Biggest Home Seller Mistakes
The Biggest Home Seller Mistakes
Active Rain, a real estate blogging platform, recently completed a survey of 1,000 of it's real estate members to determine the top mistakes sellers make when selling their home. The infographic below summarizes the results of the survey.
From my perspective as a real estate agent in Colorado Springs, I certainly agree with the number one mistake, Overpricing the home. I have had many sellers in my career that have insisted on pricing their homes above market value only to discover that buyers are not going to over pay for their beautiful home. I have to ask them if they really want to sell their home, because overpricing will only help to sell the properly priced home down the street. The other problem with overpricing is that the number of showings will be reduced because buyers, or their agent, will see that the home is overpriced and deduce that the seller is not reasonable and may not negotiate, so they don't schedule a showing. Prices and showings fit the traditional bell curve. When a home is priced properly, you will see the most showings. When it is overpriced, showings drop drastically. When it is significantly underpriced, buyers understand that the home will take work, so may only appeal to invetors.
Showing availability is big for selling a home. Homes need to be available the same day. I advise my clients to request a two hour showing window which is identified upfront in the listing. This way if they are home, they will have time to prepare the home before each showing. I insist on my sellers to leave the home for EVERY showing. I have shown homes before with buyers while the seller remained in the home. It can present many problems from the buyer and seller not getting along, to me being able to ask the seller questions that gives my buyers the upper hand. Sellers should always make their homes available and leave the property during the showing window.
If you are selling a rental that is currently occupied, provide your renters an incentive to leave the home in good showing condition. I have reduced the rent for my tenants while our property was on the market. I know of another investor that deducts a certain amount from the rent for each showing with positive feedback. Make sure they agree to two hour notice. Rentals with a 24 hour notice get significantly fewer showings.
Pets is another big one. Please confine your pets during showings. If you have a dog that will bark while someone is in the home, take your dog with you or confine them in the garage. Not everyone is a dog or cat lover. Showing a home with a barking dog or a cat that winds between legs can turn a buyer off in a matter of seconds.
Odors are immediately noticeable for many buyers, but we often are so used to it that we don't even notice the odors in our own home. Your agent should be honest with you if they notice an offensive odor that will impact showings. I have had buyers that refuse to walk beyond the entryway if they smell smoke because they just don't even want to deal with it. Fortunately in Colorado Springs, the number of properties with smoke are few and far between. Common odors include pet odors, cooking odors, and some air fresheners that are a bit too strong.
I agree that after eight years in the business, these are the biggest mistakes sellers make when trying to sell their home. My best advice is to hire a good listing agent that understands the market and will be honest with you on preparing your home for sale. Then listen to them if you really want to sell quickly and for the most money!
By Nancy Murray
Murray & Associates, Keller Williams Colorado Springs
Data provided by ActiveRain.com. ActiveRain is an online community of real estate professionals who exchange best practices, write real estate blogs, and get free education from the industry and their peers.