Top 20 Seller Mistakes – Home Selling Mistakes and How to Avoid them - PART 1
When selling your home, to get the most out of your investment, it pays to do everything right. Surprisingly, sellers make costly mistakes each sale. I’ve put together a list of the most common, and avoidable seller mistakes. Learning to identify and eliminate all of these will help you achieve your desired outcome – the sale of your home for the best price in the least amount of time.
1. Not hiring an agent who specializes in your area
Choosing an agent who is familiar with your area provides you several advantages. An area specialist will know the value of upgrades and be familiar with other homes within your area. A specialized agent understands that similar homes, depending on the neighbourhood, can vary in value anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000. An agent who has intimate knowledge of the market in your specific geographic area will price your property competitively, understand how to market your home, advise on upgrades, staging, showing conditions and defend the pricing. Choose a neighbourhood expert who really has the local knowledge, the relationships with the main players and a really good grasp of the inventory to ensure the sale of your home for the best price in the least amount of time.
2. Using a friend or family member as your agent
Selling your home should be like any other business transaction, but often sellers make emotional or impulsive decisions during the process. While it might sound like a great idea to work with someone you already know and trust, I caution you. Hiring a friend or family member as your real estate agent could backfire. Your home is your biggest asset and the sale of that asset is NOT to be taken lightly. By choosing a friend or family member to represent you during the selling process, if a problem or challenge develops while selling your home, do you want to run the risk of damaging a friendship or family relationship? There is also a chance that they will tell you what you want to hear. You may not like hearing that the list price you want on your home is too high or that you need to make certain repairs to your property prior to listing but it is your agent’s responsibility to give you the honest truth and serve as an objective outsider.
3. Overpricing your home
You are putting your home on the market to sell it. Everything you do in the listing and selling process is meant to accomplish this goal. Overpricing your home is one of the biggest mistakes that sellers make. Your house gets the most attention when it is a “new” listing. The first few weeks of the listing period produce the most showings. If you price your home outside of its value range, buyers that would be most interested in your home will not see it – it doesn’t meet their price criteria. Those shopping in the higher price range will not likely view it because there will be competing properties that are larger or offer more amenities. An overpriced home will only help other homes sell. This is known as a “pinball listing” where you are bouncing a buyer into another property. By the time you you finally drop the price to reflect the real value, your home is “old news”. The longer a listing is on the market, people start to question what is wrong with it. It has been historically shown that sellers who overprice their properties find themselves selling under market value. Bottom line….stay realistic in your pricing and you will accomplish your ultimate goal of selling your home.
4. Focusing on Commission vs. ROI
One of the biggest mistakes sellers make when selecting a Realtor is choosing the agent who offers the lowest commission. It sounds great to save money, right? Wrong. Think of it as “you get what you pay for”. Commission represents a level of service. A lower commission does not guarantee the best results. The belief that a lower commission saves you money is predicated on the assumption that every agent will sell your home for the same price. This assumption is untrue. A better agent will get more money for your home therefore a higher commission will still get you a better ROI. Consider what you are getting – expertise, advertising and marketing, staging, open houses, door knocking, web presence. A Realtor who charges a higher commission but sells your home for more money actually puts MORE money in your pocket, so don’t be fooled into thinking that a lower commission will save you money.
Also, if a Realtor agrees to a lower commission with very little resistance, imagine how strong their negotiating power will be on your behalf when you receive an offer. If your Realtor is working for less than the “normal” commission, do you honestly believe they will spend their money advertising your home? Bottom line…stay focused on the end result – the return on investment and more money in your pocket!
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