Selling your home is much more than a few pictures and lines of text. Mistakes can kill a home sale or cost you money in the process.
Listed below are the 5 mistakes homeowners make when selling their home.
1) Homeowners disregard the comp’s and want to price the home too high – the general theory is “we can always come down” but the reality is that a home pried too high will not generate any showing activity and sits on the market too long. The goal is to get people in that front door. You cannot close a non-visitor. If coffee is for closers, you’ve got to generate some interest.
Once it sits for a few weeks, then it begins to look stale and potential buyers want to know what is wrong with the property. When an offer is made and accepted it is usually from a buyer who is less qualified and has not been able to secure a house in a competitive market. In other words less qualified.
2) Working with an inexperienced agent who may be a family member or friend – this can be a huge mistake. A less experienced agent is usually not up to date on the latest market information, technology, and marketing know-how. If we go to the doctor, look for a plumber or an auto mechanic, we want someone who knows what they are doing. But when we sell our most expensive asset we will work with anyone with a license.
One of my pet peeves are the photo’s, and I see tons of bad pictures. There may only be a few pictures posted and the photographs are not optimized or color corrected. In fact, may of them are dull and feature bad or no lighting. Professional photography is a must to portray the home in the best possible scenario.
Clean and Tidy Up
The home also may be pictured in a less than ideal condition. Pictures show beds unmade and dishes on the counter and kitchen sink, as well as my favorite, showing the toilet lid up.
I know, I know, selling a home looks easy. Until you decide to do it with an inexperienced agent. Buying and selling is a very emotional process. People who never meet each other can develop a quick animosity for the other party. Especially if they feel they are being wronged. Your agent can either step up or step back depending upon their level of experience. Chances are it is your largest financial transaction, so pick wisely.
3) Not turning on the lights or opening the curtains for showings – many times homeowners do not want to leave the house for a showing. An agent brings his/her client over to view the house and the beds are unmade, the curtains are drawn and no lights are on.
Many home buyers do not look past the obvious imperfections and make a decision in the moment, when this could bean ideal location for them, only to decline it based on its current view-able condition.
4) Lack of showing availability – there is no doubt about it, selling your home is an inconvenience. It always needs to be spotless and ready to show on a moments notice. However some homeowners think that they can show the home on their terms and only when they are ready. You can, but it will severely limit your opportunity to get an offer.
Showing and selling your home means making it available anytime a buyer wants to see it, with appropriate notice of course. Its kind of like leaving a voice message if someone doesn’t answer their phone. They may not call you back, but if you don’t leave a message, you definitely will not receive a returned call. IF a buyer cannot see your home, they will write an offer on another one.
5) Submitting incomplete disclosures – paperwork and more paperwork are just a part of the process when buying/selling a home in California. It’s funny how a home inspector can find 30 pages worth of issues during an inspection but a homeowner seems to think everything is just fine or “it was that way when we bought it”. Submitting a complete and thorough disclosure package to the buyer is very important but many homeowners tend to believe that if a negative remark is made on the document the buyer will change his/her mind or ask the seller to repair it.
Nine times out of 10 the inspector will find it anyway. It’s best to list issues you know with the property. I think most buyers appreciate that too. It is much easier for them to accept it when it has been disclosed as opposed to finding out later and then begin to wonder what are surprises are lurking out there.
Bottom line, this is not a do it yourself business. Tiger Woods made golf look easy until he found out it wasn’t. Do yourself a favor and work with a professional.