Once again Phyllis Lerner has posted a wonder article on helping Sellers prepare their home for sale. She is sharing years and years of hard work and experience with you for free. Read carefully and good luck. Thank you Phyllis and please leave comments on her AR post.
Today it's tough selling a home, but those market conditions can get even worse if sellers aren't careful. While a seller doesn't control the real estate market, their actions can significantly contribute to how long and for how much their home is sold for.
Underestimating Cleaning Up: It may seem obvious, but I can tell you real estate agents everywhere are nodding their heads in agreement as they read this. Inviting potential buyers in to see an unkempt home is like going on a job interview without freshening up after you cleaned your garage. How can the employer notice your fantastic talents and skills if they're hidden underneath a sloppy exterior? How you show your home tells the buyer what type of care you, the seller, has put into the home!
If you can't take the time to wipe the grime off the refrigerator doors, tidy up the kids' rooms, take out the messy diapers, put away the food, and take the dogs out of the house for a while (including their smell), then you'll likely find buyers will quickly move on to the next home on their list.
Lingering During Showings: Yes, we all want to know how the open house or showing went, but hanging around during either of those events is not a good idea. Sellers who tend to linger during showings often make the buyers uncomfortable. Buyers like to have time to explore the home at their own pace and without feeling any pressure. Sometimes buyers want to sit on the porch or out in the backyard as they discuss the home's possibilities. And if buyers are willing to sit for a bit and talk about the home, that's a great sign. However, the chances of them doing that with the seller present is highly unlikely. Many times buyers will say, "Let's skip the home if the sellers are there."
If you're selling your home, do yourself a favor and hit the road for a bit. Take a walk or head to the coffee shop. As soon as the showing is over, you can get all the details from your agent. That's why you're paying your agent! Let them do their job. Just make sure that your agent has all the home's selling points and any additional features that make your home a standout.
For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Trap: Some people are convinced that they can do it on their own. Maybe they can sell their own home, but it likely won't happen without some headaches and pitfalls. Trained specialists are called "experts" for a reason. An expert real estate agent knows the market, has connections, guides you through the process, negotiates on your behalf, and will make the process of selling your home simpler.
One potential land mine that FSBOs face is the flood of people popping in to see their home. It sounds great that there's so much traffic, but the problem is many times the people who pop into FSBO properties aren't actually qualified for a mortgage or may not be serious buyers. Instead they're just looking and satisfying their curiosity at your expense. Agents know to ask the right questions to make certain the lookers are truly quailfied and earnest home buyers.
Not Interviewing Agents: If you have kids, chances are you interviewed the nanny or babysitter. Taking time to seek out top real estate agents in your area and setting up interviews with them is equally important. Choosing the wrong agent for the job can cost you dearly. There must be a connection, understanding, and good communication between the seller and the agent. There are lots of things that go on during the sale of a home, communicating with the agent should be one of the easier tasks.
Pricing A Home Incorrectly: This is the worst mistake most sellers make. Yet, this is where so much help can be found. Real estate agents see homes every single day. They know the neighborhoods and the comparable ones. They are there to help you understand what homes have sold for in the very recent past and what they'll likely sell for during the current market conditions. Get a market evaluation from your agent and understand that this is a fair price for your home in today's market.
Phyllis Lerner, Realtor
Broker / Owner
Voted 2010/2011 FIVE STAR Real Estate Agent by Westchester Magazine