Home Sellers! Are You Guilty of the 7 Sins of Home Selling?

Greed: This one is a biggie. It was easy in a seller’s market to get in touch with your greedy side. Feeling like Midas, anything you asked for from a buyer turned to gold in your hands. Drunk with that kind of power, buyers were often left feeling helpless to comply if they wanted your home. In a balanced market, or even in a buyer’s market, many sellers have not kicked the greed habit. Ironically, greed is costing those sellers money. Ask any real estate agent and they will tell you stories of deals that were blown because of a $300.00 item that could not be agreed upon. No longer with the advantage, many sellers are refusing to make any concessions if it means less money in their pockets, but now the buyer’s are free to move along to the next house on their list. A seller may balk at fixing a $500.00 item in the house, or providing an inexpensive home warranty, but when the buyer moves along to an accommodating seller, the greedy seller is left to wait for another buyer – all the while making mortgage payments on the house they can’t sell. Bad move.

Unrealistic Expectations: Anyone who has sold a home in a seller’s market is going to have a hard time grasping a buyer’s market. If you want to sell your house, you have to forget everything you remember about selling your house in the past. Odds are that your home will not sell in a week, nor will you receive multiple offers. Unrealistic expectations are the foundation of blame and resentment, and they keep you from selling your home. The first few weeks of having your home on the market is filled with hope, anxiety, and irrational exuberance. It’s completely normal to believe that your home is somehow more special than the others on the market, and yours will be the exception to the tough market. Once it becomes clear that the bidding war has not materialized, and your home still sits along with the others, a home seller with unrealistic expectations is crushed. Stay positive about your home, but don’t blind yourself to what selling it will entail. A home seller with a realistic view of what it takes to sell a house in a balanced or buyer’s market, can easily adapt to changing market conditions, use constructive feedback to improve their home, and in return sell their home faster.

Pride: If you really want to sell your home, make the promise right now that you will never utter the following phrase: “I’m going to send that buyer a message.” If you enjoy sending messages, then perhaps you could raise carrier pigeons. If you want to sell your home, drop that phrase from your vocabulary. The message that sellers send, when they respond to buyers that way is “I don’t want to sell my house to you. You have insulted me.” In the end, all you are left with is your pride, and that house that just will not sell. As an active Ebayer, I have never witnessed a transaction in which the seller of an item got indignant at the lowest bidder. It’s all business. Divorce your emotions from the home selling process, and you have an advantage over the angry sellers in your area, because the buyers that they turn way with their “messages”, are going to buy a home – just not theirs! The message to send to a buyer should be in the form of a counter-offer. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Impatience: You want this home sold. Now! The impatient seller can’t understand why their home hasn’t sold in the first week. By the third week on the market, the impatient home seller is fuming, and wondering how to get out of the listing agreement. Are you an impatient home seller? If you’ve chosen your real estate agent carefully, and believed when you signed the listing agreement that they are up to the job, then sit back and let the market work. The impatient seller calls their agent more than once a day for updates, even if there has been no activity on the house. The question, “why isn’t it selling?” is regularly pleaded over the phone. Are you, the impatient seller, doing everything you need to do to get your home sold? Have you done the things your agent suggested to get your home in selling condition? Did you really listen to the comparable pricing data your agent provided you? Or did you have a set price in your mind and refused to move from it when listing the home? The impatient seller can create an enormous amount of stress for everyone involved in selling the home, and it’s totally avoidable. In the end, the timing of the sale of your home will be a combination of price, condition, and luck. No amount of impatience is going to change that.

Ignoring the market: Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is disaster for a home seller. Yes, we know that your neighbor sold their home for the same price you want for your home, but that was four months ago. The residential real estate market is more fluid than ever now. Educate yourself about current market conditions, not last year’s market, not even last month’s market. A home seller who ignores the market will interview a few real estate agents, read the data provided by the agent, then ignore the data and list with the agent that gives them the least argument about pricing their home unrealistically. Real estate agents do not price homes, sellers do. The agents will provide valuable information and input to help a seller choose a price. Some agents will refuse to take a listing if they feel the seller is unrealistic about pricing, but many others will take the listing with the caveat that the seller be open to reducing the price later. With so many other properties on the market, an overpriced home will sit there like a deli tray at a gathering of vegetarians. Then, the seller will be chasing the market by lowering the price after watching the prices around them fall. Eventually, the house may sell, but the price will be determined by the market, as it always is. If you are guilty of ignoring the market, you can save yourself a lot of time and headache by scheduling a meeting with your real estate agent to go over the current sales data for your home, and setting a realistic price, now.

