Information and Resources for Sellers
Avoid These Common Mistakes Home Sellers Make!
#1. Thinking you must be present when your house is shown; have you heard this one from a buyer walking through your house, “I love your house, isn’t it wonderful” You’re thinking, “Wow start packing they love it”, then you never hear from them again. Homebuyers don’t want to hurt your feelings so they’ll tell you anything to make you feel good about your house. The fact is they’ll speak more frankly about your house to a Realtor who can try to help the buyer overcome objections they may have with certain aspects of your home.
#2. Being hard to get; severely limiting when your house can be shown is a common mistake of home sellers. Although not always possible your home should be ready and available to be shown on short notice from 9 A.M. to 7 P.M. seven days a week. Many out of town buyers may only be in the area for a day or two and might not have the time to wait for you. Most Realtors work seven days a week; it’s our job to be there when you can’t be.
#3. Being too accommodating; without trying to scare you, there are obviously concerns about opening your house up to total strangers. Realtors usually meet potential buyers at their offices first and only work with serious qualified buyers.
#4. Thinking that advertising sells homes; there is no way to know how the ultimate buyer of your home first finds out about it. Many home sellers think that newspaper advertising and a yard sign are all you need. Although those are important, an experienced Realtor will develop an effective and comprehensive marketing plan based on your specific needs. Since your McLaughry Realtor has the ability to show every house for sale through the Multiple Listing Service a buyer who calls for information about another home might be the buyer of yours.
#5. Pricing your home correctly; whether listed with a Realtor or not the truth is the seller sets the asking price, but the buyer sets the selling price. A common mistake of home sellers is to price their house based on what their neighbors’ house was listed for, not what it actually sold for. Your McLaughry Realtor will show you exactly what your neighbor’s house sold for and other similar homes in the community. This process, called a Comparable Market Analysis, is similar to what an appraiser will do and is included as part of your McLaughry Marketing Plan.
#6. Failing to disclose health and safety issues; forgetting to disclose important issues of your home can create big problems for sellers, sometimes months or even years after the closing. Your McLaughry Realtor will go over a comprehensive seller’s disclosure which is provided to the buyers in advance of their eventual purchase.
#7. Not making your house look its very best; prospective buyers like to see perfect homes, inside and out. Try to do as many of the following items as possible to improve the likelihood of a faster sale.
On the outside
- Clean up the yard.
- Remove toys, trashcans, garden hoses and the like.
- Paint the house or clean vinyl siding.
- Clean your windows.
- Make sure items like outside faucets and garage door openers work.
- Mow the lawn frequently and plant flowers.
- Keep walkways and the driveway clear of snow and ice.
- Keep pet areas clean.
- Make sure the roof and gutters are clean.
- Clearly mark your boundary lines.
On the Inside
- Your kitchen is the most important room in the house—it should shine.
- Vacuum and dust frequently.
- Place fresh flowers in the dining and living rooms.
- Open drapes and blinds to give your home a brighter feel.
- Have a yard sale before your house goes on the market; get rid of cluttered spaces.
- Keep pets out of the way and odor-free.
- Secure valuables like jewelry and cash.
- Don’t leave prescription drugs out in the open.
- Repair broken locks, leaky faucets etc.
- Have your heating system serviced and checked.
- Have utility bills and appliance manuals handy and ready for inspection.
#8. Thinking that finding a buyer is 90% of the process; the truth is most home sellers have no idea what’s supposed to happen next and this is where they can make the most costly mistakes. Here’s a list of the most common mistakes made after the contract is signed.
- Not properly filling out a purchase and sales contract or even having one.
- Failing to disclose important information about the house required by state law.
- Not being able to negotiate the best price and terms.
- Hiring an attorney who is not a real estate attorney.
- Not understanding how the building inspection process works.
- Not knowing if your buyer is qualified to purchase your home.
- Not having the experience of hundreds of sales should a problem arise.
#9. Thinking that all Realtors are the same; When it comes time to choose a Realtor make sure your Realtor has the experience and skill required to relieve you of the stress involved with trying to go it alone.