With the announcement that filming of the new Star Wars movie “The Force Awakens” has finished filming and rumors we may see the first trailer in the next 5-6 months, it’s hard for fans not to feel excited. But did you know there are some good lessons for home sellers to learn from the Star Wars universe? Here are a few I noticed.
1. First Impressions are Important
Obi-Wan: [in reference to the Death Star] “That’s no moon. It’s a space station.”
Han Solo: “It’s too big to be a space station.”
Luke: “I have a very bad feeling about this.”
What first impression is your home giving? Did you know it only takes 15 seconds for a buyer to form an opinion of your home? That’s pretty much the walk from their car to your front door. That says a lot about curb appeal!
So, is your curb appeal saying “well maintained”, “greatness lies inside”, or “we blow up entire planets for a living”? If it’s the latter, we have some talking to do. For tips on preparing your home for sale, check out our Seller Guide.
2. Let the Professionals Do the Work
Luke Skywalker: [on first seeing the Millenium Falcon] What a piece of junk!
Han Solo: She’ll make point five past lightspeed. She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid. I’ve made a lot of special modifications myself.
Han Solo won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian in a bet during the Cloud City Sabacc Tournament. Afterwards, he started adding his own enhancements to the ship. The jammer that Solo installed was so powerful that the first time the unit was tested, it disrupted the information relays inside the Falcon itself just as an Imperial ship was launching. Luckily, it made the Falcon shut down making it unnoticeable to the Imperial ship. This was just one instance when Solo’s “special modifications” put him in a bind.
If you’re a handy person and have done a lot of the work around your home to keep it maintained, that’s great! Just know that anything done without a permit when one was required could get you in trouble with the county, the extent of which fully depends on the circumstances. Also, any repairs requested during the Due Diligence Period should be done by a professional. This isn’t just for the buyer’s peace of mind, but to cover you, as well. You don’t want to be held liable for repairs that were not done correctly. If the professional makes the mistake, they are the ones who have insurance and will have to correct it.
3. Being Caught Off-Guard Could Cost You a Hand and a…
On Cloud City, Luke Skywalker is caught off-guard by a trap set by Darth Vader. He enters into the epic duel that will eventually lead to the loss of his hand and the revelation that Vader is his father. It isn’t the news about his father that leads him to lose his hand, but rather his belief that he knows all he needs to in order to defeat Vader when, in fact, Vader is holding back revealing the extent of his abilities the whole time.
As a home seller, it’s important you aren’t caught off-guard by any “traps” set by your home…figuratively speaking, of course. You may have made it a priority to maintain your home’s condition throughout the time you owned it, but you just never know when something may break. Ordering a home warranty when you list the property will help to alleviate the costs of repairs for yourself and the buyers. 2-10 Home Warranty will cover your home without any upfront payments as long as your home is listed. If something breaks, rather than paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for the repairs, you pay a small deductible. This is covered in more detail in their brochure.
4. Don’t Let Your Emotions Rule You or You May End Up Going to the Dark Side
Chancellor Palpatine convinced Anakin Skywalker to give in to the dark side of the force by telling him about a Sith Lord who could stop people from dying. This is exactly what he wanted to hear – that it could help him save his wife, Amidala, from dying, as he had seen in his visions. Instead, his very act of giving into the dark side led to the death of his wife in a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Now, we’re not saying you’re going to become an evil Sith Lord, but we highly suggest you don’t believe everything you’re told. Some agents will tell you exactly what you want to hear in order to get you to list your home with them, but when it comes time to produce results, you may find there aren’t many. So, make sure you’re asking the right questions and requesting testimonials before you hire anyone. A good agent might not tell you what you want to hear, but they’ll tell you the truth.
By the way, the original headline for this section was “Do Your Research or You May End Up Kissing Your Sister”. Yeah, not quite the same effect.
5. Do or Do Not, There is No Try
During his training of Luke in The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda provides one of the most famous quotes from the Star Wars Trilogy – “Do or do not. There is no try.” His intent is to teach Luke to commit himself completely to his training. “Trying” is committing to an excuse before he fails or succeeds. He either raises his ship into the air or he doesn’t.
When you list your home for sale, you need to fully commit to it. Sellers that don’t want to take the time to work on the presentation of their home or frequently decline showings will not see the offers that other comparable homes do. If your home doesn’t look maintained, buyers will undervalue it. If you often decline showings, not only will you possibly be turning away your buyer, but Realtors will deem you difficult to work with and may choose not to add you to their clients’ list of homes. Then, your home will sit on the market for months and that also can hurt the sale of your home, because Realtors and buyers will see the history of your home, question the reasons for it not selling, and probably avoid it, even if you take it off the market for a few weeks. You truly need to give it your all from the first day of listing or you might as well not list.
We know the potential selling price is a big driving force for homeowners. If you aren’t sure what other homes are selling for in your neighborhood, you can find out on our home values website (it’s automated and free) or you can call us and we’ll do a Comparative Market Analysis, which is your most accurate choice.
6. You Must Unlearn What You Have Learned
Yoda is chock-full of great wisdom. If you watched the clip above, you heard Yoda say, “You must unlearn what you have learned.” This is another quote from Luke’s training on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back. At this point, Yoda is telling Luke that he needs to relearn his way of thinking. Of course, that’s easier said than done.
If you’ve sold a home in the past (over 2-3 years ago) or are taking advice from a friend or family member who has, one might say you need to unlearn what you have learned, because there have been so many changes. New laws, new technology, and new buyer habits have made selling a home a whole new ball game. There was a time when selling a house only required a 4-6 page contract. A basic contract today is 16 pages or more (even oil rights are covered), and only increases depending on the age of your home and the current state of your finances (if you need to short sale it). Then, add in the fact that 90% of buyers start their home search online and you quickly realize that marketing the home is no longer just placing an ad in the local newspaper or holding an open house.
When sellers list with us, we walk them through the whole process from signing the paperwork to marketing. If you’re thinking of selling your Wilmington area home and would like to know more about how we can help you get it sold, give us a call at 910.202.2546 or send us a message through our Contact page.