by Dan Wolf
on Saturday, July 7th, 2012 at 5:26pm.
Let's face it; Your home is YOUR home, YOUR space, YOUR castle. It is very difficult to be completely objective when it comes to your own home - and YOU NEED to be if you want to be successful selling your property.
Mistake 1 - Overlooking Basic Home Flaws - Is the carpet tired? Is the trim nicked up? You've lived in the home that way. Maybe you've lived there for years and slowly, after one thing and another, things just slowly became worn, nicked, tired and dated. To get the best price and fastest sale, you need to deal with it. Most buyers want a "turn key" home, not a home they work on - and those looking for a fixer-upper are looking for a "deal", one they can buy cheaply and gain sweat equity. It is very difficult to price for tired condition, because buyers often expect the discount to be greater than the actual cost will be.
Mistake 2 - Pricing Too High - Buyers have home choices in this market. They can look and look. If they wait another week, another home that meets their criteria will come on the market. You need to look at the SOLD comparable homes, not just the Active houses when you price. Pricing your home based on flyer's you picked up on curb For Sale sign of other houses isn't always factual. You may not see when that seller dropped his price, or know what offer he actually took. When you look at prices of similar sold properties, one thing I try to do is to toss out the highest price and the lowest price and weigh the median sales objectively against your home. Every seller wants to get as much as they can for their home. Consider the cost of holding the home while it's on the market as well as your being tied to this property when you want to leave it. If the market is competitive and favors buyers, cut your losses and price to sell!
Mistake 3 - Not Staging The House - Face it, the way you've lived in your house may not be right out of "Better Homes and Garden's" magazine. When buyers look at your home, you want them to be able to see their own furniture in your home. Too much of YOU in the house will over shadow the space. You want your home to be LIGHT, BRIGHT and Airy! Less is more when it comes to selling your home. The room might feel naked to you, but it might look large to someone who is comparing your home to other homes.
Mistake 4 - Choosing the Wrong Real Estate Agent - Not every person with a real estate license is the same! You need experience, enthusiasm, drive and focus! The agent who sold you the home might not have the same energy today they did 10 years ago. Talk to more than one agent. Can you work with this person? Do you trust them? Ask them what they will do to sell your home. It better be more than "put up a sign, put in MLS and pray it sells!" The market today requires agents with tech skills. The home needs to be marketed on multiple house specific real estate websites. Your agent needs to promptly respond to email, texts and the biggie -answer the phone!
Mistake 5 - Over-Reacting or Over-Emotional - Your agent calls you with an offer. You think you are the best priced property on the market right now. You don't think, you just react - and you are upset! It's the principal, by golly! Slow down, take a breath, maybe sleep on it. This is another spot a good real estate agent comes in handy. What do they think? How would they respond?
Mistake 6 - Jumping the Gun - by this I mean getting in too much of a hurry to get your house listed. Slow down a bit. Don't let the listing hit MLS before GOOD photo's are taken. In today's market, the buyer has virtually walked through your home before he asks to physically see your home. If you don't have photo's when it hits MLS, you are wasting your time being listed. Get a proper for sale sign in the yard or window. Get the proper paperwork completed and made available for buyers and their agents such as Seller Disclosures and As-built survey. You don't want the buyer to walk through and request this information and not be able to have it in hand immediately.