As you probably know, times have changed. Home prices have gone up, but only in certain areas, and only for certain types of homes. Buyers are far more discriminating, and a large percentage of the homes listed for sale never sell. It’s more critical than ever to learn what you need to know to avoid costly seller mistakes in order to sell your home fast and for the most amount of money.
The 7 deadly mistakes most home sellers make are…
Your REALTOR® can help you avoid all these missteps, and, what’s more, they can help you sell your home faster and for top dollar by following these simple rules to maximize profits, maintain control, and reduce the stress that comes with the home-selling process.
Find a good REALTOR® to represent your needs
Nearly ¾ of homeowners claim that they wouldn’t use the same realtor who sold their last home. Dissatisfaction is usually a result of poor communication. For advice on hiring a REALTOR®, see “9 Questions to ask before Choosing an Agent.”
Analyze why you’re selling your home
The motivation behind the sale of your home is extremely important and can impact everything from price range to how much time and effort to invest in getting your home ready for sale. Your motivation will dictate your strategy. However, when negotiating, it’s important to keep your strategy to yourself – therefore, keep your motivation close to your chest. Don’t blurt it out to your potential buyers! When asked, simply state that your housing needs have changed.
Do your homework before setting your price
In most cases, your REALTOR® will be doing this for you. However, it doesn’t hurt to do your own research. Sometimes, when you have a strong emotional attachment to your home, it’s hard to accept what you see as the under-valuation of someone you view as a virtual stranger. But your REALTOR® is a professional who is detached enough to view the true market value of your home without sentimentality, and doing your homework may help you view the price range they present you with a more balanced perspective than you would otherwise have. Remember, your home is in competition with every other home on the market – if your home doesn’t compare favourably, you won’t be taken seriously by prospects or agents. Your home will therefore sit on the market without selling and, as a result, new buyers will think there must be something wrong with it.
Maximize your home’s sales potential
Appearance is critical when selling your home. You can’t change your home’s location or floor plan, but you can do a lot to improve the feel of your home and its appeal to potential buyers. Clean every corner of every room. Pick up, un-clutter, and fix every detail no matter how insignificant. Allow the buyer to imagine themselves in your home; things like clutter and family photos make this more difficult. Remember: the decision to buy a new home is based on emotion, not logic!
Make it easy for potential buyers to get information on your home
Some of the things that are commonly requested by buyers who are interested in purchasing a home are things like recent electric and heating bills, tax bills, a list of recent renovations, etc. Although it may be galling to hand over what seems like personal information to complete strangers, remember that buying a home is often the largest investment a person will make in their lifetime, and this sort of information is important to them in the decision-making process. If you prepare a file with this information for them in advance for easy access, ready for them as soon as they ask for it, this could put you at an advantage in comparison with other properties on the market.
Know your buyer
In the negotiation process, the objective is to control the pace and set the duration. What is the buyer’s motivation? Does he/she need to move quickly? Does he/she have enough money to pay you your asking price? It’s your REALTOR®’s job to control the negotiation process and gather as much information as possible to work in your favour and negotiate the best possible terms for you.
Make sure the contract is complete
For your part as a seller, make sure you disclose everything. Your REALTOR® will clarify what needs to be disclosed upfront when listing your home. Smart sellers are proactive and disclose all known defects to their buyers in writing. If the buyers know about a problem, he/she can’t come back with a lawsuit later on. Make sure all terms, costs and responsibilities are spelled out in the contract of sale, and resist the temptation to vary from the terms of the contract in any way.
Don’t move out before you sell
It’s much more difficult to sell a home that is vacant; homes that are furnished are much more appealing emotionally to a buyer. It also reveals too much of your negotiating strategy; if you move, you’re telling buyers that you have a new home and are probably in a hurry to sell. This will give them an advantage at the negotiating table.