Common Selling Mistakes
Don't make these mistakes when you go to sell your home!
1. Don't price your home too high!
In today's market, you must price the home correctly from the beginning. Lots of sellers want to price the home based on how much money they need from the sale or how much money they think the neighbor's sales price was. You cannot do this! In this market, you must price your home below the other homes for sale in the area and slightly above the most recent sales.When you price your home too high, all you are doing is selling the other homes in the area.
2. Don't wait to adjust the price!
I often talk to my sellers about adjusting the price on their house. Sometimes when a seller contacts me about relisting their house I find out that they never adjusted their price while it was on the market. When I ask them why, they will usually say that their old agent never suggested it, or that they had to call their agent to ask them to drop the price. Don't be complacent! You need to drop your price by 3% to 5% every 30 days until the house sells! This is a very competitive market and your house should have a price that keeps up with the competition.
3. Don't assume that buyers will make an offer on your house!
I often hear from sellers "well they can make an offer". Buyers don't make offers on the highest price of even the mid-priced homes. They will make an offer on the lowest priced home. Let's assume that two homes are for sale with similar features, similarly sized, in similar condition and in the same area. The first house is listed at $220,000, and the second at $215,000. Which one does the buyer make an offer on? The $215,000 house, of course! Now the owner of the $220,000 house is upset because he didn't get the offer. After all, he says that he would have accepted $199,000 for his house. Unfortunately, the buyers can't read the minds of the sellers. They are looking for the best deal and will of course seek it from the lower-priced home. If he wanted to sell, he should have been priced below the $215,000 house.
4. Don't allow the house to be on the market for months and months!
Buyers have more choices of homes to look at than ever before, oftentimes they have more homes that meet their requirements than they could ever want to see. How do they trim the list? They first look at the houses that just came on the market. That pretty much eliminates the house that has been on the market for a long time. If a buyer does look at a house that has been on the market for months, they will often low-ball the price dramatically. After all, this is a rough housing market and that seller has been in the ring for months now - he must be pretty battered and open to a lower offer, right? This is why I suggest to sellers that they lower their price competitively right away, because if they wait for months they may end up having to drop it even more to make a sale.
5. Don't trust appraisal pricing!
Don't assume that appraisal you got when you re-financed your home a few months ago is the proper list price. Most of the appraisals I have seen from a re-financing are much higher than the actual possible sales price. Lenders make money from re-financing so it makes sense that they are willing to inflate that price a little to get the homeowner to re-finance. The best way to get pricing is to look at the recent sales in the neighborhood.
6. Don't limit the marketing of your home!
In a time when it's hard to get a buyer in the house, don't tie your Realtor's hands. Things like limited showing hours, no sign and no photos all reduce the exposure of your house. Do everything you can to not limit the way your Realtor wants to market the house. You will sell the house faster and for more money.
7. Don't stick around for a Realtor showing!
Some buyers are very uncomfortable looking at a house when the sellers are present. If you can't be gone when the buyers get there, go out back or take a short walk. I have seen buyers leave a house because the sellers were there. They didn't even look at it! And whatever you do, don't try to sell your house to the buyers. That's what agents are for! You never know that the buyers are looking for, the agents do. I have seen sellers blow a sale because they didn't know what the buyer's hot button was and they tried to sell them on the exact opposite thing. And please, leave the pets at a friend or relative's house, if you can.
8. Don't misunderstand your contract!
I learned this rule from almost day one. I had a buyer and they made an offer on a house listed for sale by another agent. The contract was accepted and we went to do the home inspection. After we had been there for a while, the seller came out and said "I don't know why you are here. I'm not fixing a @%#* thing!" It was clear his agent did not explain the repair provisions of the contract to him. Read your contract before you sign it. Make sure you understand every line and if you don't, get it explained to you by your agent. Don't be like that seller. He signed his contract and in the end, despite his misunderstanding,Â he still had to make the @%#* repairs.
9. Don't bring emotion to the table!
Have you ever noticed that often when a real estate agent is talking about buying they use the word "home" but when they are selling, it's a "house"? That's because sellers need to learn to try to leave their emotional investment behind. I know it can be difficult, but remember, your house is a product, and right now the market is flooded with products. That means, that no matter how much you loved your house and how much it was worth to you, you still need to be able to present and price your product competitively. Prepare your house smartly, de-personalize it, make sure that it's the buyers who invest emotionally in the home, not you. And don't let calls for repairs or lower offers offend you - remember, the buyers are trying to get the best deal too. Check your emotion at the door.
If you are considering selling your house, please feel free to contact me. I will give you an honest assessment of the value of your house and help keep you from making these mistakes. You can email me or call or text me directly at (407) 421-1052.
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