9B) Common and Costly Home Seller Mistakes

When You Sell Your Home, Which of These Common and Costly Home Seller Mistakes Will You Make?

"Buyers are far more discriminating, and a good percentage of the homes listed for sale don't sell the first time. It's more critical than ever to learn what you need to know to avoid costly seller mistakes to sell your home quickly and for the most money."

Remember not so long ago when you could make your fortune in real estate? As good as the market is, home prices are still below what they were at their peak. Buyers are far more discriminating, and many homes listed for sale never sell. Learning what you need to know is more critical than ever to avoid costly seller mistakes and sell your home quickly and for the most money.

The 8-Step System to Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar

Selling your home is one of the most critical steps in your life. This 8-step system will give you the tools you need to maximize your profits, maintain control, and reduce the stress that comes with the home selling process:

1. Know why you're selling, and keep it to yourself.

The reason(s) you are selling your home will affect how you negotiate its sale. By keeping this to yourself, you don't provide ammunition to your prospective buyers. For example, should they learn that you must move quickly, you could be disadvantaged in the negotiation process. When asked, say that your housing needs have changed. Remember, the reason(s) you are selling is only for you and your Realtor® to know.

2. Do your homework before setting a price.

Settling on an offering price shouldn't be done lightly. Once you've set your price, you've told buyers the absolute 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 that they have a basis for comparison, and if your home doesn't compare favorably with others in the price range you've set, prospects or agents won't take you seriously. As a result, your home will sit on the market for a long time, and, knowing this, new buyers will think there must be something wrong with your home. Find out what homes in your own and similar neighborhoods have sold for in the past six months, and research what current homes are listed for. That's certainly how prospective buyers will assess the worth of your home.

3. Find a good real estate agent to represent your needs.

According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed who sell their homes say they wouldn't do it again. Primary reasons included price setting, marketing handicaps, liability concerns, and time constraints. When deciding upon a Realtor®, consider two or three. Be as wary of quotes that are too low as those that are too high. All Realtors® are not the same! A professional Realtor® knows the market, has information on past sales, current listings, and a marketing plan, and will provide their background and references. Evaluate each candidate carefully by their experience, qualifications, enthusiasm, and personality. Be sure you choose someone you trust and feel confident they will do an excellent job on your behalf.

4. 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 much to improve its appearance. The look and feel of your home generate a more significant 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 like they would a new suit. 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 their mind, you make it difficult for them to feel comfortable enough to imagine themselves as owner.

5. Make it easy for prospects to get information on your home.

You may be surprised to know that most agents use some marketing tools to sell homes (e.g., newspaper ads) are ineffective. 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 an agent or an unwanted sales pitch. Make sure the advertising your agent places for your home is attached to a 24-hour pre-recorded hotline with a specific ID# for your home, which gives buyers access to detailed information about your property day or night, seven days a week, without having to talk to anyone. It's been proven that three times as many buyers call for information on your home under this system. 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.

6. Know your buyer.

In the negotiation process, your objective is to control the pace and set the duration. What is your buyer's motivation? Do they need to move quickly? Do they 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.

7. 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, they can't file a lawsuit later. Ensure all terms, costs, and responsibilities are spelled out in the contract of sale and resist the temptation to diverge from the agreement. For example, say no if the buyer requests a move-in before closing. Now is not the time to take any chances of the deal falling through.

8. Don't move out before you sell.

While there are certain benefits to having a vacant home on the market, there are also some disadvantages. Sometimes, selling a vacant home can be more challenging because it becomes forlorn-looking, forgotten, and no longer an appealing sight. Buyers start getting the message that you have another home and are probably motivated to sell. This could cost you thousands of dollars.

When you put your home on the market, you don't want any unpleasant surprises that could cost you the sale of your home. By understanding these eight tips, you will be on the road to selling your home fast and for top dollar. I hope you found this post helpful, but please realize that this is just a tiny part of the overall process. Please call us at 858-281-4659 to build a plan together to realize your goals.

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