In today’s real estate market, selling a home can be a challenge. Homes are staying on the market for lengthy periods of time, buyers are able to be picky, and the inventory of homes remains high. As real estate agents, we are out in the market everyday working with buyers and sellers. We consistently see sellers ignoring important factors that can prevent their home from selling. Here are some things to avoid when selling your home.
- Unrealistic price – Prices have come down nationwide. It can be hard to stomach the lower price, particularly if you stand to lose money. However, an accurate price is the single most important factor to getting a home sold in a reasonable amount of time. Work with your real estate agent and develop a realistic price range based on recent sales in your neighborhood. If you are aggressive with your price, you will attract the attention of buyers.
- Clean, Clean, Clean – Homes need to be neat and tidy when they are listed for sale. Buyers love new construction because they don’t have to deal with someone else’s mess. The funny smell from the dinner you cooked last night or the soap scum on your bathtub are sure to turn off a segment of your buyers, but it is so easy to fix.
- Neglected Repairs – Are there nagging and obvious repairs needed in your house? If you notice them all of the time, you can be guaranteed that potential buyers will notice as well. The home doesn’t need to be perfect, but spend the time and money to make these repairs, or be willing to when requested by buyers. Today’s buyers want a great price and a home in great condition.
- Poor Photos – Almost all buyers search for homes online first. If you don’t have dazzling professional photos in your listing, you will not attract buyers for an in-person showing. Without an in-person showing, your home will never sell. It is that simple.
- Marketing Basics – There are some basics that your agent needs to provide. Is the flyer box in your yard stocked with current flyers? Has your agent posted the home in all of the online marketing websites? This is all simple but essential work that needs to happen to get your home sold.
- Ignoring Your Competition – You need to be aware of what else is listed for sale near your home. You may have a great home at a very reasonable price, but if a builder has new construction down the street, your home needs to compete with a better price or more amenities, otherwise buyers will pick the competition over you. Spend some time with your agent and pretend you are a buyer. Go and see homes that will compete with yours, take notes, and make sure that the home you are selling beats the competition with a combination of price, condition and amenities.
- Not Giving Access – I’ve written about this before. Remember that buyers do not live by your schedule. If they want to see the home at a reasonable time, LET THEM SEE IT. Even if it is inconvenient for you, LET THEM SEE IT. Your home will never sell unless buyers take a look inside.
- You Chose the Wrong Listing Agent – Not all real estate agents are created equal. A poor listing agent will allow you to overprice the home to get the listing. They will do little to market the home, and will be unresponsive to interest from other agents. Interview a few agents before choosing the one to list your home.
- Buying the Wrong Home to Start With – Not much you can do about this one once you own the home, but if you focus on resale when you buy a home, you will prevent future heartache. You can’t change the location of your home, and a bad location today will be that much worse in a down market. Same thing for a home with a funky, unconventional floor plan. You can make cosmetic fixes, but an unappealing floor plan is difficult or impossible to change.