SELLING YOUR HOME
4 Major Home Selling Mistakes to Avoid
1. Skipping the necessary preparation:
Once the decision has been made to sell, many sellers want to get their home on the market as quickly as possible.
Taking the time to get your home ready for sale is one of the most important steps in the selling process.
Skipping or skrimping on this step is one of the biggest mistakes a home seller can make. You only get one chance to make a first impression and a great first impression can translate to actual dollar value – especially in a competitive market.
Take the time to paint, make repairs, declutter, tidy landscaping and stage the home, if needed. An experienced real estate professional can help you to determine what work needs to be done and how it could affect the value of your home in the local market.
Don’t over-remodel: Minor fix-up is good, but an expensive bath or kitchen remodel does not pay for itself.
2. Pricing too high for the market.
Initially pricing your home correctly for the market can mean the difference between it selling or sitting for months without even a showing.
An experienced Realtor should provide the seller with a thoroughly prepared CMA, “comparative market analysis”, a study analyzing and comparing 6-10 recently sold (with similar size and configuration and age) homes in the neighborhood or as close as possible to the seller’s home. Appraisers use this same method. This method will normally identify what the seller should expect to get for the home if sold then. If you decide to wait 4 or 6 months, the CMA needs to be updated again because pricing can change up or down.
Some agents may use currently listed homes, but that flaws the analysis because current listed homes have untested pricing that sellers are hoping to receive versus prices that were actually paid for a home.
Overpricing your home typically leads to extended days on the market, which can negatively affect your final sale price. It’s very common for a seller to want to disregard recent sold comp information provided and instead, say, “well yes, but $ is what I thought it should sell for. Lets try it anyway.”
It’s sometimes hard to understand but it’s the buyers that establish the value for a home and not the sellers.
3. Being present for showings and open houses.
When the seller is present, it can create an awkward situation for potential buyers.
Buyers may feel they’re intruding on your home, which can make it even more difficult for them to imagine themselves living there. They may feel rushed or inhibited by the seller’s presence and may not take the extra time they need to go through the home at their own pace.
Buyers may not feel comfortable expressing their true feelings about a property which can lead to frustration and inaccurate feedback.
4. Not working with an experienced professional.
Working with an experienced real estate professional can make all the difference in your home selling experience. A good agent can provide you with support, advice and resources to help you avoid many of these common pitfalls.
“We have a friend 60 miles away whose daughter just got her license. Were going to use her”
“Our neighbor 2 doors down that’s sells cars is also a part time agent. ”We’re friends so we’re going to let him try”.
“We heard there is a company that only charges $500 to put our home on the MLS and we can sell it ourselves and save the commission”
From preparation and pricing to marketing and showing your property, a good agent can make all the difference in whether the home sells or sits.
Working with an under qualified agent, or even someone who just doesn’t mesh with your personality and goals, can be just as detrimental as going it on your own.
Not taking the time to address and correct exterior and interior touch-up and repair is the same as putting a sign out in front: “SOLD AS IS”
Initially over-pricing a home that then sits unsold often puts a stima with the home and then steadily reducing the price results in a selling for less than it should.
Essential Home Selling Tips
I have to admit, I am not the author. I ran across this article online and I routinely hand it to my sellers when we first meet. It’s an excellent to-do list article created HG-TV
Crank up the curb appeal
Pull weeds, rake leaves and trim overgrown shrubs, especially if they block windows or the path to your front door.
(Your curb appeal determines if the buyers even want to stop the car and get out.)
It’s important to make your house generic. A fresh coat of neutral paint will make your home appear larger, brighter and more appealing to potential buyers.
(Painting inside and maybe outside as well. If the interior is already a nice soft neutral color, you’re fine. As a Realtor, I see homes that simply aren’t getting showings. The owner’s loved the turquoise interior or dark lavender bedroom, but remember- buyers today want it move-in ready.)
Fix things like leaky faucets, toilets running and sticky cabinets, and replace old screens. They may seem insignificant to you, but minor repairs add up in the mind of a potential buyer. They tend to overestimate how much repairs cost. You don’t want to give them any reason not to put in an offer.
Don’t take on major remodels to the Bath or Kitchen. They don’t for themselves. It may seem like the right thing to do, but a $40,000 kitchen remodel or $20,000 bath room remodel may only translate in increased value by 50%.
However, if you still have 10-15 year old harvest gold or almond appliances, replacing these with stainless steel is a positive step that buyers will appreciate.
Make sure your furniture placement allows for easy traffic flow and shows the purpose of each room. If you have too much furniture, rent a portable storage device to hold things until you are ready to move into your new place. If you don’t have enough furniture, borrow or rent.
(Over crowded rooms with furniture will make a room feel smaller than it is. De-clutter and eliminate. When you sell your home, often you have to make furniture compromises.)
This includes personal photos and portraits. Less is always more. The less clutter and knickknacks you have lying around, the more potential buyers will be able to see your home and what it offers.
Remember, you are selling your house, not your stuff. You want buyers to appreciate how open and spacious the rooms are. Plus, getting a head start on packing will eliminate some stress down the road.
When your house is meticulously organized, buyers will envision themselves living a stress-free life in your home.
Clean every inch of your house, and don’t forget to make your windows and floors sparkle. If your carpet appears old and stained, think about replacing it. Also, make sure there are no offensive odors. Purchase an air-neutralizing spray that will help remove odors without creating an overwhelming masking odor. Clean homes sell!
Let the sun shine in, and turn on the lights. Open all blinds or curtains, and make sure the house is well lit.
Be sure potential buyers are comfortable when touring your home. If it’s freezing outside, leave the heat on, and if it’s summer, turn on the air conditioner.
Keep it ready to show
It may be a little inconvenient, but until you accept an offer, keep your home in tip-top shape at all times. What this means is that each room should have a clear purpose, nice flow and be clean and clutter-free. Buyers need to be able to picture themselves and their things in a room, and taking these steps will help ensure that.
“Staged or Not Staged” often sets the stage for a quick “top price” sale or a stalled out sale and why isn’t it selling?