another experienced agent to represent your interests. 

Selling your Crofton home is a big deal!  Don’t lose a sale by failing to write down your measurable goals;  this small effort will help you recognize a “good” offer, regardless of any emotional reaction to the buyers or the terms they offer.  Better yet, choose an experienced agent to write down those goals for you and to advocate passionately for you and your priorities in negotiations.  Believe me, there is no substitute for experience in real estate negotiations!


NEXT WEEK:  What is Today’s Interest Rate for a Home Like Yours (and why does it matter)?
My Words of Wisdom will be published weekly on and

Copyright 2007.  All rights reserved.  Margaret Woda

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