If you are thinking about putting your home on the market, and plan on getting a head start as the housing economy improves, take a few minutes and review the following. Some sellers are in such a hurry to get their home out there, that often times they shoot themselves in the foot before even getting started. There are ways to sell a home, and then there are ways not to. At times, I can’t help but shake your head when taking clients on a home tour and see such a golden opportunity be reduced to a huge expensive mistake. It is remarkable that so many unwise strategies are on full display by those sellers who are either getting bad real estate advice or simply ignoring the good advice. Remember, the longer your home sits on the market, the longer you will be making mortgage, utilities, insurance and other payments.
No matter how tempting, even if you just want to test the waters, do not put a home on the market before it is ready. Presentation is everything when selling a home, so if you have filthy carpet and tell prospective buyers that you haven’t gotten around to replacing or cleaning it, then you have not only turned off the buyers, but the real estate agent as well, who will most certainly not show your house again. Get the work done before you market the property.
Pricing the home on what you think is worth instead of what the market says it is, always ends in failure. While you may believe your home is worth 300k, but the market says, based on neighbourhood comps, that it is worth $225k, then it’s worth the latter. Certainly you can list your home at whatever price you want, but no one will buy it. Once word gets out that your home is overpriced, your home will sit.
Improving your home so much that it stands out from the rest of the neighbourhood is never a good idea. Most buyers don’t want to buy the most expensive home on the block. By making huge additions and upgrades, you rarely if ever get your money back when the rest of the homes stay truer to their original blueprint. Your home will stick out like a sore thumb.
When you hire your best friend as your real estate agent, ask yourself if your friendship can survive if your home price needs to be lowered, or if it doesn’t sell, if you receive bad advice, etc. Always hire a professional with a proven track record. While it’s nice to work with friends, it also can be dangerous.
If a seller gets emotionally involved in the sale of the home, it can often create big problems when negotiating an offer. While we understand and can appreciate the fact that sellers go through a range of emotions when selling their home, the best thing to do is check your feelings at the door. Buyers are going to find things wrong with a home regardless, they want to lower the price, so understand that your property needs to be viewed and marketed as a commodity.
Hiding repairs that need to be made or not disclosing issues will always come back to haunt a seller. If you don’t report that you have a leaky basement, or that your water heater needs replacing, then you can face serious problems after a home has sold.
Not being organized and available when it comes to financing, making your home available for showings or basically not being responsive to your real estate agent will delay the sale of your home. Do your research, work to make your home shine and follow the suggestions of your agent in order to get your home sold.