How to avoid the 10 most common mistakes made by home sellers
Selling a home is an experience many people look forward to with about as much enthusiasm as a root canal or an IRS audit. Perhaps it is because they know that with such an important investment, one misstep or wrong turn could be more than a "learning experience." Making a mistake in selling a home can be a costly blunder that not only jeopardizes the sale, but also can mean hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost profit.
What many people do not know is there is an easy way to avoid making the mistakes most commonly involved in selling a home. In fact, many homeowners make some of the same errors when selling their home, no matter how many homes they've sold in the past. In some cases, the mistakes just make the selling process more tedious. In others, they are fatal to the sale. By understanding these mistakes, home sellers can arm themselves with information and gain a better chance of achieving a profitable sale.
1. Limiting the home’s accessibility.
Buyers want to view a home when they want to view it. Be flexible with your home showings. The showing that you turn down or put off could have been the showing that sells your home.
2. Panic selling.
In some instances, selling quickly is unavoidable. That is when it pays to know the right techniques to get your home to sell fast without looking desperate and making yourself a prime target for low-ball bidders. Sometimes, however, panic selling is a result of poor planning up front. By knowing all the ins and outs of selling before you put your home on the market and working hand-in-hand with the right real estate professional, you can make sure you don't wind up backed against the wall and settling for the first offer that comes along.
3. "My home is the nicest on the block" syndrome.
Devotion is wonderful, but blindness to your home's flaws and cosmetic problems can make you overvalue your home, hurting its chances on the market.
4. Letting emotions rule.
In the heat of making a deal, it's easy to get caught up in wringing that last $500 out of the buyer, instead of backing up, taking a deep breath, and looking at the big picture. "Sellers should not haggle and maybe lose a sale over a small amount of money".
5. Failure to disclose property flaws.
Sellers today are required to comply with property disclosure laws. Often it is not just what you know about what's wrong with your home, but what you do not know that can hurt you. You should understand what the laws are for your area and where to find the qualified inspectors you need to help you meet those requirements. If you risk covering up flaws or ignoring disclosure laws, you not only risk the sale of your home; you risk finding yourself in court.
6. Unwillingness to make cosmetic improvements.
Making changes to your home such as new carpet, repainting rooms with bold colors or even landscaping can add value to your home and make for a faster sale. The $1,500 you spend updating your home might make you $5,000 when your home closes. Have a friend, neighbor or a realtor look at your home for possible improvments to make your home sell faster. Don't be offended by any suggestions that are made, in the end you do want your home to sell faster and sometimes it takes a pair of "fresh eyes" to bring your attention to things you see everyday.
7. Telling your agent how to do his or her job.
Listen to your agent for advice if your home isn't selling quickly. They know the areas, average price ranges and also hear the feedback from showing to your home. Ask your agent for feedback when your home is shown so you can find out what people are saying about your home.
8. Doing it your self -- at any cost.
In real estate as in life, everything has a price. The majority of homeowners who decide to sell their homes hemselves do so because they believe they can save money by not having to pay commission to a real state agent. However, many times those homeowners find that the true cost of selling a home themselves is found in the enormous amount of time and effort they must spend to do it, or worse, they wind up paying even more money repairing a costly mistake that could have been avoided with the right guidance.
Selling a home really is a full-time job. Make sure you are aware of all the pros and cons before you decide to try and do it yourself.
9. Bad pricing strategies.
Some homes that dc not sell quickly may have been priced too high to begin with. On the other hand, other homes may sell quickly but their owners may have been cheated out of their full profit because they were priced too low. Sellers need to understand what is happening in the local real estate market and evaluate the true value of their homes based on hard, cold facts, not gut instinct or conventional wisdom.
10. Selecting the wrong REALTOR.
People often pick a friend or family member as their agent. What they should be doing is choosing the most successful, experienced agent in the area with the strongest track record of customer satisfaction. Highly successful agents have many contacts with buyers and know the market well.