Basing asking price on needs or emotion rather
than market value.
Many times sellers base their
pricing on how much they paid for or invested in their home.
This can be an expensive mistake. If your home is not priced
competitively, buyers will reject it in favour of other larger
homes for the same price. At the same time, the buyers who
should be looking at your house will not see it because it
is priced over their heads. The result is increased market
time, and even when the price is eventually lowered, the buyers
are wary because "nobody wants to buy a house that nobody
else wants". The result is low offers and an unwillingness
to negotiate. Every seller wants to realize as much money
as possible from the sale, but a listing priced too high often
eventually sells for less than market value.
Failing to "Showcase" the home.
A property that is not clean or well maintained is a red
flag for the buyer. It is an indication that there may be
hidden defects that will result in increased cost of ownership.
Sellers who fail to make necessary repairs, who don't spruce
up the house inside and out, and fail to keep it clean and
neat, chase away buyers as fast as Realtors can bring them.
Buyers are poor judges of the cost of repairs, and always
build in a large margin for error when offering on such
a property. Sellers are always better off doing the work
themselves ahead of time.
Over-improving the home prior to selling.
Sellers often unwittingly spend thousands of dollars doing
the wrong upgrades to their home prior to attempting to
sell in the mistaken belief that they will recoup this cost.
If you are upgrading your home for your personal enjoyment
- fine, but if you are thinking of selling, you should be
aware that only certain upgrades are cost effective. Always
consult with your Realtor BEFORE committing to upgrading
Choosing the wrong Realtor or choosing for
the wrong reasons. Many homeowners list with the
agent who tells them the highest price. You need to choose
an experienced agent with the best marketing plan to sell
your home. In the real estate business, an agent with many
successfully closed transactions usually costs the same
as someone who is inexperienced. That experience could mean
a higher price at the negotiating table, selling in less
time, and with a minimum amount of hassles.
Using the "Hard Sell" during showings.
Buying a home is an emotional decision. Buyers like to "try
on" a house and see if it is comfortable for them. It is
difficult for them to do if you follow them around pointing
out every improvement that you made. Good Realtors let the
buyers discover the home on their own, pointing out only
features they are sure are important to them. Many sales
are lost by overselling. If buyers think they are paying
for features that are not particularly important to them
personally, they will reject the home in favour of a less
expensive home without the features.
Failing to take the first offer seriously.Often
sellers believe that the first offer received will be one
of many to come. There is a tendency to not take it seriously,
and to hold out for a higher price. This is especially true
if the offer comes in soon after the home is placed on the
market. Experienced Realtors know that more often than not
the first buyer ends up being the best buyer, and many,
many sellers have had to accept far less money than the
initial offer later in the selling process. The home is
most saleable early in the marketing period, and the amount
buyers are willing to pay diminishes with the length of
time a property has been on the market. Many sellers would
give anything to find that prospective buyer who made the
first, and ONLY, offer.
Not knowing your rights and obligations.The
contract you sign to sell your property is a complex and
legally binding document. An improperly written contract
can allow the purchaser to void the sale, or cost you thousands
of unnecessary dollars. Have an
experienced Realtor who knows the "ins and outs" fully
explain the contract you are about to sign to you, or have
your lawyer review it before acceptance.
Failure to effectively market the property.Good
marketing opens the door that exposes the property to the
marketplace. It means distinguishing your home from hundreds
of others on the market. It also means selling the benefits,
as well as the features. The two most obvious marketing
tools (open houses and print advertising) are only moderately
effective. Just 1% of homes are sold at open houses, and
advertising studies show that only 3% of people purchased
their home because they called on a print ad! Agents use
these tools to attract future prospects, not to sell the
house. The right Realtor will employ a wide variety of marketing
activities, emphasizing the ones believed to work best for
Being aware of these Big Time mistakes
will help ensure you receive top dollar for your home when the time comes to sell your home!