Common Mistakes Made By Sellers
Your home is invisible. An online search engine or Multiple Listing Service (MLS) will search for homes based on a buyer’s criteria, including price. Pre-approved buyers know how much they can spend. If your home is listed even a penny over that amount, the search will not find your home and the perfect buyer could be lost. A reasonably priced home around the block may not be as nice, but could win out because the buyer never saw yours.
Realistic sellers win. When I represent buyers, the most frequently asked question is this, “How long has it been on the market?” The longer a house sits with a sign out front, the more a buyer perceives there’s either something wrong with it or they could buy it below market value. Seeing that a home has sat for months with regular price changes could indicate the property may be a little stale. That may not be the best way to market your property.
Price it right the first time. From the time the sign goes in the yard, studies show most marketing activity happening within the first three weeks. Wasting your best marketing time on an overpriced house won’t likely get you the result you want. Your home’s first exposure to the market can be the most crucial.
The higher the price, the higher the expectation. If buyers do see your home, it’s likely they can afford it. But if your property is priced too high, you’re only making the competition look like a better value. Some homes are professionally landscaped and decorated. Others have been maintained flawlessly. Help yours measure up.
But wait! We’ve done so much work! Improvements can help sellers justify a home’s price, but when it comes to resale value some pay back more than others. Surveys show that adding a bathroom or remodeling a kitchen typically pays back at least 90 percent of the costs. A new furnace often recoups 100 percent of the cost; new central air can bring around a 75 percent payback. A pool or finished basement usually pays back less than half. Consider why you’re improving.
Deciding to Not Make Simple Repairs. Seemingly small fix up jobs can have a larger impact that you may think. Items that seem minor to you could have an influence on the overall impression of your home to prospects. Buyers tend to believe some repairs will be more expensive to make than they really are. At the veryleast, they could lengthen the time your home sits on the market.
First impressions matter most. The prospective home buyer’s first impression is the most important. An unbelievable amount of home sales have been lost to unkempt lawns, cluttered rooms, worn or dated carpets, tired paint–all items that by themselves seem minor, but together leave a bad impression. Imagine you were the home buyer. Clean and freshen your place from top to bottom.
Cumbersome Showing Instructions. Accessibility is a major key to profitability. Appointment-only and ‘accompanied’ showings are the most restrictive, while a lock box is the least. The more accessible the home, the better the odds of finding a person willing to pay your price. You never know if that ‘one showing’ that couldn’t wait for you to get home from work, was the one that got away.