Stubbornness: When selling your home it’s best to imagine yourself as a supple tree gently swaying with the wind, instead of a donkey with its heels dug solidly into the dirt resisting all attempts to be budged. Stubbornness can show up in many situations. When you are contacted to schedule a showing, do you leave the house? Though it’s a fact that your home has a better chance of selling if you are not there for the showing, do you refuse to be inconvenienced by having to leave? You may tell yourself that the buyers can work around your schedule. They won’t. The chance for a sale often vanishes because a buyer feels uncomfortable with the homeowner in the house, and cannot freely assess the house. Expect to be inconvenienced when you sell your home. It’s part of the process.

Being Uncooperative: Are you a partner with your real estate agent when it comes to getting your home sold? Do you resist all suggestions by your real estate agent to make changes to your home that will help it sell faster? I’ve had this conversation with home sellers many times. Is it fair that people judge your home based on the things that are not going to be in it when you move out? No, probably not. Do buyers judge your home based on those things? Absolutely. I’ve seen buyers lose their enthusiasm for a home based on a decorating theme that didn’t suit them. No matter how many times their real estate agent might remind them that they can decorate in their own style, it’s too late. The home is now referred to as the “duck home”, or the “doll home”, or the “pink home.” Every house gets a nickname when buyers are shopping. Don’t let your refusal to cooperate stop your home from being the “perfect home.”

The sale of your home requires the cooperation of countless people, many of whom you’ll never meet. The key word here is “cooperation.” We, as home sellers, expect those that are working to complete our sales transaction to be cooperative. What about you, the home seller? Are you willing to meet the buyer halfway in negations? Are you willing to work within someone else’s schedule to get something signed? Remember, you may be selling a property, but in the end, real estate is about humans. Be a good one.

Sell Your Home in 30 Days – Top Tips For Selling Your Home in Less Than a Month

There is nothing as stressful as putting your home on the market, and it takes forever to find the right buyer. Statistics from the National Association of Realtors indicate that the average time a home spent on the market in 2016 was 78 days which is quite a long time. On the other hand, some homes spent less than 30 days on the market. If you’re planning to put your home on the market, then you’ll be hoping to sell it as fast as possible and move on with your life. Below are some of the top selling tips that will help you sell your house in less than a month.

Improve Your Curb Appeal

The first impression determines how long your house will stay in the market. Consider what a potential buyer will see if he/she steps in your compound for the first time. Take suggestions from real estate experts and friend on how you can improve your home to make it more appealing. Make sure that your landscaping is well-groomed and your driveway plus the exterior walls and porches are clean and attractive. Curb appeal is what draws potential buyers to the inside of your home and helps in maintaining their interest in your home.

Get Rid of All the Clutter

You must clear all the clutter if you’re serious about staging your home. De-cluttering may not be easy, and sometimes it will require offsite storage, but it’s worth the trouble. A de-cluttered home draws the attention of potential buyers, and it will help you sell within few days. Make sure you clean and clear all the surfaces, closets, floors, and cupboards. A de-cluttered house also creates an impression of more space in the eyes of potential buyers, so get rid of all the unnecessary things as soon as possible.

Price It Aggressively

Setting the right price for your home is the single most significant decision that you’ll have to make when you put it up for sale. If your price is too high, you risk turning off potential buyers in the marketplace. And if you set too low, then you risk leaving a lot of money on the table. Look at your competitors’ home prices and establish what you feel like it is the best price in the market. Remember to be tough and honest while setting the price for your home.

Light Up

Always maximize the in your home. According to a real estate broker, good light is one of the key things that most potential buyers cite while looking for a home. You can maximize the light in your house by changing the lampshades, cleaning the windows, increasing the wattage of light bulbs, clearing the bushes outside to let in more sunshine, and taking down the drapes.

Selling a Home You Inherited

For many people, a home is the most important investment they own. Selling a home can be a long and challenging process. Some people wrongly assume that selling a home without professional help is the best option. Numerous studies show that working with a real estate agent helps a homeowner get more money for the house.

