|8 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Home
|when selling your home
#1 Waiting Too Long to Sell
Waiting too long, or not planning in advance, can cause many home owners to miss their
window of opportunity. It takes an average of two to four weeks to prepare a home for sale
and another two to eight weeks to sell (also depends on the market conditions at the time of
listing). Since the total cycle could take up to 3 months from the start to finish, long-term
planning with your Realtor is the key to any successful home sale. By keeping your home
ready for showings and by listing at the right time, home owners can take full advantage of
window of opportunity. You just never know when that perfect buyer may walk into your home
once you list it for sale.
#2 Basing asking price on needs or emotion rather than market value
Many times sellers base their pricing on how much they paid for or invested in their home.
This can be an expensive mistake. If your home is not priced competitively, buyers will reject
it in favor of other larger homes for the same price. At the same time, the buyers who should
be looking at your house will not see it because it is priced over their heads. The result is
increased market time, and even when the price is eventually lowered, the buyers are wary
because "nobody wants to buy a house that nobody else wants". The result is low offers and
an unwillingness to negotiate. Every seller wants to realize as much money as possible from
the sale, but a listing priced too high often eventually sells for less than market value.
#3 Failing to "Showcase" the home
A property that is not clean or well maintained is a red flag for the buyer. It is an indication
that there may be hidden defects that will result in increased cost of ownership. Sellers who
fail to make necessary repairs, who don't spruce up the house inside and out, and fail to
keep it clean and neat, chase away buyers as fast as Realtors can bring them. Buyers are
poor judges of the cost of repairs, and always build in a large margin for error when offering
on such a property. Sellers are always better off doing the work themselves ahead of time.
#4 Over-improving the home prior to selling
Sellers often unwittingly spend thousands of dollars doing the wrong upgrades to their home
prior to attempting to sell in the mistaken belief that they will recoup this cost. If you are
upgrading your home for your personal enjoyment - fine. But if you are thinking of selling,
you should be aware that only certain upgrades are cost effective. Always consult with your
Realtor BEFORE committing to upgrading your home.
#5 Using the "Hard Sell" during showings
Buying a home is an emotional decision. Buyers like to "try on" a house and see if it is
comfortable for them. It is difficult for them to do if you follow them around pointing out every
improvement that you made. Good Realtors let the buyers discover the home on their own,
pointing out only features they are sure are important to them. Many sales are lost by
overselling. If buyers think they are paying for features that are not particularly important to
them personally, they will reject the home in favor of a less expensive home without the
#6 Failing to take the first offer seriously
Often sellers believe that the first offer received will be one of many to come. There is a
tendency to not take it seriously, and to hold out for a higher price. This is especially true if
the offer comes in soon after the home is placed on the market. Experienced Realtors know
that more often than not the first buyer ends up being the best buyer, and many, many
sellers have had to accept far less money than the initial offer later in the selling process.
The home is most sellable early in the marketing period, and the amount buyers are willing to
pay diminishes with the length of time a property has been on the market. Many sellers would
give anything to find that prospective buyer who made the first, and ONLY, offer.
#7 Not knowing your rights and obligations
The contract you sign to sell your property is a complex and legally binding document. An
improperly written contract can allow the purchaser to void the sale, or cost you thousands of
unnecessary dollars. Have an experienced Realtor who knows the "ins and outs" fully explain
the contract you are about to sign to you, or have your lawyer review it before acceptance.
#8 Failure to effectively market the property
Good marketing opens the door that exposes the property to the marketplace. It means
distinguishing your home from hundreds of others on the market. It also means selling the
benefits, as well as the features. The two most obvious marketing tools (open houses and
print advertising) are only moderately effective. Just 1% of homes are sold at open houses,
and advertising studies show that only 3% of people purchased their home because they
called on a print ad! The right Realtor will employ a wide variety of marketing activities,
emphasizing the ones believed to work best for your home.
Being aware of these Common and Costly mistakes will help
ensure you receive top dollar for your home when the time
comes to sell your home!