It’s time to sell your home, and you want the biggest return on your investment. (duh)
You must be smart about how you approach and run the sale, and you’ll undoubtedly face a lot of obstacles along the way.
But shockingly, the things that tend to sabotage a sale the most, are actually simple mistakes.
You can easily save yourself thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars by learning about these mistakes ahead of time.
- Setting The Wrong Price
Why: The price you think the home is worth, and the price you can actually sell it for, are two different things. While the costs of pricing a home too low are obvious, what’s wrong with pricing it too high?
For starters, the buyer’s lender won’t approve the loan if your home doesn’t appraise high enough. In addition, you limit the number of people interested in viewing (and falling in love with) the property. Lastly, you may eventually have to issue price reductions, and homes that have been on the market for a long time are assumed to be flawed. Statistics show that homes that linger on the market ultimately sell for less than if they were properly priced in the first place.
What You Can Do: Work with your agent to analyze what comparable properties actually sold for (“comps”) recently, not what they were listed for which has no indication of true market value. There’s a lot to consider, and proper pricing is truly an art.
- Not Prepping The Home For Sale
Why: Making the home presentable and fixing small repairs are super easy things to do, but if you get lazy there could be serious consequences. Buying a home is a psychological decision and even something as minor as a broken doorknob could lead a potential buyer to assume there must be other (bigger) issues with the home.
What You Can Do: At a minimum you should get the home professionally cleaned, remove all clutter, and make sure there’s enough lighting. Investing the money in minor upgrades like fresh paint, new carpet, clean windows, and landscaping, has been shown to pay for itself in higher sales prices. Forgo major renovations (like remodeling the bathroom) so the buyers can do this according to their preferences. Stay out of the house during showings. If you’re home it makes the buyers feel like they are intruding and they generally leave as quickly as possible.
- Lame Marketing Strategy
Why: The #1 most common and detrimental marketing mistake is not investing in quality photos. More than 90% of all buyers start their home search online, and these pictures are what they use to decide if they’re interested.
Getting top dollar for your home is all about getting it in front of the most potential buyers so you receive the most offers and ultimately the highest sale price. It’s a numbers game. Sadly, most realtors are lazy and just put a sign in the front yard, post on the MLS, and maybe take out a newspaper ad if they’re feeling crazy.
What You Can Do: We live in a day and age where the digital advertising tools at your fingertips are more robust and accessible than ever. Have some amazing photos taken and commit to getting digital. Using Facebook Ads, you can target specific demographics, or retarget buyers who have recently searched in your area and review data to get immediate feedback on how well your campaigns are working. People are spending their time online. Instead of waiting for an interested buyer to drive down your cul-da-sac and glance in your home’s direction, online is where you need to be. Work with an agent who uses these tactics.
- Trying to Hide Things
Why: Whether it’s because they’re in a hurry to sell the home, or just negligently naïve, oftentimes sellers fail to disclose things. Hidden issues like leaky roofs, foundation problems, piping issues, and open permits WILL be uncovered during the inspection process, leading buyers to back out of the deal or request more money and a slew of negotiations.
What You Can Do: Schedule a pre-listing home inspection so you don’t have any surprises, and factor any issues you’re not planning to fix into your asking price. Work closely with your agent to complete appropriate disclosures to make sure you are protected from any legal liability. Being upfront about your home’s issues will save lots of money and time in the long run.
- Not Being Willing To Negotiate
Why: A home sale is a business deal. Negotiations are to be expected. When a seller isn’t realistic about the offers, concession, and contingencies that will inevitably come in, they could wind up turning away a perfectly qualified buyer before giving them a chance. And lose out on a potential win-win situation.
What You Can Do: Be sure to manage your expectations and keep an open mind. Homes are sentimental, but try to detach your emotions and know this is part of the process. Depending on your market, you may want to build some wiggle room on top of your acceptable price.
- Picking The Wrong (or No) Realtor
Why: The statistics speak for themselves: according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, less than 10% of sales are for sale by owner (FSBOs). Realtors have a long list of responsibilities including (but not limited to): giving pricing guidance, providing market and neighborhood expertise, advertising the property, showing the property, negotiating difficult situations, and handling the volumes of contracts, paperwork, phone calls, and questions that must be quickly and accurately addressed to sell your home for top dollar. If you choose a realtor who is a poor communicator, unreliable, or just doesn’t care enough — it will be detrimental, and will undoubtedly impact every other mistake above.
What You Can Do: Take the time to interview several realtors and ask them difficult questions. Review their online presence (website, social media, reviews on Zillow, etc.). If you do a Google search of their name and don’t find anything, it’s not a good sign. Look for someone who has the capacity to give your home the attention it deserves, as opposed to someone trying to juggle as many listings as possible. Trust your gut.
It’s always my goal to educate you – so YOU feel empowered to make the best decisions about your investments.
Be proactive. Familiarize yourself with the action steps above and recognize these situations as they come up.
As always, I’m here for however I may best serve you.