Top Mistakes Made By Home Sellers
Selling your home is challenging at the best of times. It may be the largest sale you have ever made. Combine this fact with a tough real estate market and you have a recipe for serious stress. Though it may be stressful, there is no reason to make selling your home any more difficult than it has to be. But first, you need to know what to avoid. Don’t make these top home seller mistakes when it comes time to place your home up for sale. Making any of these errors can be the Real Estate kiss of death for getting top dollar. When you are armed with the proper knowledge it is easy not to make these home seller mistakes!
Overpricing The Home
This is a difficult hurdle for many home sellers to get over, especially if it is their first time selling a home. You love your home; you may have raised a family in your home. You may have also purchased your home at a price that later proved to be fleeting – such as at the height of the housing bubble. All of these situations can give you a feeling of certainty that your home is worth a lot – perhaps even a lot more than the comparable homes in your area.
Overpricing your home could prevent potential buyers from even considering it, or it could cause the home to sit on the market for an extended period of time. The longer your home sits, the more it is perceived as overpriced – or perhaps as a home with something wrong with it. When you finally do drop your price to something more reasonable, buyers begin hitting you with low-ball offers in hopes that you are desperate. After having your home on the market for six months or more, they may be right.
Overpricing often leads to you accepting a price far below your original number, and sometimes even below similar homes. Putting your home up for a fair price, and perhaps even for a slightly lower price than others in your market, can do the opposite. It can drive up the eventual selling price through multiple bids from hungry buyers.
Aim for a fair price that reflects the current market. Typically you can get a good handle on this after your home has been on the market for three to four weeks with ample people looking at it and providing feedback. Listen to what the market is telling you! This is by far the #1 home seller mistake.
Neglecting Their Homes Condition
Homes are made up of many different components, all important to its overall look and performance. Buyers want to purchase homes that are in good repair, where everything works and can be expected to work in the near future. At least, this is true of buyers looking to pay close to the asking price of your home. This is why home sale preparation is essential to get top dollar for your home.
Bargain hunters are different. They want to find a home with obvious or not so obvious flaws. They look for weaknesses in the appearance or the function of a home, and hope to take advantage of those weaknesses in the bargaining process.
If you are like most homeowners, you want to sell your home for the maximum amount of money possible. However, you must realize that top dollar only goes to properties in good repair. Unless you want to haggle with the bargain hunters, you need to keep your home in good condition. If it is not that way now, you need to make it so before putting it up for sale. If your home and yard looks like the one in the old sitcom Sanford and Son then it is highly unlikely you will be getting top dollar for your home. In fact it goes without saying you will more than likely sell it for far less than what it is really worth with some minor repairs and upkeep!
If you are in doubt about the state of your home, you can always consult with an experienced real estate agent that is known for making sales. A good agent will give you a straight-faced answer about the current condition of your home, and what you can expect to get for it. Along with a home appraiser, a good agent is an excellent person to look to for advice on the saleability and state of your home.
Problems With House Showings
House showings are an absolute necessity to make a deal. Buyers want to see your home, and they want to do it on their time. When you put your house on the market, you have to accept the fact that you are committing to showings, and you must be willing to make your available for those showings. Turning down showings is a sure way to kill potential sales.
Your agent is trained and experienced in “selling” a home. He or she knows how to present the home in the best possible light, and how to answer important questions that buyers are certain to have. They know how to make your home look good, and how to talk to buyers in a way that encourages a purchase. Choose an agent you trust, and let them do the heavy lifting.
This means that, if possible, you leave the buyer and the agent alone to tour your home. This will cut down on confusion, and ensure the best possible buyer experience. In addition do not expect the agent your hired to sell your home to accompany showings. This is a mistake that many sellers make thinking that the Realtor “sells” the house by being there. Realtors do not sell homes. Homes sell themselves! Purchasing a home is a very emotional decision. DO NOT expect that an agent pointing out minutia is what sells homes.
Keep in mind that most buyers and their agents do not want YOUR AGENT hovering over them. They want to be able to view the home and speak freely without the listing agent impeding their ability to do so. A missed showing is a missed opportunity and is a top home selling mistake that can easily be avoided!
Strong Odors In The Home
It may seem obvious, but sellers that forget to do things like take out the trash regularly, especially on the day of a showing, are not doing themselves any favors. Pet odors are also a concern, and should be addressed.
Strong odors are a turn off for buyers, and will greatly impact their impression of your home. This is why real estate agents always recommend a professional cleaning prior to listing a home. Make sure your carpet is clean and that all other odors are eliminated prior to showing. If you are a smoker it is highly recommended when selling to refrain from doing so in the house. More than likely you have become immune to the smell of cigarettes. For someone who does not smoke this is one of the biggest housing turn-offs.
If you start to show your home and are getting feedback that there is an older of cigarettes yet you have not been smoking in the home for a while it is probably safe to assume that the smell has become embedded into the furniture and curtains. It may be time to have these items professionally cleaned. Never under estimate odors when trying to sell your home. Above all else do not take this personally. Remember selling your home is a business transaction. Don’t take the attitude that you will find a buyer who also smokes, unless of course you don’t mind getting less money for your home!
Dark and Dirty Homes
Keep your home well lit and extremely clean. You want to make your home look as inviting as possible, which means good lighting and no clutter. If your home does not have a ton of windows make sure that on darker days you plan ahead and leave lights on in the darkest areas of the home. Dark homes are not appealing to buyers. Don’t rely on the buyer’s agent to be the one turning on lights. While you may not want to go to the expense of hiring a professional stager, you can at least make the effort to make minor staging concessions yourself.
Cleanliness applies to the exterior as much as the interior, so make certain the landscaping is cleaned up, leaves are raked and the grass is cut. Any clutter in the lawn should be eliminated. Keep the inside vacuumed, counters cleared off and all clothes put away at the very least.
The Importance of An Agent
All of these home seller mistakes are easily avoided with the help of an experienced real estate agent. A good agent knows what makes a home sell, and what does not. If you want to be certain that your home looks good to buyers, find a local agent that will work with you on selling your home. It may make the difference between a satisfying sale and serious disappointment.
Keep in mind that not all Real Estate agent are the same. In fact Realtors are a dime a dozen as it is very easy to get a Real Estate license. Do your home work and hire an agent that has a track record in both soft and strong markets. A top notch Realtor will thrive whether the market is doing well or not. Good internet marketing is a must as this is where buyer’s will be looking at your home. A great real estate agent will have an exceptional presentation for your home. This is something you deserve – a fantastic agent knows this.
Follow this advice and you will be well on your way to enjoying a successful Real Estate transaction!
Additional Home Selling Resources to Help You Avoid Mistakes
- Top home selling mistakes to avoid at all costs by Forbes Magazine.
- These home selling mistakes can easily cost you a sale by About.com.
Use these additional resources to avoid the top mistakes made by those who are selling their home.
About the author: The above Real Estate information on top home seller mistakes was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 27+ Years.
Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!
I service Real Estate sales in the following Metrowest MA towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton and Uxbridge MA.