The housing market has had some much-needed, encouraging news in the past several months. However, do buyers still have the upper hand? This spring will be a very interesting season for the real estate market. With low-interest rates, we expect to see lots of buyers out looking at homes. And yes, buyers are still picky. They want a good deal, but also understand that the housing situation is not so drastic as it was a few years ago. They will need to make their first offer attractive because competition is certainly out there. Bidding wars are becoming more common, yet it is still rare to see homes go way over the asking price.
As a seller, I would encourage you not to make the most obvious of mistakes when putting your home on the market. The first 30 days are crucial, where interest in your home will be at its highest. I suggest you review the following big time blunders that should always be avoided when selling a property.
1. Don’t think your home is better than others
Yes, it might very well be amazing, and I’m sure it is. But what I mean by this is don’t get so emotionally involved in your house that you put an unrealistic price tag on it. Don’t overprice and then make it difficult to negotiate if a buyer makes an offer. And I can tell you, that buyers will rarely make an offer on a home that is overpriced. If it is difficult for you to let go of your home and you think it deserves a higher price because it is better, without regarding local comps, then selling your home may take much longer than necessary. Not only that, the longer it is on the market, the less buyers you will have if the price won’t change.
2. Not paying attention to competition
How does your home compare to others in your price range? It is important to study sales and pricing trends for your neighbourhood. Go take a look at nearby homes also on the market. See how your home compares. What’s the curb appeal like? Is the kitchen more up to date? Is there plenty of storage? What’s the backyard like? Buyers will notice and so should you.
3. Not hiring a professional real estate agent
If you want a home to sell, you will have much better luck if you go with a professional, full-time real estate agent that knows your neighbourhood well. You simply can’t put a sign in the front yard and expect it to sell in this day and age. Hire an agent that can deliver buyers to your door. Today, an agent that doesn’t have an active social media presence as well as a full-fledged website, won’t do you any favors. Why? Because buyers today look online first when they want to buy a home.
4. Nor preparing the property
A seller today must absolutely prepare their home for sale. At the very least it must be thoroughly cleaned and small repairs must be made in order to get anywhere close to the asking price. Buyers are still picky and some are treading very slowly back into the real estate market, so they won’t consider anything that isn’t well cared for. So fix that leaky faucet, clean out the closets and if necessary, update any rooms that may be needed.
5. Being present during showings
Take my word for it, a seller needs to leave the house when buyers show up. I really can’t speak any stronger about this subject as buyers are uncomfortable looking at a property with the owner present. They won’t feel free to roam around the house, check out the closets or say what they don’t like about a home. Make sure you leave and let the agents do their work.
6. Treating negotiations too personally
Once again, a seller needs to step away from their emotional ties to their home when an offer comes in. The negotiations are often tough and sellers don’t like to hear what is wrong with their home, but it is rare in this market where buyers won’t point out everything that is wrong with a property. These may be insulting to a seller, but don’t take it personal. After all, a buyer must love your property enough to make an offer. But remember, they want to pay as little as they can. So it’s not about you and your home, but it’s about them. Remember that.
7. Dismissing offers
Even if an offer comes in ridiculously low, don’t dismiss it. Be willing to negotiate with anyone that puts in an offer. If it doesn’t work out, you can at least say you tried and made the effort. You never know if a buyer who gives a lowball offer will come around if they really want the property.