Ten Common Mistakes Home Sellers Make and How To Avoid Them
1. Basing their asking price on needs or emotion rather than market value.
Many times, people make their pricing decisions based on how much they paid for or invested into their home. This can be a mistake. Overpriced homes take longer to sell and eventually net the seller less money.
2. Failing to "showcase" their home.
Buyers look for homes, not houses. Buyers buy on emotion, not logic.
Make sure your home looks, feels and smells at its best, and you' 11 have a much faster sale at a higher price.
First impressions are the most important, so let your home be the cleanest, freshest and cheeriest it can be. You want people to say, "Wow! This is nice! I would like to live here!"
3. Signing a long term listing without a written, specific performance guarantee.
What is your biggest fear when you list your home for sale with a real estate agent? It's simple, you worry about being trapped into a lengthy listing agreement with a less than competent real estate agent. This alone can cost you valuable time and exposure on the market.
Traditionally, most real estate agents have required home sellers to sign long term listing agreements. Unfortunately, many sellers find that after listing their homes, the promised advertising and marketing efforts do not occur.
This is understandably a key reason why home sellers are concerned about listing their home for sale with a real estate agent. How do you know the agent will uphold his promises? How do you know that you have an agent who fully understands the art of marketing and is skilled at attracting a steady flow of ready-to-buy buyers through your home?
Never sign a listing authority with a real estate broker based on vague, verbal promises.
Always protect yourself by getting a written guarantee stating specifically what services the agent will provide you, and what marketing the agent will do for you, with the right to cancel the listing in the event of non performance.
While a written agreement is necessary, there's no reason that you have to be locked into a long term listing agreement.
Now the risk and anxiety associated with listing your home for sale can be eliminated with Guidestar Realty's Easy Exit Listing Guarantee! The Easy Exit Guarantee allows you to cancel your listing at any time during the listing period if you are dissatisfied with the level of service you are receiving - no hassles, no cost to you, no questions asked.
This guarantee is valid until an offer is presented. Evidence of cancellation will be removal of the property listing from the MLS system.
It takes a strong belief in the quality of one's service to make this kind of commitment, but I won't settle for less- and neither should you. I and my staff guarantee that you will be happy with our service and your results.
It's not enough to simply make empty promises. More business professionals should have consequences for not keeping to their word and be held accountable. My guarantee gives you the control you deserve.
4. Choosing the wrong Realtor.
Many home sellers list their home with the Realtor who tells them the highest price. Or they list with the Realtor who works for the biggest company.
It's likely you don't interview people very often. Yet, in order to find the Realtor who is right for you, you may interview several. The quality of your home selling experience depends on your skill at selecting the person best qualified. You need to choose the Realtor with the best marketing plan and track record to sell your home.
It's interesting that in the real estate business, someone with many successfully closed transactions usually costs about the same as someone who is inexperienced. Bringing that experience, knowledge, advice, counsel, negotiating skills and marketing expertise to bear on your transaction could mean a higher price at the negotiating table, a faster sale, and much less stress.
The sale of your home could well be the most important transaction you have ever been involved with. The person you select to represent you can make it a satisfying and profitable activity, or a terrible experience. It's your home, and your money. The choice is up to you. Make that selection carefully.
5. Not knowing all of their legal rights and obligations.
Real Estate law is complex. The Agreement of Purchase and Sale is a legally binding contract. An improperly written contract can cause the sale to fall through, or small items that are neglected in an agreement can wind up costing you money to remedy the situation. You must be certain what closing costs you are responsible for. You must know whether the property can be legally sold as is, and how deed restrictions and local zoning will affect the sale.
You need to consult a knowledgeable professional who understands the ins and outs of a real estate transaction.
6. Mistaking lookers for buyers.
An option open to you is to do it yourself, that is to sell your home privately, or "For Sale By Owner."
It's a fact that For Sale By Owners get more people looking through their property than when listed with an agent. Why? Because Realtors will only bring qualified buyers, and these will be fewer than when selling privately.
A qualified buyer is one who is ready, willing, and able to buy your home. An agent will establish how much the buyer can afford and sort out their motivation (some are in a hurry to move, others are serious but not in a hurry, some are bargain hunters, others will never buy). Many potential buyers may have a house to sell first before they can buy, a credit rating that needs to be cleared up, or need to save some more down payment.
When everything is in place, a Realtor is ready to help the buyer find the right home for him. Unless a Realtor finds out all the facts first they won't waste their time, or yours.
7. Not having their home constantly exposed to buyers.
Your home won't sell unless buyers know about it. Your home must be repeatedly and regularly exposed to qualified, ready-to-buy buyers. Remember, buyers can't know about your home unless you or your broker have a marketing plan to ensure that your home is brought to the attention of home buyers.
If your home is in the first home buyer price range, a substantial portion of the marketing dollars should be aimed directly at first home buyers.
Many first time home buyers don't even know they can afford a home. They don't know that owning a home can cost less than renting. They often think they need 20% or more for a down payment, plus closing costs!
Design your marketing program to show first home buyers the benefits of home ownership and how affordable your home is.
8. Not providing easy access to their property.
It sounds simple, but you'd be surprised how some home owners limit the opportunities for a sale. Instructions to their Realtor for appointments to show their home sometimes go like this:
"Home can be shown only on Wednesday afternoons between 1:30 p.m. and 4:00p.m."
"Listing agent must be present at all showings."
"Guard dog on chain can't reach front door."
"Owner must be home for all property showings."
Your house is for sale. Be as flexible as possible and make it easy for prospective buyers to see your home when they need to.
Provide keys to your agent, or have your agent install a lockbox to allow easy access, and make arrangements so that you are adequately informed of requests to view your home.
There are many homes competing with yours for attention - don't miss an opportunity for someone to see your home - they could be the buyer!
9. Not target marketing their property.
Lots of buyers will buy your home for less than it's worth. The secret in getting top dollar is to find a buyer who is perfectly matched to your home. Right now there are at least ten buyers who would love to own your home, can afford it, and would pay a fair price ... if only they knew about it! Some of these buyers may not even be thinking of buying yet, but if they knew about your home would love it. Aggressive target marketing will find those buyers!
10. Not obtaining written pre-approval for a mortgage on next home.
Nothing is more heart-breaking than to sell your home and find your new dream home, only to find you can't get financing for it.
A pre-approval is a formal, written promise by a lender to give you a mortgage. The amount and interest rate is specified, usually with a time limit of 60 to 90 days. The pre-approval can be renewed if you don't buy a home within the 60 to 90 days.
You know in advance what you can afford, and you're ready and able to buy.
Best wishes in your home selling and new home search!