During the 10 years I have been involved in real estate, it amazes me how often I see frustrated home sellers. Their frustration is with the selling process. Perhaps, their home isn’t receiving much interest, offers are “low ball”, they have been listed for ages or the selling price needed to be reduced…..again. My time in the industry has helped me to identify the most common mistakes homeowners make when selling. I can guarantee you, that if any of the following points apply to you, the sale of your home will be negatively affected in some form.
- Selling Without a Real Estate Agent.
I get it. Real Estate Agents come with extra costs. By selling on your own, you cut out the commission, reduce the marketing costs and omit administration fees. Don’t be fooled, this can end up being a costly mistake. By opting not to use an agent, you don’t have access to a database of buyers and who follows up with potential buyers? The numbers don’t lie – home sellers who try to do it themselves often end up taking longer to sell and sell for far less than homeowners who work with an agent.
- Working With The Wrong Agent
I would like to hope that most home sellers find Real Estate Agent’s from previous seller recommendations. Unfortunately, convenience can sometimes trump recommendation. What do I mean? Well, instead of researching and looking for an agent with experience, sometimes an agent can be chosen from a pamphlet or bus stop advertisement. Sometimes a market valuation is undertaken and the sellers sign on without comparisons. Sadly, the wrong agent might give you bad pricing advice, pursue the wrong target market for your property or location, or waste time with less serious buyers. It’s worth taking the time to research and find a good real estate agent to work with.
- Mis-Pricing Your Home
There are a couple of reasons why over or under pricing happens. A seller doesn’t know the local market, they are unfamiliar with comparable homes or the home seller won’t listen to valuation advice. Setting the sale price too high can reduce the number of interested buyers. Setting the price too low can result in the seller missing out on money, unless it is a seller’s market. In a seller’s market, setting the price lower can stimulate competition between buyers and end up with an ultimately higher offer. Fortunately, a good real estate agent will be able to use their experience and knowledge to help you choose an appropriate price for your property.
- Not De-cluttering
Not preparing your home for sale can reduce buyer interest, reducing offers and increasing listing times. One of the least expensive improvements you can make to your home is to declutter and create a sense of cleanliness and spaciousness throughout. Make your home look its best for inspections and impress potential buyers.
- Ignoring Necessary Repairs
Contrary to popular belief, most buyers are not looking for a property that they will need to renovate. Instead, they are looking for a property that is ready to move into immediately. It’s worth investing in basic refurbishments before you list. I promise that buyers will reduce their offer or ask for a credit on the work that needs to be done before the contract goes unconditional. Be mindful though. When I say refurbishments, I’m suggesting re-caulking the bathroom, updating lighting, a coat of paint or re-lay carpet. Don’t over-capitilise. Talk with your real estate agent about your repairs so that you don’t lose money.
- Selling Your House Empty
As a home stager, it is a given that I was going to list this as a home selling mistake. Buyers have no imagination. They can’t envision how a room flows, they can’t picture a room layout and they can’t appreciate the size of a room without existing furniture. I highly recommend making the small investment to stage your home, to give it a look that will charm potential buyers. Afterall, the price of this investment is always smaller than your first price reduction.
- Bad Property Photos
Back in the day, this probably wasn’t such a big deal. But in today’s market, with more than 90% of buyers researching for their new investment online, your property photos are your new first impression! So, you’d better make sure you and your agent nail your home’s close up!
Thanks for reading