We are fortunate that Greenville’s real estate market has been hot for years. The combination of increased demand, lack of inventory and low interest rates has resulted in fewer days on the market and a higher return for most sellers. But, even in a strong market, sellers have to be realistic about their home – how it stacks up against the competition, its true value (not what the neighbor sold their house for, the tax record assessment or the recent Zestimate)—its real condition, and how to get it from listed to sold. If not, it is going to be a long, rocky road!
Are you selling? About to sell? Then read along for the top five home seller mistakes:
Overpricing Your Home
I run into this one a lot. The common misperception is to price it high and if it does not sell quickly, then lower the price and it will sell immediately. Or if you price it high then you have more room to “come down”. If you price your home too high initially, you set yourself up for real failure.
The best chance at selling your home to the most buyers at the highest price is immediately upon listing. So, if it is priced correctly, you are more likely to get a full-priced offer, or even multiple offers. If you price it too high, agents and buyers will think you are not serious and then the home will sit, and sit and sit. Then you’ll have to lower it substantially to hit a different buyer pool.
Think of your home like a new dress that comes into a store. It is exciting and most coveted when it immediately hits the store – especially if it is priced right. You will probably jump to purchase it. How about the dress that is sitting on the clearance rack with many reductions made on it? And it is still sitting there week after week you go into the store. It is not that exciting anymore, is it?
Making Showings Challenging
The primary goal after your home hits the market is to get as many buyers into your home as possible. That way you do not miss the opportunity window. So, test the new cut keys to verify they will unlock and lock the doors. Make sure the lockbox is easily accessible. Do not ask for 24-hour notice for showings. Do not cancel showings. A dream scenario is to list your home and then leave for the weekend so the maximum number of people will be able to come through your home. Then, maybe you will return on Sunday with multiple offers!
Not Countering An Offer
I have dealt with this issue many times. Sometimes I had buyer clients who wanted to submit a lowball offer and other times I represented sellers who received unrealistic offers. The one thing I have learned is that it is always best to counter the offer. Sometimes buyers just want to “feel” out the sellers to see how motivated they are to sell—if they are in a desperate situation or not—or just to feel better that they tried to “steal it” even if they could not.
While it is not the best practice for buyers to submit offers that are not based on comparable sales data and advice from a real estate agent who knows that market, it does happen. The best advice I can give to sellers who receive a lower offer than expected is to counter it – even if the original offer is insulting – because more often than not, it will work out. It was just a test. And, you will not know if it will work out if you do not even try.
Property Condition Denial
Many sellers have an unrealistic perception of their home’s condition. When you live in a home, it is often easy to overlook all the smudges on painted walls, scratched up floors, cracked windows, and items that just do not work as they should.
After living in a home for a while, you often just get used to these things or you may forget that the roof, HVAC and hot water heater are all 20+ years old.
My best advice is to get an accurate picture of your home’s condition prior to listing from an agent who can also tell you what needs to be done to get the most return on your investment. If you put yourself in a buyer’s position, wouldn’t you be more likely to pay top dollar for a home with newer systems or that looked fresh?
Make sure that you honestly disclose everything you know about the home. It is easy to point out all the positives, but you need to also accurately state the ages of the major components in the home, any issues you had and what was done to resolve it (include contractor documentation). Leaving disclosures blank or vague only heightens buyers’ doubts and concerns and will not result in a good offer if one comes at all. Be honest!
Contact me for more tips on how to successfully sell your home, for the best price, in the shortest amount of time!