I've been working with Montana home sellers for a long time, so you can only imagine that I have seen my fair share of seamless selling transactions as well as never-ending selling nightmares. Here is a list of the top five mistakes that sellers make when selling their home.
1. PRICING YOUR HOME TO HIGH
Overpricing your home will help; but it won’t be helping you! Other sellers in your area will benefit from your high list price because their home will seem like a bargain. If your home is priced significantly higher than comparable homes in the area, it will stick out like a sore thumb. If buyers do decide to tour your home, it will be to justify the price of the other home they are interested in. “See honey, this home is just like the one across the street but it’s a lot more! We must be getting a good deal, let’s go put in an offer!”
Every seller wants to get the most for their home but a high list price isn't something that can be fixed by simply lowering the price after a month or two. The longer your home remains on the market, the less interest it will get from buyers. Eventually, buyers will start to wonder what’s wrong with the home. Then, you may face the possibility of selling the home for less than it is actually worth. Do yourself a favor and price your home reasonably.
I will provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis, detailing what homes in your area are selling for and how long they stay on the market, in order to competitively price your home.
2. A RIGID SCHEDULE
You get a phone call Sunday night from your agent saying that someone wants to tour your house Monday morning. Instantly you think of the piles of laundry in the basement, the pots and pans in the sink and the beds you've been nagging your kids to make every day since you can remember. Your instant reaction is to say “heck no, tell them to find a better time”. But the reality is, the last thing you want to do is turn away an interested buyer. You've got one home to sell, buyers have got dozens to see. So, throw the laundry in the washing machine, stick those dishes in the dishwasher, grit your teeth and tell your agent you would just love for them to stop by first thing Monday morning.
3. “CAN I COME TO THE OPEN HOUSE?”
You know your home inside and out. If someone has a question about the creak in the second to the top stair, you need to be there to answer it, right? Big mistake. Buyers will feel very uncomfortable touring your home with you in it. They will have a hard time picturing themselves living in your home when you are telling the story of how your 5 year old painted the entire dining room wall with magic marker. Do yourself, and your buyers a favor and allow them to tour your home freely and with privacy so that they can make their decision without distraction.
4. CLEANING IS ONE THING, STAGING IS ANOTHER.
These days, with the housing markets becoming increasingly competitive, your home has to be primed to perfection. Deep cleaning your home is the first step, but many sellers tend to overlook the second step, staging. Think of it this way, with new home construction booming, almost all buyers are touring brand new homes along with “established” homes like yours. Empty cupboards, drawers, closets and counters - inviting all those prospective buyers to picture their life in that home. While you don’t need to clear out all the furniture, you will want to seriously think about how you can de-personalize your home.
5. “THAT’S A GOOD OFFER, BUT COULD WE GET MORE?”
If you've avoided the above mistakes, chances are you will get an offer quite quickly. While you may not expect it, many sellers find themselves looking at the first offer and thinking “This offer came so quickly, I’m sure there will be plenty more. Maybe we will have lots of offers to choose from!” Occasionally that may be the case but think of it this way. When your home is new on the market it is generating the most attention. As time goes on, the interest as well as the urgency of buyers wears off and the home becomes less and less desirable. Avoid the green eyed monster on this one and seriously consider reasonable offers. It’s not uncommon for sellers to decline a perfectly good offer early on in the selling process only to wind up selling their home after months of showings, stress, and money down the drain for less than the original offer.
If you’re considering selling your home, please contact me at 406-570-2980.