The real estate market is very active. Inventory is down, mortgage rates are still low and more “lookie-loos” are buying property. While many houses are selling rather quickly, there are still some sellers making mistakes that are big enough to cost them the sale. Check out the 10 most common seller mistakes below:
1. “It’s not personal; it’s business” – The Godfather always provides great advice! Keep your emotions in check while selling your house. When you sell your house, you aren’t selling your “home” that you’ve created or the memories that you’ve made.
2. Price, price, price – Unrealistic pricing is your surefire way to halt the buying process before it even starts! You must ignore national statistics and stick to the local numbers. Housing prices are based upon sales of comparable properties IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD. This is the method that banks use to appraise properties, so it is imperative to follow their lead.
3. What you paid is irrelevant – It is irrelevant whether you bought at the height of the market or at the bottom. The key factor is what the market is now and what the house will sell for in the current market. A house must be priced accordingly to get the attention of today’s savvier buyers.
4. Pick your battles – Would it be worth it to fight with potential buyers and lose a deal over a few hundred dollars? In the grand scheme of a real estate transaction, a few hundred dollars is nothing! It is best to pick your battles and put up a fight only for really serious issues.
5. Choose the best – Your real estate agent will be your best ally. Choose the best agent for you that will sell your home. This is not the time to do a favor for a friend or family member who is starting out in the business.
6. You never get a second chance to make a first impression – A clean and uncluttered home is a must. It will be a huge turn off for buyers to see your underwear on the floor, hair in the sink or dirty dishes lying around. Of equal, if not more importance is the curb appeal of your property. You want buyers to fall in love with your property as soon as they drive up.
7. You love your pets – But not everyone else does. Make arrangements to remove your pets from the property while showings are occurring for prospective buyers. Make sure to remove toys, food bowls, litter boxes also. Buyers can get very turned off by the presence of animals and the odors or stains that can be present.
8. All houses have a scent – Just make sure that yours isn’t unpleasant. Buyers are haunted by the odors of kitty litter, stale smoke, musty/mold smells and wet dog and will likely turn around at the door if there is an unpleasant odor. If you don’t know if you have an unpleasant odor in the home, ask your agent. He or she will give you honest feedback. Don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to get rid of unpleasant odors!
9. Go Away! – Buyers usually have agents and you should too. That eliminates your need for being home. Buyers don’t really care why you like/love your home or why you think it’s special. The buyers opinion counts, not yours.
10. Don’t be a Stalker – Stalking sellers make buyers very nervous. Give buyers a chance to see the property at their pace and to stay as long as possible. They need to be able to freely discuss the property without worrying about hurting your feelings.
Remember – this is business and the fewer mistakes you make means the faster the SOLD sign goes up!