6 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling

It’s a great time to sell your home, and because it’s such a strong seller’s market, it might be tempting to cut some corners thinking it won’t matter. After all, it’s definitely going to sell anyway, right?  But, even in a seller’s market it’s crucial to avoid these errors if you want to sell your home quickly and for top dollar.  Here are six mistakes you’ll want to avoid when selling your home:

  1. Overpricing your home “just to see” if anyone will bite.  Your Realtor should be able to provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) that will compare your home with similar homes that have recently sold in your area.  This will help you determine the best list price for your home.  It’s important to price your home at, or (and we know this can be a tough one) even slightly below market value.  This will generate the most offers and give you the best chance at being able to choose the offer with the highest price and terms that work for you. Overpricing your home will result in fewer showings and fewer offers, if any.  This will ultimately mean more time on the market, allowing your listing to become stale by the time you reduce the price to market value. A stale listing is less likely to generate offers that are as high as they would have been had the home been priced correctly from the start.
  2. Taking low offers personally.  While we’re seeing fewer low offers in the current market, they can and do happen.  It’s important to not be offended by or feel that these offers reflect on you or the quality of your home.  Remember, in the end, while it can be somewhat emotional, selling a home is business, and allow your agent to help you navigate how to respond to a low offer.
  3. Being unwilling to depersonalize or remove clutter.  Even in a seller’s market, staging your home property is crucial for receiving the best offers.  A quick study of homes that received large numbers of offers or went significantly over asking price will reveal that the majority of those homes had been decluttered, depersonalized, and many times staged.  A decluttered and depersonalized home allows buyers to visualize it as their own, which makes them more excited to write a good offer.
  4. Underestimating the importance of listing photos.  In this market, a home will sell no matter what, so why bother with professional photos, right?  We don’t believe that’s the case!  In this day and age, most buyers start their home search online, and the first impression they’re going to have of your home is the listing photos.  Dark, out of focus photos, bad angles, or one of our personal favorites, photos where you can see the photographer in the bathroom mirror, aren’t going to appeal to buyers.  According to Barbara Corcoran, “Buyers decide in the first eight seconds of seeing a home if they’re interested in buying it.”  That means you have eight seconds to grab a buyer’s attention and make them excited to tour your home.  One way you can do this is to have your home professionally photographed by a top of the line real estate photographer.
  5. Concealing major home issues from your agent.  It’s necessary and important to disclose known issues with your home, not only from a legal standpoint, but also because your agent can be a helpful resource.  He or she may be able to direct you to the proper professionals to possibly remedy the issues if that would be the best direction to go.  Also, it is much harder for a buyer to ask for repairs or a seller concession after a home inspection when it’s disclosed up-front.
  6. Leaving your pets out or hanging around during showings.  This can become a problem for a number of reasons.  First, many buyers have allergies to pets, and having an allergic reaction while touring your home isn’t likely to have them leaving feeling excited about offering on your home.  Second, even if your dog or cat is the friendliest there is, you may have a buyer tour your home that’s sadly had a bad experience with a pet and now has a fear of them.  The last thing you want a buyer to feel while touring your home is fear.  And not only is it best for you and buyers, but likely removing your pets from the home will be the best option for them too, as having strangers in and out of the home for showings may cause them anxiety as well.  It’s important to make arrangements for them to be out of the house for any showings that occur, for everyone’s sake.

By avoiding these six mistakes, you’ll put yourself in a great position to have buyers falling in love with, and ready to write their best offers on your home!