Costly Home Seller Mistakes
"reduce the stress that comes with the homeselling process."
Selling your home is one of the most important steps in your life. Below are 7 Deadly Mistakes most home Sellers make, and then a 9 step system giving you the tools you need to maximize your profits, maintain control, and reduce the stress that comes with the homeselling process.
7 Deadly Mistakes
- Failing to analyze why they are selling.
- Not preparing their home for the Buyer's eye.
- Pricing their homes incorrectly.
- Selling too hard during showings.
- Signing a long-term listing agreement without a written performance guarantee.
- Making it difficult for Buyers to get information on their home.
- Failing to obtain a pre-approved mortgage for one's next home.
1. Know why you're selling, and keep it to yourself
The reasons behind your decision to sell affect everything from setting a price to deciding how much time and money to invest in getting your home ready for sale. What's more concerning to you: the money you walk away with, or the length of time your property is on the market? Different goals will dictate different strategies.
And, try hard to conceal your motivation to anyone else, or they may use it against you at the negotiating table. When asked, simply say that your housing needs have changed.
2. Do your homework before setting a price
Settling on a listing price requires consideration. Once you've set your price, you've told Buyers the potential maximum they have to pay for your home, but pricing too high is as dangerous as pricing too low. Remember that the average Buyer is looking at 15-20 homes at the same time they are considering yours. This means they have a basis of comparison, and if your home is lacking in some way against others in the price range you've set, you will not be taken seriously by prospects or REALTORS®. As a result, your home will sit on the market longer, and new Buyers will think there's a problem with it.
3. More homework
(Your REALTOR® can do this for you). Find out what homes in your own and similar neighbourhoods have sold for in the past 6-12 months, and research what current homes are listed for. This is how prospective Buyers will assess your home's value.
4. Find a good REALTOR® to represent your needs
Nearly three-quarters of home Owners claim they would not use the same REALTOR® who sold their last home. Dissatisfaction boils down to poor communication, which results in not enough feedback, lower pricing, and strained relations.
5. Maximize your home's sales potential
Each year, corporate North America spends billions on product and packaging design. Appearance is critical, and it would be foolish to ignore this when selling your home.
You may not be able to change your home's location or floor plan, but you can do a lot to improve its appearance. The look and feel of your home generates a greater emotional response than any other factor. Clean like you've never cleaned before. Pick up, straighten, unclutter, scrub, scour and dust. Fix everything, no matter how insignificant it may appear. Present your home to get a 'WOW' response from prospective Buyers.
Allow the Buyers to imagine themselves living in your home. The decision to buy a home is based on emotion, not logic. Prospective Buyers want to try on your home just like they would a new suit of clothes. If you follow them around pointing out improvements or if your decor is so different that it's difficult for a Buyer to strip it away in his or her mind, you make it difficult for them to feel comfortable enough to imagine themselves an Owner.
6. Make it easy for prospects to get information on your home
You may be surprised to know that some marketing tools that most REALTORS® use to sell homes (e.g. traditional open houses) are actually not very effective. In fact only 1% of homes are sold at an open house.
Furthermore, the prospects calling for information on your home probably value their time as much as you do. The last thing they want to be subjected to is either a game of telephone tag with a REALTOR®, or an unwanted sales pitch.
Make sure your REALTOR® places your home on the local MLS® (Multiple Listing Service) System. This will expose your home to the other REALTORS® working for other brokerages. Also ensure your home is uploaded to www.realtor.ca, which is a cross-Canada website. Your REALTOR® should also have their own personal website to expose your home, and a 'For Sale' sign with the site's address.
And remember, the more Buyers you have competing for your home the better, because it sets up an auction-like atmosphere that puts you in the driver's seat.
7. Know your Buyer
In the negotiation process, your objective is to control the pace and set the duration. What is your Buyer's motivation? Does s/he need to move quickly? Does s/he have enough money to pay you your asking price? Knowing this information gives you the upper hand in the negotiation because you know how far you can push to get what you want.
8. Make sure the contract is complete
For your part as a Seller, make sure you disclose everything. Smart Sellers proactively go above and beyond the laws to disclose all known defects to their Buyers in writing. If the Buyer knows about a problem, s/he cannot 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 diverge from the contract. For example, if the Buyer requests a move-in prior to closing, just say no. Now is not the time to take any chances of the deal falling through.
9. Remain in your home while you sell
Studies have shown that it is more difficult to sell a home that is vacant because it looks forlorn, forgotten, simply not appealing. It could even cost you thousands. If you move, you're also telling Buyers that you have a new home and are probably highly motivated to sell fast. This, of course, will give them the advantage at the negotiating table.