HGTV’s FrontDoor.com program has identified the top 10 mistake home sellers make when they are trying to sell their own home. These are:
10) Timing: Most home sellers are under the impression that home buying is seasonal and buyers only shop for home during Spring. The fact remains that there are buyers in every seasons due to relocation, transfers, school change and other factors that brings them to the market.
9) Legal Contact: Most sellers don’t understand the legal terms contained in the listing documents and the disclosures. This is a huge risk specially in States like California where the buyer could challenge the sale and file for damages up to 5 years after the sale. That’s a lot of sleepless nights if you ask us and you can avoid is if you use a Realtor who assumes all the risk for you.
8) Going it alone: Selling a home is a team sport including Real Estate Agent, escrow officer, Title rep, Staging, contractors and others in the food chain who can all contribute significantly to the success and failure of your sale. Homes sold by agents fetch 28% higher price than homes sold by owners.
7) Ignore lowball offers: Home sellers are often angry when they see a lowball offer. Where your real estate agent will recognize that it’s just a reference point just like the list price of your home. All it means that they are interested in the property but not at the list price and that’s when negotiations should begin.
6) Wasting Time on Unqualified Buyer: Using a real estate agent will help you see the trees from the forest of unqualified buyers who will write offers on your home. Do you know the distinction between pre-approved buyers vs a pre-qualified buyers? That alone could crash your transaction. You also need to be able to distinguish between the buyer who have been approved by a direct lender vs a mortgage broker. There is a huge difference between the two which is not clear to most home sellers.
5) Skimping on Marketing: Since you are footing the bill for marketing and your property will not be on MLS, you will have to spend a lot of money to market your home. Most home owners don’t recognize the cost of advertising their home on a news paper which is more than $150 for a 3 line text ad every 3 days. That’s more than $300 per week on ads that are not effective since is no room for you to list all that’s unique about your home, not to mention that fact that you are competing with homes that have photos and virtual tours.
4) Sabotaging the showing: Most home sellers want to hang around when they are showing the house which makes it distracting and uneasy for buyers to discuss and explore the home.
3) Poor showing: Most for sale by owners won’t pay for staging their home and don’t remove clutter from the house either. This creates a very poor first impression which goes a long way for you to get a lowball offer.
2) Over improving: You might be making so many improvements to your home that you price your home out of the market since the neighboring homes are priced much less than yours. This will make it harder for the buyers appraiser to find comps for your home as well which is an inhibitor for non cash buyers.
1) OverPricing: Most for sale by owners over price their home since they don’t have access to MLS data or a competitive market analysis (CMA) that has been adjusted by a professional real estate agent to match their homes size, age, style and amenities.
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