Top 4 Things to Avoid When Selling a Home
Putting your home on the market to sell and move is never easy, but it’s been especially daunting over the last several years. The market has been brutal on sellers as prices plummeted and left many homeowners underwater with their mortgage – not allowing them to break even on their investment.
Professionals in the real estate industry are not oblivious to the crunch felt by sellers and they exist to ease the burden as much as possible. But there are things a seller can do (or not do) that make it far more difficult for an agent to sell a home. Avoid these four things to improve the chances of selling your home.
1. Hold on to Imagined Equity
This is the biggest struggle for sellers. A house is only worth what a buyer will pay for it – nothing more. The market does not care that you paid more for your house a few years ago. Nor does the market care that you think you have the best lot on the block or the most “upgrades.” It really boils down to this reality: If your home is priced properly, it will sell. If you are overpriced, it will not. The problem is that many sellers think their property offers something unique or special which in turn makes it worth more money than the competition. The chances of that being reality are pretty slim!
2. Leave a Mess Behind
This one sounds obvious, but a surprising number of sellers don’t spend enough time preparing their home before a showing. So many times sellers think, “I have kids, they’ll understand” or, “They’ll just have to realize that I work full time and didn’t have time to clean it all.” These assumptions are dangerous because home buyers do not walk into your home thinking about your needs. Buyers are thinking about their own needs. A seller’s job is to make their home appear clean and maintained, so a buyer can visualize how a house will fulfill their needs. And clean up doesn’t end after showings. Sellers also need to get their home spotless before turning over possession. Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes for just a moment, and think how it would feel to walk into a new home and find chewed up dog toys on the floor? Or old beat up hangers in a closet?
3. Stay for Showings or Open Houses
Sometimes sellers want to stick around during a showing or open house because they think, “Nobody knows the features of my house better than I do,” or “Who can answer questions about the house better than I can?” That may be true, but there are good reasons why your agent doesn’t want you in the home when buyers are touring. A seller’s presence makes a buyer feel uncomfortable. Serious buyers will want to examine your home by opening closet doors and looking through cupboard space. Having a hovering homeowner guarantees they will not feel comfortable looking around, no matter how agreeable the seller. If a buyer feels uncomfortable, they will want to leave quickly, and that is counter-productive to the seller’s needs.
4. Walk Away From an Offer Because of a Couple Thousand Dollars
Suppose as the seller, you get an offer for less than your asking price. Your agent and the buyer’s agent go back and forth with counter offers several times, until a final agreement has been reached. Now imagine that agreed upon price falls a few thousand dollars short of your ideal price. Do you try to squeeze a little more out of the buyer? If you do, they’ll probably just turn around and ask for a credit towards closing as a way to recoup the money anyways. If you really want to sell, don’t “buy your house back” because of a few thousand dollars as you near the end of the transaction.
Monte Mohr has sold more than 2,500 homes, making him one of America’s top Realtors for the last 25 years. This experience has given him a unique perspective on the Nashville real estate market where he can be found at www.tennesseedreamhomes.com. He is also a regular contributor of real estate information to Nashville’s NBC affiliate station, WSMV Channel 4. To learn more about Monte Mohr’s experience as a real estate agent, to get free advice about your biggest real estate challenges or to request an interview, contact him at Info@TennesseeDreamHomes.com.