We see sellers make the same mistakes over and over again and they are completely avoidable! Check out the list and make sure you’re not making these mistakes as you try to sell your home.
You know what happens when you list too high—your home doesn’t sell. So why would you hire an agent that tells you your home is worth far more than what the other agents are telling you? We call this buying the listing and it is the most unethical practice I can think of. The agent tells you that your home is worth far more than what other agents say and as soon as you’ve signed the listing agreement, that agent is now telling you that you need to lower the price. Dirty, dirty, dirty. Don’t fall for this unethical practice.
I can tell you through many experiences of showing homes to buyers, the sellers being home can only hurt your chances of selling. When I take buyers into homes and we walk around, the buyers talk to each other and point out features and benefits of the home. When I take them to a home and the sellers are home, you could hear a pin drop! They hurry through the home and only discuss it when we’re back in the car. Even worse, one buyer will point out a feature and the other will say, “I didn’t see that.” They would have had the sellers been gone!
Buyers need to see homes on their schedule. What happens behind the scenes is that a buyer will contact me to see homes. We make our showing appointments with rhyme and reason—we see homes in a particular order as they’re convenient to drive to. If you turn down a showing and offer a time that is better for you as the seller, the buyers will simply not see your home in most instances. You must accept showings as they come in if you want to sell your home.
Buyers see homes that are dirty and instantly assume the house is in disrepair or not properly maintained. Before your home is photographed and put on the market, it is imperative that you deep clean the home. Even better, hire a professional to get the job done right.
Unless you’re friends with a true top producer, you’ve made a huge mistake hiring an agent that doesn’t have a proven track record of sales. Realtors® get better with time and experience. Your friend likely doesn’t have the knowledge that can only come from being in this business for years. Don’t mix business and pleasure and hire someone simply because you feel it is the right thing to do. You’re making a very expensive business decision when you hire a Realtor® so make sure you’re hiring the agent that is most likely to sell your home quickly and for top dollar.
This mistake will cost you big. I hire a professional photographer for every listing I take, regardless of the price of the home. Everyone deserves the best and a professional photographer’s pictures are what catches people’s attention as they shop online for their next home. Remember, I pay the cost of the photographer so if you have an agent that doesn’t want to spend the money, what else will they skimp on? The fact is, photography is the #1 marketing tool we have as agents so it is certainly not a place your agent should try and save money on.
This is a big one. When you interview agents, you’ll hear a whole dissertation on what will be done to market your home. Open houses, photography, virtual tours and more will be thrown out there. You sign and… crickets. Is your agent doing what she said she’d do? Your agent made a promise so hold her feet to the fire.
This is a common mistake sellers try to make when they don’t have expert guidance. The fact is that if your home is overpriced, many buyers won’t make offers because they think there’s no way you’ll come down to their (reasonable) offer or that you’re just “too far apart.” Price your home right from the very beginning and get it sold for a great price.
Everyone owns the best house in the neighborhood. I think that about my own home! However, it is rarely true. It is so important to take a step back and take an honest look at the competition. Your home is probably great yet the others have features and benefits that may make them more appealing. Don’t let your bias color your asking price. Be reasonable and listen to your agent’s advice.
Your Realtor® needs to be following the market on a daily basis for you. If a competing home has a price decrease, you need to be made aware of that so you can reposition your home accordingly. If your agent puts your home on the MLS and simply waits for a buyer, there’s a high likelihood your home will simply expire off of the market without finding a buyer.
This is huge. You’ve hired a Realtor® and you will pay your Realtor® handsomely for selling your home. Insist your agent does his job! The second we have a listing go live, we advertise heavily online. After all, that’s where buyers are. You deserve to have your home show up on searches, with stunning photography and the right description. It costs a lot of money to properly market a home so be sure to hire an agent that commits to this cost. hint: we do.
We all have small maintenance items in our homes that need to be repaired. Fix them ahead of time! When numerous items show up on the inspection report, it simply gives the buyers cold feet and makes them nervous that the home hasn’t been cared for. If you don’t know what to look for, contact us and we’ll be happy to send you a sample home inspection report.
Here’s a little behind the scenes for you—when an agent shows your home to buyers, that agent will get an automatic email afterward asking for feedback. The email generally asks what the buyers thought of the price, how they rate the home versus others they see, etc.. This feedback is incredibly valuable! If you keep hearing that the home is priced too high and you ignore this feedback, you can’t expect your home to sell quickly.
Commissions will be paid but what about the other costs of selling your home. There’s a title company or attorney to pay, title, doc stamps, intangible taxes and many other small fees that add up to much more than just commission. When you hire our team and we begin discussing an offer, we will often get the attorney or title company to give you a net sheet that shows you a very solid estimate of what you will walk away with from your sale. Your Realtor® must do this or you’ll end up being surprised at the closing table.
Before every showing, beds need to be made, trash taken out, counters cleaned off, blinds lifted and all lights in the house on. These simple steps make your home look so much better so do not hurry out of the home for a showing. Make sure you do the bare minimum (or ask us to do it for you) before each showing.
Our team has a much higher than average success rate of selling homes. We also routinely get above market value for our sellers and almost always sell faster than the market average. How do we do this? Simple. We work. We do the work other agents don’t want to do and it shows in how our listings are presented online and how well we generate buyer interest. All agents are not the same so be sure to interview us for the job of selling your home!