Selling Tip: 8 Ways that Sellers Can Hinder a Sale of Their Home:
Home prices are continuing to inch up, and Trulia shows that home prices are up 8% year-over-year nationally, with 93 of the 100 largest metros clocking quarter-over-quarter price increases. Many homes that had been underwater during the housing downturn are now finally worth more than the amount owed on them. And that’s great news for agents and sellers alike! With the positive momentum in the market, more sellers are ready to put homes on the market and make a sale. But beware—when prices are up and inventory is down, you may find that more sellers become overconfident and careless with their sale.
Here are eight of the top ways sellers sabotage their own home sale.
1. Refusing to Make Obvious Repairs Prior to Sale.
Agents tell sellers this everyday, all day: “You will lose money if you don’t take care of repairs before the house goes on the market.” Showing a house when there are leaking faucets, cracks in the walls, water stains on the celling, and a busted hot water heater are all ways to turn off potential buyers.
2. Ignoring the Backyard
Everybody knows that fantastic front curb appeal sells homes, but many sellers forget what’s out back. In the summer and fall months, everyone’s attention turns to the outside spaces, where they dream of warm summer nights and outdoor entertaining. If you don’t maximize and capitalize on your backyard, you are missing a huge component of your warm weather living spaces.
3. Hiding Problem Issues From the Buyers.
Far too many agents have watched too many home sellers pay out big bucks because they didn’t “reveal it all.” Disclose! Disclose! Disclose! Once you have an accepted offer, sellers are required to fill out disclosure statements. If you did renovations to the house without a permit over the years, disclose. If there was a roof leak that damaged the attic two years ago, disclose. If the electrical blows every time you run the dishwasher and the microwave at the same time, disclose. You know the history of the home better than anyone, and we need to work together so that we know how to address any potential issues. The buyers will find out eventually. And if you knowingly have kept things from them, it sets the tone for an ugly and difficult closing. Not to mention that you are setting yourself up for the liability.
4. Getting Egotistical When Negotiating
Every agent has had that seller who just simply cannot fathom that a buyer would even think to make such a low offer, but the truth is that most of the time, the buyer doesn’t mean to offend the seller. Heck, the buyer may even know that the home is outside of their price range, but they may just love it so much that they couldn’t resist making an offer. Too many sellers take negotiations personally and lose out on creating a win-win deal.
5. Using Lousy Photos (and Not Helping their Agent Get Great Ones)
Ninety percent of all home shoppers start their home search online, and nothing can tank a home sale like terrible listing photos. But sometimes sellers don’t understand the importance of fantastic listing pictures—and that can mean that agents need to resort to grabbing a few fast photos on a cell phone or on a rainy day. After all, the only thing worst than terrible listing photos are listings with no photos at all.
6. Holding On to Clutter and Junk
There are sellers that say, “Oh the house looks fine. Buyer’s will see right past all my boxes and collections of plaster cookie jars and shelves overflowing with nick-knacks.” Big mistake. Huge. Spend just one weekend depersonalizing and removing all the extra things inside the home. Clutter makes your home seem smaller, ultimately eating equity and killing deals. Take inventory of all your possessions and think to yourself: should I save it, store it, sell it, or chuck it? It may seem like a solid amount of work, but one weekend of work could mean thousands of dollars come closing.
7. Selling A House Via “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO).
When the market is hot, many people think that selling their home on their own is easily doable. “Who wouldn’t want to save on commission?” think many sellers. Despite the lure of not having to pay an agent a commission, sellers need the expertise of a real estate professional, who can help navigate the stacks of paperwork, provide priceless neighborhood knowledge—and negotiate on the seller’s behalf.
8. Overpricing the Home
For agents, this is the one major seller mistake that we see the most frequently. It is a misstep that seems to rear its head whenever the market seems like it’s heating up. Yes, the market is hot. But not hot enough that you can push the envelope and price it for way more that the comps will support. Overpricing your home is dangerous —and you can end up burned in this ‘hot market.’ You run the risk that your home will sit on the market for weeks and months and become the stale listing that every home seller wants to avoid. Know the competition and set the right price—never overprice too high in hopes that someone will unknowingly overpay.
(Info from Trulia.com)