There are many decisions in life that you cannot genuinely do over again – marriage, child rearing, or choice of graduate education, just to name a few. Selling a home to improve your quality of life, to meet your growing family’s needs, or to simplify your life, is also one of those big decisions. Once you sign on the dotted line, there are no do overs.
Here are some of the most common pitfalls to avoid when selling a home that will save you time, mitigate against potential equity loss, and decrease stress.
Emotional Attachments to Value Adds
You upgraded some appliances, you did some paint touch ups, and you built that really nice backyard gazebo you’re proud of. It’s easy to think that the work and improvements that you’ve made over the years should elicit some additional value. That’s the first mistake you can make when selling a home.
Oftentimes sellers believe some item or some improvement, because it was costly to them or had a lot of added value to them personally, should add worth beyond what the market would actually pay. The investment or upgrade was originally for personal enjoyment and it’s not always worth as much as you think.
That’s what creates the emotional attachment to value. Your home is only worth what the last comparable home is worth. Upgrades do matter, but, you have to put the emotions aside and let an objective professional determine what value they truly add in the current market you’re in. If you remain emotionally attached to these value adds, you’re in jeopardy of making the next mistake, asking too much.
Unrealistic Asking Price
As with all things in life, something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. The temptation to overprice your home is even higher in a seller’s market. When you see many homeowners selling a home and getting higher than asking prices, it’s easy to assume that starting high is the way to go. Here’s why this would be a huge mistake.
When you come in too high, you take away the attraction for the buyers. Their agents will know what homes similar to yours are selling for. If you come in too high, that means less showings and that decreases the chances for a potential buyer to experience that emotional connection to your home. Remember, buyers are as emotional as you are and will often make a purchase based on an emotional connection, not just the numbers. You also decrease your chances for a bidding war.
If you list too high in a buyers market, the consequences can be even worse. In a buyers market, you often have to set your price lower than market value. Otherwise, you not only get no offers, your listing becomes stale and will develop a negative stigma.
Ever go to Costco to pick up one of those delicious rotisserie chickens? Be honest, you’re one of those people who picks the one with the most recent timestamp! That extra hour sitting in that warmer just seems less fresh. Home buyers will do the same, wondering what is wrong with a home that has caused it to sit there so long, then quickly move on.
The same can even happen in a seller’s market. If you let your agent price your home just right, where it should be, you can let the bidding war begin. If you don’t and push your agent to list for more, by the time you price it correctly, you’ve already developed the same stale stigma and buyers will come in for less.
When you go too high you also give the buyer an out. They’ll think, “let’s keep looking, we’ll find something better.” Instead of ten offers you’ll get two. We’re not suggesting underpricing, but, let your agent do a thorough market analysis and price your home in that sweet spot – for what it’s really worth.
For Sale by Owner
In today’s market, a “for sale by the owner” will limit your offers, but you will sell your home. When selling a home on your own you think that you will save money. In theory, it makes sense. Why pay someone to do something that you can do yourself for free! Well, in our experience, here’s what usually happens.
When a homeowner decides to list as a for sale by owner, they automatically attract low-ball offers, investor buyers, and non-qualifying buyers. The national average for non agent listed home sales is 88% of list price.
On the other hand, with an agent, you can sell it for far more than the costs of the agents. For example, in this current market, our average home sale is 101% of the listing price. The cost of that service is usually about 6%. That means you have sold your home for 95% of your asking price. That’s 7% MORE than the national average for non agent home sales. Clearly an agent will actually earn you more than not.
And not any agent will do. If you do decide to hire a real estate agent, first, check out our article on What Makes a Good Real Estate Agent for Home Sellers. Second, don’t make the mistake of hiring the cheapest realtor. Some agents are flat fee realtors – they just get the paperwork done. They have no interest in battling or negotiations. There is no benefit to them to get a higher price for your home. Either way, their pay is the same. Finally, don’t hire a friend who just got their license or an inexperienced realtor.
These decisions mean that you’re still putting too little value on the work an agent does. Remember, just by saying the wrong word, an inexperienced or uninvested realtor can blow the entire deal. It’s a negotiation. It’s emotional. You need a pro for this. If you find one, you will come out much better in the end and be a lot less stressed.
Half Hearted Home Sellers
Our last mistake is really an overall frame of mind. Every seller wants to cut costs and time. That’s easy to understand. In our experience, sometimes we detect an underlying lack of motivation to invest the energy and effort to make the most of their home equity. The reasons may vary, but life situations put this significant decision on back burner mode.
Passive or half hearted home sellers will often commit these common mistakes: First, using amateur or self made listing photos. Buyers who see poor quality photos automatically assume something is wrong. We at Hoffman Homes Tucson always make sure you get the highest quality photos, with wide angle lens, drone photos, and impressive video footage.
The second pitfall to half-heartedness is not being ready to show your home. A poorly staged and unkept or unclean home means you have not put in the effort to help your agent make the best presentation possible. Think of those cooking competition shows. The plate has to be set just right or you lose. Check out our article on How to Get Ready to Sell Your House.
Finally, a limited viewing schedule. If your agent does not have the freedom to show your home at a buyer’s ideal time, that is another sign of a half hearted attempt at selling a home. We understand that schedules and lifestyles make it hard. That’s why a quality agent can take the stress away and let their expertise work for you.
Avoid these mistakes by taking advantage of our expertise, market analysis tools, and negotiating prowess.
Remember, you get not one, but two people working along side of you to make the most of your home equity. you can get top dollar for your home and move on with confidence.
When you contact Erica and Josh at Hoffman Homes Tucson you can be sure you’ll get nothing less than the best.