Mistake #1: Not taking the time to enhance your home’s showing.
When potential buyers drive past your home, their first impression will be based on what they see on the outside. If the buyer is disappointed, they probably won’t want to take the time to go inside, no matter how nice the inside may look. Many sales are already closed before the buyer walks inside, based solely on the outside appeal of the house. There are many things you can’t change, such as location or lot size, but you can enhance the appearance of your home with a few minor alterations and some serious cleaning. Ask your REALTOR what can be done to make your home more attractive. A good agent will know what buyers look for.
Mistake #2: Insisting that your home is shown only when it is convenient for you.
While no one wants their dinner disturbed by strangers trooping through the house, often the only time buyers can see your home is after work hours or on weekends. Plan ahead. Keep the house orderly and make time away from home. If possible, plan events to take weary children away from home showings. Sure, a last minute showing might be a minor inconvenience, but it also may be the last buyer who sees your house before deciding to buy it.
Mistake #3: Attempting to hide problems with your home.
Be honest with your REALTOR and your potential buyers with regards to the property relating to health, safety, or environment. It’s common today for inspections to be a part of the sales contract, and during the inspections most problems will be discovered anyway, but hiding the truth can kill a sale and land you in court. It’s much better to factor the costs of repairs into the sale rather than face lawsuits after the fact.
Mistake #4: Inadequate marketing methods.
In most cases, you will have to advertise your home. Marketing today requires much more than a “for sale” sign on the lawn. Prospective buyers with their busy schedules don’t have the time to simply look through the classified ads. Your home should be marketed 24/7 hours a day with an information hotline and virtual home tour on the Internet. Ask your REALTOR what strategies are in place so that you can be sure your property is generating potential leads 24/7.
Mistake #5: Failing to look at your home from the buyer’s perspective.
Sellers tend to become too comfortable with the clutter that surrounds their home. Buyers may tolerate such mess in their own homes, but the homes they are looking at to buy must be spotless. A repair, no matter how small, is something the buyer will look at as an added expense and inconvenience when purchasing the home, and can thus use it to negotiate a lower price.
Mistake #6: Offering explanations about your home during showings.
Potential buyers usually feel more comfortable when the homeowners are not present. If you do remain home, resist the urge to offer explanations, point out perceived flaws or offer to repair items that the buyer might not have noticed or question your REALTOR about. People differ in preferences. The less said, the better.
Mistake #7: Not understanding how to price your home properly.
Determining the market value of your home is one of the most challenging aspects of the entire selling process. If the list price is too high, you’ll limit showings and offers. Some home sellers believe they have to price the property high so that they can accept a lower offer or have room to negotiate. Potential buyers who may have otherwise liked the home don’t bother to come by because of the high asking price. It’s important to know and understand how the current market works. A buyer is more likely to make a full price offer on a home that is priced right before making a low offer on a home that is priced too high. A top-producing agent will know how to advise you to price your property correctly to generate the most profit.
Mistake #8: Not planning your move before your home sells.
Many sellers don’t plan their move early enough, then they feel totally overwhelmed when it comes time to vacate the property. Have your move organized before a contract is ever signed. Don’t wait until the last minute to get an estimate from a moving company. When you do things last minute, the price can skyrocket and you don’t have the time to shop around. Be sure to keep a record of your expenses during the move. Many of these expenses can be tax deductible. Take an inventory of everything you own so that you know the proper things arrive at your new home.
Mistake #9: Being inflexible or unwilling to compromise.
Sometimes it is necessary to be flexible when it comes to the sale of your home. If you’re not willing to budge about the date you move out, price, necessary repairs, etc, the buyers can become discouraged or even angry. Agreeing to a repair that might cost a couple of hundred dollars might actually save you much more on interest on your home loan in the long run. While you don’t have to give away hard-earned equity, often sellers must look at the overall savings involved. Again, ask your real estate agent for advice. Choose your listing agent wisely. Working with a full-time professional real estate agent is a must. Choose your agent by asking questions of him/her. Find out how knowledgeable they are about houses currently for sale in your price range and also of houses that have recently sold.