Some people inherit a home and need to sell it quickly. Inheriting a house in another state can be difficult. It is always hard to find a local real estate team to trust. Anyone wanting to sell their house quickly should work with our team.

Before selling, developing a plan is critical. A seller should look at the home and determine any repairs that need to be made. To make your property sell quickly, the owner should conduct various repairs before listing on the market.

A home seller should also speak with multiple real estate agents. A real estate agent can give the owner a reliable price range for the home.

The real estate market is booming in many parts of the country. There are some places where home prices continue to increase due to a lack of inventory. Some homes are selling within a few hours of hitting the market. Now is an excellent time for someone to sell.

The market is also robust in major cities. As the economy improves, more people are willing to move to find employment. The average selling price of a home is over $500,000 in many cities.

Preparing for a showing is critical. To sell fast, it needs to be in good shape. An experienced agent should be able to give an owner tips on the local real estate market. These tips should include what local buyers are looking for in a new home.

Landscaping is a neglected area of many homes. Before selling a home, upgrade the landscaping around a home to increase the value. Anyone who is saying “sell my house” should work with a real estate agent.

In some areas, new homes on the market receive multiple offers from buyers. Sellers should leverage multiple offers to get the highest possible price. By preparing accordingly for showings, sellers can maximize the total value of their home. With a strong housing market, now is the perfect time to sell a home. It is critical to work with an experienced realtor in the local area during this process.

FSBO – What You Should Know About Selling Your Own Home

The key to selling your home yourself is being properly prepared. If you aren’t, your home may remain on the market longer than you expect because you aren’t attracting and getting offers from qualified buyers. And this is where many homeowners become frustrated and start to think about giving up the dream of selling their homes themselves. However, some sellers are very successful at selling their own homes, and you can be one of them.

This report has been especially prepared to assist home sellers like yourself understand the process so you can sell your home quickly and for the price you want. To help you prepare, be aware of the following tips before deciding whether or not this is the right approach for you.

  1. Price your home correctly. Setting the correct asking price is critical. Setting the price too high can be as bad as setting it too low. Home prices are determined by fluctuations in the marketplace, and not by your emotional attachment to your home or what you think your home is worth. To establish a realistic price, compare the price, features, and condition of similar homes in both your neighbourhood and locations where similar homes have sold in the last few months. It is also important to be familiar with the terms of each potential sale. Terms are often as important as price in the current market. Work up a careful budget of your selling costs, and prepare a net proceeds sheet to determine an informed estimate of what you can expect to earn from the sale of your home. Prospective buyers may request a similar analysis of buying costs.
  2. Prepare your home for sale. First impressions are crucial. Ensure that your home makes a positive statement by carefully inspecting all details and viewing it, as objectively as possible, through the eyes of a buyer. Don’t ignore needed repairs and fix-ups: your prospective buyers certainly won’t! Your job is to make sure your home stands out favourably from the competition.
  3. Make sure you have all the necessary legal documentation. There are many important legal contracts and documents which you need to assemble, complete, and understand when selling your home. Below is a partial checklist of forms you will need for prospective buyers and for legal documentation.
    • Mortgage Payoff
    • Loan Application
    • Deposit Receipt
    • Property Profile Fact Sheet
    • Buyer’s Cost Sheet
    • Closing & Settlement
    • Personal Property
    • Exclusion List
    • Property Survey
    • Sellers Statement /Plot Plan of Representation
  4. Market Your Home Effectively. Beyond the sign on your lawn, you need to find effective ways to spread the word that your home is for sale. You can reach local buyers with ads in a newspaper, but you will reach just a small part of the possible market. Be sure to include buyers who may already be working with a realtor. To locate them, notify as many top agents as possible in your market in case their client’s criteria match what your home has to offer. Out-of-town buyers are an important target too, so create a strategy to reach them as well. Above all, be very customer service oriented and make it easy for pre-qualified buyers to view your home. That means making sure that someone is always available to answer the phone, respond promptly to messages, and be ready to give qualified prospects a tour of your home as quickly as possible.
  5. Remain objective when showing your home. Be sure to keep your emotions out of the sale of your home. The best way to do this during a showing is to remain physically in the background. If a prospective buyer says something negative about your home, you’re better off counter-balancing this point of view by calling attention to the positives instead of becoming defensive.
  6. Pre-qualify prospective buyers. Don’t waste time entertaining buyers who cannot afford to buy your home. Research their financial situation with respect to job security, salary, debts, liabilities and credit standing.
  7. Negotiate effectively and knowledgeably. There are a great many details that need to be resolved before a sale is considered final: price, terms, inspections, possession date, and buyer concerns and objections, to name a few. You must fully understand the contract you have drawn up so you can, in turn, explain the details and ramifications to the buyer, and make any necessary amendments to the sale. Have the contract you use thoroughly examined by your real estate attorney. Some real estate brokers may be willing to help you do this. While this is going on, work to maintain the buyer’s interest in your home so it doesn’t wane during negotiations.
  8. Know your buyer. Your objective during negotiations is to control the pace and set the duration. Try to determine what’s motivating potential buyers. Do they need to move quickly? Can they afford to pay the asking price for your home? Answering these questions will give you an advantage in the negotiations: you’ll know what you need to do to get what you want.
  9. Do not move out before you sell. Studies show that selling a vacant home is more difficult than selling one that is occupied. A vacant home looks forlorn, forgotten, and simply unappealing. And it could even cost you money. If you move out before you sell, you’re also letting prospective buyers know that you have a new home and are motivated to sell quickly. That can, of course, give the buyer an advantage at the negotiating table.
  10. Understand why you’re selling, but keep your reasons to yourself. Just as important as understanding your buyer is understanding yourself. Your reasons for selling can affect everything from how you price your home to how much time and money you invest in preparing it for sale. And knowing your motivation helps you determine your priorities: the money you walk away with, how long your property is on the market, or perhaps both. Different goals dictate different strategies. Someone who prefers to sell without a real estate agent to save the commission would indicate that money is a primary considerations (see “How to Assess Your Net Gain” below). Whatever your reasons may be, it is very important to keep them to yourself so you don’t put yourself at a disadvantage during negotiations. If anyone asks why you’re selling, simply tell them that your housing needs have changed.

