Sellers face many challenges when placing their home on the market. However, given careful study of local market trends and the right guidance from a local realtor, sellers can achieve an fair price on their home and find the right buyer.
In order to make the home-selling process a little simpler, we thought it would be a good idea to post a compilation of some common seller pitfalls. William Tierney, a Raveis agent in the South Shore, Massachusetts, did just that! See his comprehensive list below and check out his phenomenal blog, here.
As a local South Shore REALTOR I have had the pleasure of working numerous sellers in getting their home prepared for the market. Somehow, in someway, there is a common trend where one, if not several, items from below enter the process. It is almost as if there is a poor “how to” book on selling a home that seller’s have read. I thought I would write down some common seller mistakes in an effort to help my sellers avoid these same pitfalls.
1) Setting The Asking Price Based on Need. This is a common mistake that even good REALTORS let their clients make. In today’s age of technology and the internet, buyers quite often have done their homework. These buyers have an educated guess as to the value of a home. So if you price your home based on where you need to sell it, perhaps for economic reasons, and that figure is above the market, you are doing yourself a disservice. You will lose valuable foot traffic in showings as today’s buyer will deem the home over priced. Remember, a sale happens where a willing buyer meets a willing seller. And today’s willing buyer is after a fair market price, this buyer does not care what you need to sell the home. Need and market value can often be eons apart.
2) Excessive Upgrades Prior to Selling. Many sellers do some significant work to their homes prior to selling, thinking that they will recoup 100% of the costs of the upgrades in the sale. And study after study shows that this is simply not the case. There are some upgrades that make sense, and a good portion of the funds expended will get recouped, but often not all of the expense. Remember, many upgrades are personal choices, so what a seller may like (and have paid good money for), a buyer may see as an item to be addressed since it is not in sync with their personal taste.
3) Listing with the Wrong Agent. Many sellers pick an improper agent for many of the wrong reasons. Sometimes the listing agent is a friend. Or the listing agent is the “big name” in the market, the one with all the listings in town, or at least the one whose signs appear all over town. Or even worse, the listing agent that is chosen to market the home is the one that said they could sell the house for the highest price. This is a common mistake. Seller’s should look for an agent with a well thought out marketing plan that they understand how that plan will sell their home. The proper listing agent will also understand the local market, the unique selling features of your home, and how to generate buyer traffic through your home. The agent should also have a good handle on value.
4) Aggressive Agents Sellers often list with an agent who is too aggressive, and this agent drives buyers away from the home. Over selling the home at a showing, or putting on the “Hard Sell” can turn off a buyer. Remember, buying a home is an emotional decision, and today’s buyer will want to discover how the home fits their needs and lifestyle. A good REALTOR will highlight many of the selling features of a home, but only those that are important to their buyer. Otherwise the aggressive agent will highlight features the buyer many not deem necessary, and thus make a buyer feel like they could be paying for features that they don’t desire.
5) Poor Home Presentation. A common seller mistake is a failure to not properly showcase the home. Sellers need to address all maintenance issues so that the home looks well maintained. If not, the home lends itself to appearing as if there are other hidden “issues” with the home. In the same line of thinking, the home needs to be showing ready 24/7. This means that the home needs to be neat and tidy with all the daily chores properly addressed. This makes the home appear well loved. Buyers who fear that a home suffers from a lack of love, or deferred maintenance, will cross the property off their list faster than any good REALTOR can generate interest in your home.
6) Failure to Give Proper Consideration to The First Offer. Anybody who has ever bought or sold a home knows the feeling of disappointment upon the receipt of the initial offer. Seller’s often have done a lot of work reading their home for sale, putting in both physical and emotional effort into the sale. Then the first offer comes in below expectations. The common seller mistake here is that the offer gets rejected for being a “low ball” offer. There is an old adage that says, “Your first offer is often your best offer.” I will revert back to another old adage, “You home is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.” If a seller receives several offers all within a similar price range, then the price of the home has been determined despite the best efforts of the listing agent to garner a higher price. Your first offer can be a good indication of market value, regardless of the prior market research.