Selling a home is stressful enough. There are so many moving parts to the process such as prepping the home for sale, decluttering, cleaning, scheduling, moving, etc. Then once you find a buyer there are negotiations, financing, inspections, repairs, appraisals and the list goes on. A good real estate agents job is not only to walk you through the entire process, but to do it in a manner that earns you the most profit from your sale, while also lessening the amount of stress in the transaction. You have enough going on already! We want to make selling your home feel like a walk in the park.
There is a lot of misinformation among the general public in regards to what decisions are best when it comes to selling your home. Many people inadvertently get in their own way and hurt themselves by not listening to professionals, so oftentimes our job involves coming in to clean up a home sale gone wrong. In order to avoid these things from happening more often, let’s go over the top ten most common mistakes that people make when selling their home.
Some home sellers get so anxious about their home sale that they are considering upgrading the things that they’ve thought about doing for years and yet put off. Now that they are finally ready to leave the home, they panic and overspend money unnecessarily in order to make the home appeal to the buyers. The amount of money and/or work that you will want to put into your home highly depends on the market. Any pre-sale investment that you put into your home should yield you at least a %300 return. In certain markets a home may sell well above market value without any further upgrade. The home will only appraise for a certain amount above local comparables, so any further upgrading will not add profit or value. This is why you need a realtor who is extremely experienced in the current market trends to walk through your home and advise you on your best plan of action.
This is another extremely common way that a home seller can get in their own way. As a good real estate professional, our job is to get you the maximum net profit. We suggest our listing prices based on two things. The first is based on similar sales in your area, and how an appraiser is going to valuate your home. The second is based on current market trends and buyer habits. In some markets listing high could be a good tactic, but in most real estate markets the best plan of action is to find that sweet spot that will attract the most potential buyers without actually cutting yourself short and leaving money on the table. A home listed too high above comps will not only fail to appraise and cause financing issues, but it will ward off tons of potential buyers and fail to generate the type of interest in the property that could drive the sales price up as well as other negotiation points. A house priced too high that sits on the market too long begins to generate more suspicion and only attract low-ball offers, thus giving it the opposite effect than what was intended. Our job is to place you at a price point that will attract the most buyers, and generate the most buzz in the shortest amount of time without cutting your profit short. In return the lower priced property attracts enough buyers to drive the sales price above what was originally intended.
Considering Only The Highest Offer
Did you know that sales price is only one of the important factors to consider when selling a home? This is usually the first attention catcher when looking at an offer, but there are so many other factors involved. This is why you hire us. We can help you navigate and negotiate all of the other terms of the contract. What kind of financing do they have? How long do they need to secure financing? Is there another home sale involved? Are they doing an inspection? What kind of inspections? How long do they need for that? Do they have the ability to waive the appraisal? Do they have an escalation clause? How much is their earnest money deposit? Is their lender capable and knowledgeable? How long do they need to close? Some of these things are just as, if not more important than the price that they are offering for your home. Having an experienced agent in your corner to help you navigate these offers is extremely important.
Selling The Home Yourself
How many times have we heard stories about someone trying to save money fixing something themselves and it ended up causing more damage and costing them way more than the original issue, had it been addressed correctly at first. This is the case with “For sale by owner” homes. In an effort to save a couple to a few thousand dollars by bypassing a real estate agent, people have inadvertently cost themselves tens of thousands and more. It is a nationwide statistic that the average for sale by owner sells for $30,000 less than the same home listed by a competent real estate professional. The do-it-yourself works, but ends up costing you much more time and money than if you had hired a professional. The main reason is exposure. There is a huge market for real estate agents for a reason, not because people are too lazy to sell on their own, but because they want the maximum exposure for their home sale. Upon listing a home on the MLS it instantly goes into the email inboxes of tens of thousands of prospective buyers. We have our own buyer lists as well. We also have a multitude of resources for marketing your home and gaining it all the exposure that is possible. Don’t be the person that costs themselves thousands in the interest of saving a dollar.