How to Assess Your Net Gain

To find out whether or not you’ll come out ahead by selling your home yourself, consider that most buyers use real estate agents because it doesn’t cost them anything (the seller pays the agent’s fee). Be cautious: buyers, investors, and speculators who seek out For Sale by Owner properties are usually in search of a bargain. Low-ball offers from these buyers will usually net you a lot less in the long run. Determine for yourself the following:

  1. You need to be as prepared as possible with your marketing, negotiations, evaluations, showings, and all legal matters.
  2. Calculate what it will cost you to effectively market your home and put together all the necessary materials, from the “For Sale” sign to the contracts.
  3. What price will a buyer offer you as a For Sale by Owner, minus the costs identified in number 2 above? Is this net amount higher or lower than the price an experienced agent could net for you minus his/her commission?

The 5 Steps to Selling Your Home on Your Own

While it’s not always advisable, it’s definitely possible to sell your home on your own – in other words, without a Realtor. If you’re organized and follow the steps below, you can potentially save 2-3% in Realtor commissions. On an average home price, this means savings anywhere from $3000 – $4500!

Now please keep in mind: this will mean spending around $1,000 up front to really do everything correctly. You can simply look at this as an investment in saving money, however, once you actually sell the home.

Step 1 – Get your home professionally inspected.

Depending on the size of your home, this will cost anywhere from $200 to $400. Almost all buyers will get a home inspected, but I recommend you – the seller – do it yourself before putting the home on the market.

The reason for this is simple: you need to know more about the home than your buyer does when it comes time to negotiate price.

Normally the home goes under contract at a specific price, then the potential buyer gets the home inspected. This puts you, the seller, at a disadvantage. The reason being, it’s better for you to know any potential problems when you are pricing the home, rather then finding them out once you have a buyer.

Let me put it this way: do you know if your home is wired up to code? Unless you’re an electrician, you probably don’t. Now think about this: which would be better, for you to know that your home isn’t wired up to code and price it accordingly, or for you to find this out after a buyer has your home under contract?

In a home negotiation, knowledge is power! It’s worth $300 to get the edge in this department.

Also make sure you get a termite inspection if termites are an issue where you live. Termites can destroy your home quickly, and many times you won’t know this until it’s too late. The good news is most termite companies will inspect your home for free as a way to earn your business. You can even have more than one company do this inspection.

