Selling your home for the wrong reasons
Selling your home is a mental, emotional and financial decision that can go on for weeks and months if you are not ready. You may want to consider a few things when getting ready to sell. Do you have somewhere to go? Are you selling in response to a personal life situation? Resisting selling can be a way to avoid what’s going on in life, so it’s okay, to be honest about the way you feel and communicate that with your agent. A pros and cons list can be helpful if you are sitting on the fence.
Refusing to declutter or clean
A home’s perceived value is determined every quickly for potential buyers, and a homes cleanliness is a huge factor. If they walk into a cluttered, dirty, smelly house that has no light coming through the windows, that first impression can be detrimental.
If your home is filled to the brim with your “stuff,” a buyer can’t always see a place to put their things. Eliminate odors in your home. Nothing is more distracting to a buyer than a house that smells because they can’t focus on anything else. So clean off your countertops and clean out your closets. Become best friends with Mr. Clean and his Magic Eraser, open up your blinds and curtains, and you will reap big rewards when you sell.
Selling your home empty can leave buyers feeling the same way, empty! It does not have to have to be full of furniture, but a few neutral items left behind can bring emotion to an otherwise desolate house. Anytime a buyer connects emotionally to something in the home it will leave a lasting impression.
Don’t forget to create curb appeal by having a well maintained exterior and yard. First impressions last the longest!
Keeping your home in poor condition
A home that needs work does not excite most buyers and will deter them from paying list price. It is always best to fix problem areas ahead of time as this will increase the perceived value of the home.
Peeling paint, structural problems, curling shingles on a roof can make your home ineligible for certain financing options. It is good to remember that VA, FHA and USDA loans will be the pickiest so if your home is in a first time home buyer range these items can kill a deal before it ever begins.
Over-improving for your neighborhood
Getting your home into good showing condition is crucial, but don’t overdo it with improvements. While upgrading your kitchen and master bedroom/bath are two areas you will get a higher return on investment, it is best to keep in mind that a $50,000 renovation doesn’t raise the value of your home the same amount. Keeping in line with your neighbors will give you the best return on investment because they could be your competition as well. So before taking on a substantial project consider the future and get some good advice from those who are active real estate agents.
Pricing your home too high
In today’s market homes that are priced well will sell within 48 hours. Nothing discourages a buyer more than an overpriced home. Unfortunately, when you do this your home helps your higher priced competitors sell their homes because it puts you in direct competition with newer, larger homes than yours. This strategy can cost you money in the long run. In a hot market a home still for sale, even after two weeks, will be looked at with caution. Buyers may begin to wonder what is wrong with the house because it hasn’t gone under contract yet. So price your home based on facts and not your desired profit.
Not disclosing past problems and history of your home
Don’t try and hide the fact that you had water line leak on your fridge or a toilet overflowed. Being upfront about your home’s issues can save you time and money. Most buyers will have a home inspection, and these issues/problems will be found and used against you in the negation process if not taken care of properly.
Not hiring a professional to sell your home
According to a recent public awareness campaign conducted by the Utah Association of Realtors®, the top concerns of potential buyers and sellers were disclosure issues, inspections, negotiations, contracts, counter offers and pricing mistakes. Sound familiar so far? Realtor’s® are held to a higher standard of professionalism because of our Code of Ethics. It is essential to work with an agent that you trust, and that has excellent communication. Their job is to represent your best interest during the whole process. The best agents will get your maximum home exposure in many different ways and to the most significant number of potentials buyers. An essential tool is the Utah MLS system. Realtors® use the MLS to keep up to date on the current inventory available. Your listing agent also negotiates on your behalf and can save you thousands of dollars in the back and forth that happens in a transaction.
If you choose to sell your home on your own, please be prepared to set your emotional connection to the house aside. I know you have raised your family in this home, you have upgraded the amenities, and it has sentimental value to you, but this is now a business transaction. You will need to show your home to prospective buyers, be willing to work with a buyer’s real estate agent, know the legalities and disclosure requirements and negotiate for yourself. I have seen many for sale by owners shoot themselves in the foot, by talking way too much and turning potential buyers away. Remember loose lips sink ships.
Either way, when you receive an offer on your home, you will need to act quickly and decisively. Our market is moving very fast, and as time passes, it can lead to buyers remorse. Capitalize on the buyer’s excitement and interest by acting quickly.
Hanging out at home during showings
Let’s be honest, walking through a home while the homeowner is there can be a bit creepy to buyers. It is best to leave with your family and pets, letting the agent and potential buyers have the space they need to take in the home at their pace. This enables buyers to speak freely and see themselves living in your home. Buyers are likely to spend more time looking at the homes features and benefits if they don’t feel they are an inconvenience.
When listed with an agent your home is accessed by an electronic key box system (SUPRA) that only active real estate agents can use. This option offers you safety and convenience, so you don’t have to show your home to complete strangers and put you or your family at risk.
Using the worst photography possible
I have to admit this is my pet peeve. I can’t believe how many homes, whether listed by an agent or the homeowner have horrible pictures to showcase their home. This blog post can tell you more. More than 90% of potential buyers start the home search online so just remember that you never get a second chance to make the best first impression!