In the last two weeks we talked about things buyers can do to increase their odds of getting a great deal. Now, let’s talk about the flip side, being the seller. Making a mistake in selling a home can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost profit and prevent you from moving on with your life plan—whether it’s buying a larger home, downsizing, combining households or relocating. Often, home sellers make the same mistakes over and over. Avoiding these mistakes is easy and takes little time and effort on your part. Invest that little time and follow these guidelines for your home sale.
Distress Selling: At times, selling quickly is unavoidable. That’s when knowing the right techniques to sell your home without looking desperate and making yourself a target for low bidders really pays off. Know everything there is to know about the market before you list, and work hand in hand with the right real estate professional. Ensure that you are not settling for the first offer through the door.
Best Home in the Neighborhood: Your home is one of your most personal possessions. Don’t be blind to flaws and needed cosmetic improvements. This will cause overvaluing of the home, hurting its chances to be sold. Listing with the right agent gives you a well informed third eye that will help you price your home at a fair market price.
Limited Home Viewing: Buyers want to view a home on their own time schedule. Unfortunately their time schedule does not always coincide with your time schedule. Leave a lockbox or key with your agent so your home can be shown when you are not around. You never know if the one who got away was your buyer.
Restrain Emotional Decisions: Don’t allow a few hundred dollars to ruin a sale. That money will mean very little to you in the long run. Take a look at the big picture and react rationally. Use sound business judgment!
Make Cosmetic Improvements: Prospects make up their minds within the first twenty minutes. First impressions can make all the difference in selling your home. Spending $1,200 on new carpet might add another $4,000 to the price of your home. Get an objective point of view from your real estate professional. They can provide you with a list of items that will maximize the profit of your home sale.
Disclose Property Flaws: Property disclosure laws require sellers to list any flaws required by your state. If you are unaware of flaws or attempt to cover them up, you risk losing the sale and finding yourself in court. Get professional assistance from your agent who can introduce you to qualified inspectors and ensure the smooth sale of your home.
For Sale By Owner: Most homeowners who decide to sell their own home do so because they believe they can save the commission paid to the real estate agent. Everything has a price and selling a home carries a high one. The enormous amount of time and effort required to sell a home often surprises the “For Sale By Owner.” Furthermore, many costly mistakes can be avoided with the right guidance.
Refusing to Trust Your Agent: Would you tell a physician that you’ve decided to run your own tests and come to your own diagnosis? By choosing the right real estate professional, you can relax and trust their judgment. The right agent is a valuable team member who will protect your best interests and make your sale as profitable as possible.
Know Your Market: Most homes that do not sell in their first listing period are priced too high. Conversely, most homes that sell quickly are priced too low and cheat the homeowner out of profits. You need to understand the market and evaluate the value of your home based on fact, not gut instinct or conventional wisdom. A professional agent knows the market, just as you know the market for your business.
Choosing a Real Estate Professional Based on Personal Relationships: Home sellers often pick a friend or family member as their agent. Choose an agent with a strong track record and aggressive marketing plan. A top producer knows the market well and can generate many buyers. Selling your home is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make! Base it on good, sound business sense and the rewards will add up.
Before you make one of your most important decisions regarding your home sale, shouldn’t you become as informed as possible? By aligning yourself with a top agent you ensure that all the important issues and seemingly insignificant but very important details are handled professionally. Your home sale should not be a grueling ordeal. The more informed you are, the better chance you have of making a sound business decision.
Marci Yankelov is a local realtor and Baltimore native. She works at Century 21 Downtown in Federal Hill.
by Marci Yankelov
Special to The Baltimore Guide