These are the most common mistakes that make homeowners lose precious time and leave money on the table when selling their homes you should avoid.
1. Ineffective marketing of your property.
Marketing a home, especially in a buyer’s market, can require lots of hard work and dedication. Open houses and print ads just won’t cut it anymore for this type of market. What else is your REALTOR© doing to market your home? Do they offer TV, Internet, radio, billboard, bus shelter or other advertising mediums? Remember, your home needs to stand out against hundreds of other properties for sale. Also, consider that only 1% of the homes are sold at open houses, and 3% of buyers purchased a home after viewing a print ad. Ask your sales representative to inform you of their marketing strategies for your home.
2. Not basing your listing price on fair market value.
Everyone has a certain attachment to their home and pride of ownership. Don’t let these emotions cloud your vision when setting an asking price for your home. How much you paid for your home and your love of its features, are not solid principles on which to determine your listing price. Setting the asking price of a property should always be based on market value. Appraisers will base the value of your home on the condition of the property, location, what properties with similar features in the same area have sold for, what other properties in the same area are listed for, the overall condition of the economy and the real estate market. If your home is not priced competitively, homebuyers will prefer larger or better homes in the same price range, increasing your days on the market. In a buyers’ market, homes typically stay on the market for 30-90 days. In a sellers’ market, homes usually sell in less than 30 days if priced right. If you price high and later lower your price, buyers may be concerned that there may be other reasons the house has remained unsold for so long.
3. Failing to "showcase" your home.
A property that is dirty and not well kept often suggests hidden defects that will increase the total cost of ownership. If you’re selling your home, make all necessary repairs before you list. Keep your home neat and tidy, ready to be shown at any given time. Buyers can be turned off very easily by an under-maintained home and will leave a large margin for repair costs if they decide to make an offer.
4. Making too many improvements before you sell your home.
The two most profitable renovations are kitchen and bathroom updates. They are rooms that need to satisfy buyers’ wants and needs. Before starting any renovation project when selling, consult with your REALTOR® first. They can evaluate the before and after market values of your home to see if the renovations are a worthwhile investment. Many sellers spend thousands of dollars upgrading the wrong features in their home before selling expecting to make a profit. Consult with a professional to ensure you are renovating at minimal cost and making the most from your investment.
5. Choosing the wrong REALTOR© or for the wrong reasons.
Many sellers will list their property with the most popular real estate company, the agent who offers them the lowest commission or the agent who suggests the highest listing price. In the end, the real estate agent gets your home sold, choose the one who is the best salesperson and has the best negotiating skills. That could mean a higher price at the negotiating table, selling in less time and with less hassle along the way.
6. Not taking the first offer seriously.
Many home sellers believe that the first offer received will be one of many. Too many sellers hold out for a higher price and end up accepting a much lower offer later on. If an offer arrives soon after the home is listed is usually due to a large amount of promotion of your home during the first 2 weeks of listing. Consider an early offer because it just may be the best one you’ll get.
7. Using a "Hard Sell" approach during showings and open houses.
Exceptional REALTORS© let buyers discover a home's features on their own. Buyers can usually tell fairly quickly if they connect with the home or not. An agent who oversells features of your home during showings, makes buyers think they are paying for ones they may not want.
8. Not knowing your rights and obligations.
The contract you sign to sell your property is a complex and a legally binding document. An improperly written contract can allow the purchaser to void the sale or cost you thousands of dollars. Before you agree to sign, have your REALTOR© fully explain the contract and any offers.
Now you know them, so your selling process will go smoothly and successfully as you may expect.