If you make a mistake when you sell your
home, you stand to lose a LOT.
If you're like most people,
your home is very likely your most valuable investment. Even
a single mistake can prove very costly. Selling is harder than
it seems. Even in a hot market, there are many homes that don't
sell for one reason or another or don't sell at its full market
potential. If you make one of these common mistakes, you could
find yourself wondering what's gone wrong, even as your neighbors
are selling in the blink of an eye.
When you sell your home, you're in direct competition with
other home sellers in your area. Avoid the most common mistakes
made by other sellers, and you'll stay a step ahead of the
- NOT HAVING A PLAN:
to sell your home is a BIG decision. It's very important
to set out in writing the reasons that are motivating you
to sell your current home. Every decision you make, and every
step you take is crucial in helping you get what you want,
in the time you want, with the fewest hang-ups possible.
That's why you need a plan. You should ask yourself, "Why
am I selling my home, what do I want to accomplish, and in
what time frame?" For example, if you have a growing
family, and need more space, you might have more time to
get your house sold, and less urgency to sell, than if you
were moving to a new state due to a job transfer.
- FAILING TO PREPARE YOUR HOME
In the competitive marketplace, you need
to show your house at its best. Your home should be in "move-in" condition
from the first day it's listed. Buyers love homes that
are bright, fresh and clean (and they will often pay
a premium for a home that is already in great shape before
they move in)! We are GREAT at seeing a home through
a buyer's eyes!
- OVER IMPROVING:
clearing out clutter, cleaning, and making repairs are
important ways to get your home ready for sale, undertaking
a major project could cost much more money than you would
recover from the sale. Some major repairs, however, like
replacing a roof, should be done if they are needed, because
doing so brings your home up to selling standards.
- SELLING IT YOURSELF:
just made that BIG decision: "Let's
move!" Now the confusion, panic, and maybe even
FEAR starts to set in! "How much is the
move going to cost? Could I save some money by just selling
it on my own?" It sounds so easy, doesn't it?
Just put a sign in the yard, sit back, and then pick
and choose from all the offers that magically appear.
But, we all know that nothing in life is that simple.
And since selling on your own involves MAJOR financial
and legal practices, it's ANYTHING but simple! In almost
every case, we can NET you (not gross, but net)
more than you can net on your own.
- CHOOSING THE WRONG AGENT:
list your home with an agent just because they say that
they can get you a higher price than anyone else, because
they sent you a Christmas card every year since you moved
in, or because you used them when you bought your home
20 years ago. The best way to set your price is with a
well-researched market analysis. Agents who promise to
get you a higher price are just trying to "buy" your listing.
They'll tell you what you want to hear, just to get your
the best way to make sure that your home sits on the market?
Overprice it. Make sure to ask for more than any home
has ever sold for in your neighborhood. By setting the
price too high, you turn away the best prospects for your
home. An overpriced property will not sell, and will most
likely become devalued over time as it becomes stale on
the market! We can do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA),
and help you set the best price for your home.
- HANGING AROUND DURING SHOWINGS:
you want the seller of the house you're looking to buy
to watch over your shoulder as you look inside their kitchen
cabinets? Probably not. So why would you stay around
during showings? During showings, you should try to leave
the house if at all possible, although it isn't necessary
for you to leave the home every time an agent makes an
appointment. However, when they do arrive, take a walk
outside, or if the weather won't permit, go to one corner
of the house, out of earshot, so the Buyer feels comfortable
making comments about your home to their Agent. It is important
for you not to be in the house, if at all possible. If
you must stay in the house, let the Agent handle it, be
courteous, but don't force conversation with the Buyer.
They want to inspect your home, not pay a social call.
Oftentimes, Buyers don't feel comfortable with the Sellers
home, and just rush through without paying much attention.
Be cautions in talking to the customer - the one thing
you may want pointed out about your home may be the one
thing the Buyer isn't too keen on. Casual remarks that
you feel are harmless could possibly cause the Buyer to
eliminate your home.
People are offended
by a house that stinks of dirty diapers, cigarette or
cigar smoke, or dirty animals. If you're going to put your
home on the market, and you have kids, animals, or are
a smoker, make sure you have your home cleaned top to bottom.
If you're a smoker, stop smoking in the house, and make
sure to have the rugs and curtains professionally cleaned.
On the day of a showing, make sure your animals are crated.
Let fresh air in.
- LIMITING ACCESS TO YOUR HOME:
people can't get in to see your home when they want to,
they'll never make an offer. Using a
lockbox has been shown to increase the number of showings
by over 30%. You should give your agent nearly
free reign to create a timetable of showings that will
meet the needs of most buyers. Flexibility is the key,
and while that means you'll have to stay on top of the
housekeeping, you will probably sell your home faster.
- LETTING YOUR HOUSE GO STALE:
a buyer's market, where there are more homes available
than buyers to purchase them, it's not unusual to have
a home sit on the market for 6 months or even a year. But
in a hot sellers' market, homes sell quickly. If it doesn't,
it may appear "stale" in the eyes of brokers and active
buyers. To some brokers, a stale home means it can be bought
at a discount. Some buyers may perceive that there is something
wrong with your home. Rather than letting your home grow
stale on the market, consider taking it off for a couple
of weeks, and then re-listing it at a lower price.
- FAILING TO RECOGNIZE A GOOD OFFER:
is worth responding to, even if the buyer is several
thousand dollars below your asking price. The message you
send back is encoded in your counter-offer. If you come
back even $100 lower, you suggest to the buyer that you're
willing to entertain a serious offer, but that the current
offer won't cut it. By not responding at all, you risk
annoying the buyer by not playing the game, and they might
just move on to the next property. What is a good offer?
An offer that either comes within spitting distance of,
or exceeds, the minimum price you'd be willing to accept
for your property. Recognize that, and you've come a long
way towards selling your home.
When you put your home on the market, you don't want any
unpleasant surprises to pop up that could cost you the sale
of your home. By having an understanding of these 11 potential
problems, you're arming yourself against future disappointment.