Selling Your Home “As-Is”
Often I hear sellers say “I’m not fixing anything, they will have to buy the house as is”. This may be necessary for selling an estate sale, or investment property or when a seller has absolutely no money for repairs (although we have ways to help with that). However, selling a house “As-Is” sends out red flags to buyers and seriously cuts down on the amount of buyers that will show interest in the property. Being open to fixing a couple hundred dollars in repairs could possibly net you several thousand in the sale. Everything that we negotiate for you is about balancing your profit, time and stress in the way that works best for you in the long run. Oftentimes, in this current market, buyers will make “as-is” offers anyways, it is best to let them decide, that way they aren’t walking into the house leery and basing their offer on potential issues.
Not Having A Plan For Showings
Depending on the market and desirability of your home, you may have thirty showings over the course of two days, or I may take a few weeks to have that many showings. Either way, you need to be prepared, and your agent will be able to estimate the markets reaction and prepare you accordingly. The worst thing that you can do is list your home as available and then turn down a bunch of potential buyers because your children are home, you have family over, or there are pets in the house. Work with your agent to formulate a solid plan. In the current market, we are usually able to sell a house within two days and receive 30 plus showings with multiple offers. The sellers are able to leave for a short vacation, staycation or stay with family, and then come home within two days to review offers. All showings are potential offers, and the more showings you turn down, the longer the house is likely to sit. The longer the house sits, the lower offers you will receive.
Not Being Familiar With Exactly What You Will Net
A good honest agent can give you a breakdown of your estimated closing costs, exactly how much they are, and what you should walk away with after any and all liens are paid off. You have both selling and buying agents commission, taxes and title work. We provide a complete breakdown of all the numbers. This will help you establish an absolute bottom line that you are comfortable with. Some agents don’t do this and leave their clients blindsided when closing day comes. It is important to know the big picture and plan accordingly.
Going To War With Buyers
Selling a home and moving is an extremely emotional process. It would be lie if you were told there wasn’t some stress and frustration involved in almost every deal. These things often times cause our emotions to take control, and we make decisions in the spur of the moment that we often regret. This is why you need a good negotiator, counselor and mediator in your corner. We have seen so many deals almost be uprooted over something as small as a $100 fix when there was tens of thousands in profit at stake. Remember, as your listing agent we are here to go to bat for you, and represent your best interest in all situations, even if that means talking you off of a ledge. We get it, you are dealing with a lot. It is our job to make it a lot easier, and to make sure that you come out happy and victorious.
Under-Preparing Your Home
While it’s true that you can “over prepare” your home, it is often common that sellers will “under prepare” as well. This means decluttering and cleaning, maybe even slight touch-ups. It is our job to walk through your home and give you ideas on how to set it up and stage it in order to attract the most offers. Remember, clutter and misplaced items/furniture make rooms feel a lot smaller than they really are. Curb appeal, and first impressions are very important. Touching up a few minutes cosmetic repairs may make a difference in thousands in your offer prices. We are here to help you with all of that.
Not Choosing The Right Agent.
It is very important that you choose a full time agent who takes their reputation in the industry very seriously. A full time agent makes their business off of referrals and referrals come from happy customers and successful transactions. Full time agents are available 24/7, not only for you, but for interested buyers and their agents as well. This is extremely important in todays fast paced market. You also want an agent who cares about you, and is honest and transparent with you every step of the way. You need an agent who will fully cover all steps of the process from pre-sale to post sale, who is there for you whenever you need them. The agent must be highly proficient in marketing, getting high quality digital photography and videos of your home, and has a vast network of resources to help during all aspects of the sale. In the state of Maryland alone there are over 40, 000 real estate agents, for a majority it is just a hobby or a part time side income. Make sure the person that you hire is extremely experienced and entrenched in current marketing conditions, and that they take their job seriously. Only then, will they take you seriously.
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