Selling a home is both stressful and exciting but it can also be time consuming. Friends and family members always try to give you advice, sharing their sales story and telling you what worked for them. The first thing you should immediately realize is: every home is different. What worked for someone else may not work for your home, neighborhood or specific selling “time frame”. The housing market is ever changing and picking the right time to sell your home will reap the most rewards. Avoiding common mistakes and misconceptions will go a long way to lowering your stress, while increasing your bottom line.
We have put together a list of the most common mistakes made by sellers:
Avoid overpricing your home – Overpricing the home cannot only turn off a potential buyer but it can give the impression that you’re not serious about selling the home. Which in turn, can increase the number of days the home sits on the market, giving it a stale appeal. While there is nothing wrong getting the best price for your home, you need to be mindful in considering the market and condition of your home.
Sell when market conditions are favorable – This is when you rely on your realtor the most. They know the market best and can tell you the ideal time to list your home. Believe it or not, there can be times when listing your home is not a good idea. Listing your home in an unfavorable market could result in an unfavorable outcome or no outcome at all.
Make sure you and your Realtor are on the same page – Before the selling process begins, you and your Realtor need to be on the same page. Make a list of questions to ask, voice your concerns and judge by the responses you get their level of motivation and commitment on selling your home. Discuss price, marketing strategies, showing schedules and listing details; including photos and description of the home/neighborhood.
Failure to keep home clean/clutter free – Many sellers do not realize their home must stay clean. When you list your home it’s a full-time commitment and investment into keeping the showplace presentable. All rugs should be steam cleaned and stay vacuumed, bathrooms clean, avoid dirty dishes and clutter. Bedrooms should have made beds and clothes hung. People will feel awkward walking through clutter making them want to leave the home before having a chance to see it. Keeping the home clean will be a 24/7 commitment.
Avoid getting discouraged or offended – It may take some time to sell your home. Don’t get upset and discouraged right away if your home is not selling. Instead take stock and sit down with your Realtor to discuss new strategies. It may be as simple as removing and changing around furniture or adding some exterior plants. Also remember, some buyers may be picky and what was a lovely home for you may not work for another family. Don’t take this personally. Be proactive in assisting with your listing!
Too many open houses – Don’t be over eager to have open house after open house. Remember an open house should be strategically planned at a time that will be conducive to generate intended foot traffic. You don’t want time wasters and tire kickers strolling through your house and making it hard for sincere lookers and dirtying up the floors. Too many open houses will also create a feeling of desperation.
Loose pets – This is a big problem. While we love our pets they can be a giant nuisance for prospective buyers. Not everyone loves animals and some people even have allergies. Sellers need to get into a habit of putting animals up or using a kennel system when showings are in progress. This protects your animal and any potential guests visiting your home. No one wants to risk a dog running out the front door to get lost or be fearful of a dog bite.
Avoid offensive smells - One of the quickest ways to lose a buyer is a stinky house. You may say “My house does not stink” and you’d be wrong. Remember you live there and your nose is accustomed to everyday smells. This biggest “turn offs” for buyers are cigarette smoke and cat litter boxes. Actually, smoking in your home lowers the resale value significantly in the eyes of a non-smoker. It can stain walls and be impossible to get the stench fully out. Cat litter boxes, foul incense, stagnant water and spoiled food are also items of concern that will turn away a buyer from even looking.
Put out the welcome mat (literally) – Your home should feel welcoming, in fact, a welcome mat is a great idea. It lets your visitors know you want them there, come in and look around and it gives them a sense of hospitality. If you are home during a showing you should smile and be accommodating without being pushy. A cranky seller who treats buyers like a nuisance will have a harder time selling their home. The entire house should feel inviting. Nice candles, room deodorizers, and fresh flowers go a long way when welcoming a potential buyer.