Being aware of these Big Time mistakes will help ensure you receive top dollar for your property when the time comes to sell your property!
1. Basing asking price on needs or emotion rather than market value. Many times sellers base their pricing on how much they paid for or invested in their property. This can be an expensive mistake. If your property is not priced competitively, buyers will reject it in favour of other better properties for the same price. At the same time, the buyers who should be looking at your property will not see it because it is priced over their heads. The result is increased market time, and even when the price is eventually lowered, the buyers are wary because “nobody wants to buy a property that nobody else wants”. The result is low offers and an unwillingness to negotiate. Every seller wants to realize as much money as possible from the sale, but a listing priced too high often eventually sells for less than market value.
2. Failing to “Present” the property.A property that is not clean or well maintained is a red flag for the buyer. It is an indication that there may be hidden defects that will result in increased cost of ownership. Sellers who fail to make necessary repairs, who don’t spruce up the property inside and out, and fail to keep it clean and neat, chase away buyers as fast as Real Estate Agents can bring them. Buyers are poor judges of the cost of repairs, and always build in a large margin for error when offering on such a property. Sellers are always better off doing the work themselves ahead of time.
3. Over-improving the property prior to selling. Sellers often unwittingly spend thousands of dollars doing the wrong upgrades to their property prior to attempting to sell in the mistaken belief that they will recoup this cost. If you are upgrading your property for your personal enjoyment – fine. But if you are thinking of selling, you should be aware that only certain upgrades are cost effective. Always consult with your Real Estate Agent BEFORE committing to upgrading your property.
4. Choosing the wrong Agent or choosing for the wrong reasons. Many property owners list with the agent who tells them the highest price. You need to choose an experienced agent with the best marketing plan to sell your property. In the real estate business, an agent with many successfully closed transactions usually costs the same as someone who is inexperienced. That experience could mean a higher price at the negotiating table, selling in less time, and with a minimum amount of hassles.
5. Using the “Hard Sell” during showings. Buying a property is an emotional decision. Buyers like to “try on” a property and see if it is comfortable for them. It is difficult for them to do if you follow them around pointing out every improvement that you made. Good Real Estate Agents let the buyers discover the property on their own, pointing out only features they are sure are important to them. Many sales are lost by overselling. If buyers think they are paying for features that are not particularly important to them personally, they will reject the property in favour of a less expensive property without the features.
6. Failing to take the first offer seriously. Often sellers believe that the first offer received will be one of many to come. There is a tendency to not take it seriously, and to hold out for a higher price. This is especially true if the offer comes in soon after the property is placed on the market. Experienced Real Estate Agents know that more often than not the first buyer ends up being the best buyer, and many, many sellers have had to accept far less money than the initial offer later in the selling process. The property is most saleable early in the marketing period, and the amount buyers are willing to pay diminishes with the length of time a property has been on the market. Many sellers would give anything to find that prospective buyer who made the first, and ONLY, offer.
7. Not knowing your rights and obligations. The contract you sign to sell your property is a complex and legally binding document. An improperly written contract can allow the purchaser to void the sale, or cost you thousands of unnecessary dollars. Have an experienced Real Estate Agent who knows the “ins and outs” fully explain the contract you are about to sign to you, or have your lawyer review it before acceptance.
8. Failure to effectively market the property. Good marketing opens the door that exposes the property to the marketplace. It means distinguishing your property from hundreds of others on the market. It also means selling the benefits, as well as the features. The two most obvious marketing tools (open properties and print advertising) are only moderately effective. Just 1% of properties are sold at open properties, and advertising studies show that only 3% of people purchased their property because they called on a print ad! Agents use these tools to attract future prospects, not to sell the property. The right Real Estate Agent will employ a wide variety of marketing activities, emphasizing the ones believed to work best for your property.