I recommend you do these inspections before you do anything else. The home inspection usually takes about 3 hours, and the termite inspection takes about 1 hour. Other than letting the inspectors inside, you don’t even have to be present in the home! Most inspectors can schedule their work to be completed within a week’s time.

Step 2 – Get three contractors’ bids on each major item that needs repair.

After the inspections, you will know what’s what. You then should consider repairing major items. These include: foundation, electric, plumbing, HVAC, framing, and roof work. If any of those things show up on the inspection report, get three different contractors to look at the issue and give you a bid. Make sure you get these bids in writing

Additionally, you’ll want to bring in contractors on any big cosmetic issues. If you have old carpets, holes in the wall, broken windows, etc, you will want to know what is costs to fix or redo them.

Now, none of this means that you need to actually fix anything. This depends on how the housing market is doing in your area. If homes are selling quickly, I recommend not making any repairs and just selling the home “As-Is,” with the cost of these repairs subtracted from the price.

If it’s a tougher market for sellers – or what’s often known as a “buyer’s market” – then you may need to look at getting the major items fixed or allowing for an additional “repair allowance.”

This will be a big help in your price negotiation. If your buyer brings up an issue, you will already have contractor bids in hand. You can simply adjust the price in a way that works better for you both. Plus, when you show that you’ve done your homework, a buyer is usually less likely to resist in whatever price adjustment you offer.

Step 3 – Find out what homes are selling for in your neighborhood.

I emphasize the word selling as it doesn’t matter 1) what a home is listing for or 2) what you think it’s worth. A home’s value is what a buyer is able and willing to pay for it.

You may need to consult with a Realtor to find out what other homes have sold for. Many will be happy to do a market analysis and let you know a good selling price for your home. This does NOT lock you into working with that Realtor, but make sure you let them know in advance that you are going to sell the home on your own. That same Realtor can always find you a buyer, so doing this number analysis can benefit both parties.

Pricing the home correctly is critical, so you need to also factor in the price of any repairs needed. My suggestion is to simply subtract their cost from your asking price and sell the home “As-is.”

Having the bids from contractors about the repair costs will help show your potential buyer (and the buyer Realtor involved) that you are serious and organized. It can speed up the selling process as sometimes the buyer won’t even require a new inspection, and this open transparency on your part is the key to getting a deal done fast.

Step 4 – Clean, de-junk, and stage your home

You want your home to be as clean and clutter free as possible. If this is easy for you, then by all means do it yourself. If not, I’d recommend “Got Junk” to get rid of any clutter and then a cleaning service.

You want as few of your own personal items in your home as possible. You might even consider renting out a storage place for a few months as well.

You want to stage your home which basically means removing personal items and arranging your furniture in a simple way.

The basic idea behind staging is that your potential buyer will start to “see” their own furniture in your house. Once this happens, they’ve started to buy your home already. It might sound strange, but homes that are staged sell 79 percent faster!

The other benefit of doing all of this is that it will make your move much easier. Let’s face it, you need to get rid of that junk sooner or later anyway. So why not do it before you move out and make a faster, more profitable home sale along the way!

Step 5 – List your home on MLS fee sites and all the other important online places

One of the best things that a Realtor can do for you is list your home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). There are Realtors out there that will do this for a small fee (usually around $200). They take no commission, just the upfront fee. This will expose your home to all the Realtors who have buyers.

The second thing I recommend is to put your home on Postlets. It’s a free site that will put your home on Zillow, Yahoo, and Craigslist. These sites have a huge number of potential buyers for your home.

The last thing you may want to do is put up a “For Sale By Owner” sign. Some people prefer not to do this for various reasons related to privacy and safety. I personally don’t think it’s too important to use a “For Sale By Owner” sign unless there are a lot of car and/or pedestrian traffic near your home.

The most important thing once you’ve done the previous 4 steps is to make sure as many qualified buyers as possible know about your home. By putting your home on the MLS and Zillow you are making serious homebuyers aware of it.

If you want to minimize tire kickers even further, you can opt to only show the home to buyers who can prove they are pre-approved by a lender or have enough cash to buy your home outright. Serious buyers will have no problem doing this, especially if it’s a competitive market.

Conclusion

Those are the five crucial steps I’ve used on every site built and mobile home that I’ve sold. The vast majority of the homes have gone under contract in less that 28 days, so it’s worked well for me – it should work for you as well!