Common Seller Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

Common Seller Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

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?

 

Selective Disclosure

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!

Prepping Your House to Sell

It’s hard to believe it’s almost March but if the fast-paced January and February 2018 real estate market is indicative of what’s to come…we’rein for one of the hottest Spring selling seasons ever! If you’re planning on selling your home this year, now is the time to start getting it ready! Historically, the Greenville market has been best before Summer rolls around so, don’t delay. See my tips below on what you can start doing now to make listing a breeze within 30 days or less!

Replace Light Bulbs and Update Dated Lighting
The perfect lighting can really enhance a home during showings, while dim or dated lighting makes itseem depressing. Simplygo through your home and replace any burned out bulbs and goto any hardware store to get some inexpensive replacement lighting if you’ve been hanging onto 1980’s brass. Hint: This is also a good time to clean dust or cobwebs off lighting.

Clean or Replace Light Plates and Switch Covers
Continuing with the lighting theme, it’s a big turn off to buyers when turning lights on/off for showings and they see cracked or dirty wall light plates and switch covers. I think these often go unnoticed when living in a home. But, the good news is, it’s a very easy and cheap fix as they can be purchased at any hardware store.

Get Extra Keys Made
While at the hardware store—Duncan’s Hardware is a great choice on Augusta Road—it’s a good time togo ahead and get keys made for the lockbox. Make sure to get a few sets and try them out to make sure they work! If the locks don’t work well, then now is the time to get those repaired. Try American Lock and Key on Laurens Road.

Begin De-Cluttering
Purchase boxes, a POD—anything that will help you de-clutter! If you are in doubt of what to keep and what to remove, contact your real estate agent or a staging professional to outline this process. De-cluttering includes all major parts of your house AND the basement and attic for optimal showing potential.

Home History Discovery
The de-cluttering phase is also a great time to unearth information about your home that will beimportant to future buyers from warranty information, to ages of major systems like roofing, HVAC, hot water heater, details on updates or renovations, surveys, average utility bills, covenants and restrictions,HOA information, paint colors and more! Create a home file for easy access to this information when ready to list.

Spruce Up Bathrooms
Re-glaze tubs if needed, add missing grout, replace cracked tiles, add new hardware if needed and replace old towels and shower curtains with crisp, white ones. Target has a great selection of bathroom décor and supplies.

Tidy Up the Kitchen
Throw out old food and dishes, get new towels, clean off the fridge and put as many things upas possible. Since kitchens and masters are typically the main selling points of a house, you’ll need to make yours shine!

Touch-Up Paint Throughout
If you can go through and touch up the paint and it looks professional that may suffice in many places, but the look and smell of a fresh paint job throughout can add thousands to your offers!

Freshen Up Flooring
Clean or replace carpets, get major hardwood scratches fixed orre-finish any areas that are in bad shape.

Contact Your Handyman
Got leaky faucets? Missing doors, broken handles… really anything that you’ve been putting off that would be off-putting to any buyer needs tobe addressed now.

Update the Landscaping, Outdoor Pots, Door Wreath or Flower Basket
A simple but effective fix—add some mulch, flowers and a pretty wreath or flower basket to the front door. This is the first impression so make it count! One of my favorite saviors for this is Joy Gregory of Pretty Pots!

Hire a Professional Cleaner to Majorly Deep Clean
While this isn’t cheap, it’s a must-do… cleaning baseboards, windows, appliances, closets, drawers…basically every inch of your home needs to be scrubbed and scrubbed!

These helpful tips should get you ready to list and stand out among the competition!

For more information on these tips OR for my full-list of recommendations on how to sell your house for top-dollar FAST, contact meat 864.313.2986 or vhayes@cbcaine.com