THESE DAYS, THERE ARE MANY QUALIFIED BUYERS AND FEWER HOUSES FOR SALE. SOMEHOW, THOUGH, MANY SELLERS HAVE MADE SERIOUS MISTAKES AND HAVE SABOTAGED THEIR OWN SALES. IF YOU’RE A SELLER, HERE’S WHAT NOT TO DO:
1. Price your home according to what you “need” to get in proceeds
Don’t overprice. Many times I've heard, “If we price it that low, we wont have the money to buy a new house.” Or, “We need to get X amount of dollars because well, we just need to.” What a seller needs to get and what a home is worth in any market are two different things. I’d love for you to make a fortune off your sale and retire, but you need to price your home according to your local market now. To price your house correctly, look at comparable sales. “Comps” are those sales closest in time (no more than three months’ old is ideal), closest in size/amenities, and closest in distance. Then, listen to the advice from Realtors viewing your home with their clients. *Remember, the Buyers are the market and the market dictates what your home will sell for. The less showings means the more over-priced you are. The sooner you adjust your price to reflect the market value, the more likely you are to get maximum proceeds. The longer you wait to appropriately price your home, the less likely you are to achieve profits in either a good OR declining market. If you owe more on the house than it’s worth, you may need to consider a “short sale.”
2. Assume that the Condition of your Home Doesn’t Matter.
It is tempting to think that buyers will see past your home’s defects, which are likely very minor. However, chances are they can’t and they won’t. Buyers these days are very educated: watching the home renovation shows on HGTV, visiting model homes, going to open houses, and looking at beautiful interior shots on the internet. You are competing with other homes on the market, so please do what you can before it's offered to the public to make your home show really well. Not wanting to spend the money is understandable, but trust me; it’s worth it and will bring you a higher offer sooner.
3. Refuse to Work with Offers.
As a seller, you may receive offers that you think are too low. Don’t get mad, as you are probably right; it is too low. But I have heard several reasons for not working with an offer: “We haven’t been on the market long enough” and “Those buyers don’t realize how nice this house is,” etc. If the buyers really didn't like your home, they wouldn't have put in an offer to begin with. They too, want a good deal and are probably willing to negotiate. Don't dismiss their offer so quickly; even in this accelerating market you may have to play a bit of "chess" if you will. You’ll never know what that offer can work into unless you submit a counter offer, or two, or five. Be proud of your home and the work that you have put into it, but please try to not let your pride get in the way of a negotiation that may go much better than you initially think it will. Work with all offers that come your way and see where they go!