What NOT to do when selling your home
Want to sell your home quickly and for the most money? Make sure you don’t do these things!
Don’t price it too high: You know what you paid for your home (and so do we, it’s public record) but that does not mean it is worth that much today. The home may have appreciated – or depreciated since you bought it. It is only worth what the market will pay for it today. It doesn’t matter how much you owe on the property, or what you have in it. Your Realtor knows what the values of homes like yours are selling for today. Pricing the home appropriately is the single most important decision you will make when selling your home. Many buyers will not even look at your home if it is priced to high. The market will determine whether the upgrades your home has will enable you net a higher price. Tip: Take a very good and objective look at the comparative market analysis that your agent produces for you. Remember that just like any other product a customer chooses, they are looking for value compared to the others options available. Finally, online valuations like Zillow are a great tool but are often inaccurate. Your agent knows best.
Don’t be offended when they offer much less than the asking price: If you were a buyer, you would do the same. The goal is to get the best deal possible. They won’t know what you are willing to accept unless they ask. It’s not personal, it’s business. Tip: Take the time to make a counter offer. If they love the home, they will counter back with something closer to what they are willing to pay. If they are trying to steal the home, they will walk away.
Don’t cut corners on marketing: A couple of photos and a sign in the yard won’t do it. Make sure your agent is taking at least 25 good photos of the home, inside and out. Public open houses and flyers to the neighborhood are also good idea. Extensive internet presence and your agent networking to find buyers is mandatory. 90% of buyers start their search on the internet. Ask your agent what they are doing to promote your home online. You want as many people as possible to know that the home is for sale! Tip: If you know you are going to sell the home, don’t wait till the last minute to tell your Realtor. They can help you with advice in preparing the home for photos, and they can do a better analysis of what your home is worth in today’s market. If you have any good photos of the home from a different time of year, provide those to your agent. You will also want to give them time to schedule good weather days that are conducive to quality photos.
Don’t sell it yourself: Unless you absolutely know what you are doing. If you have done it before, and done it RECENTLY you might have what it takes to go it alone. If not, let the professionals handle it. Realtors earn their money. They are not only trained in proper marketing tools, they are trained in disclosure and fair housing laws. In Arizona, Realtors are licensed to provide legal counsel regarding real estate contract documents. There is just too much liability to assume by doing it all yourself, unless you have a friend that is an attorney and is willing to help. The other big reason is that buyers who approach you as a for sale by owner will expect a discount because you aren’t paying a Realtor. Your agent knows what homes like yours sell for in your area, and is qualified to negotiate the best price for you. Tip: Ask friends and family for the name of a good full time Realtor. Check their references and online presence. Interview them. It will become obvious which agents know what they are doing.
Don’t put off making repairs: Anything that appears to be in disrepair suggests to potential buyers that you have not kept up with home maintenance. Leaky faucets, un-patched holes in the wall, weeds growing in the gutters, all of these leave a bad impression. Take the time to repair anything that would leave the buyer with an unfavorable impression. Tip: Walk through the home as if you were seeing it for the first time and write down everything that you have been meaning to fix, then take the time to do it.
Don’t get emotional about the home: We know this one is hard. Yes, you have lots of great memories in the home and you love it. That’s why you bought it. That said, the home is still a commodity and there are many others for potential buyers to choose from. Buyers are looking for a neutral pallet to start with so that they can make it their own. The goal is to appeal to the greatest cross section of buyers. Not everyone likes a pink bathroom. Tip: Let your Realtor walk through the home. Listen to suggestions she gives to appeal to buyers. Neutral is the key. Work with him to make the necessary changes.
Don’t leave the home a mess: The goal is to make the buyer feel like they could move into the home with their things right away. Get some boxes and put away your knick knacks and the dozens of photos on the walls or on the end tables. Eliminate clutter and unnecessary furniture. You might say “this isn’t a model home”; we would say, that’s correct, but it should look like one. Tip: Get out of the home when it is being shown. The clients don’t need to hear about everything you have done to the home, they can see that for themselves. They want to be able to speak freely when looking around and not feel like they are offending you.
Don’t lose the sale over something minor, or a very small amount of money: Believe it or not, we have seen standoffs over $900 dollars on a $400k home. Don’t do it. There are ways around whatever the issue is. Again, it’s not personal. It’s business. Tip: Be willing to listen to reason and be flexible when your Realtor suggests it. Do your best to meet in the middle and compromise with the other side.
If you follow these simple guidelines, you will most likely be very successful in the sale of your home, and you will greatly reduce your stress level through the process.
Tucson Power Group can help you with a residential sale or purchase anywhere in Southern Arizona. If you are in another area or state, we have a network of quality agents. Call us today, and we can help you find a competent agent in your town.
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