When you are getting ready to put your property on the market, there are a myriad of things to think about, to prepare for, and to organize. Here's a short list of some of the pitfalls to watch out for!
Mistake No. 1 - Pricing Incorrectly
Every seller wants to realize as much money as possible when he sells his home. But a listing price that is too high often gets the seller less than a price that is at market value. If your house is not priced competitively, people looking in your price range will reject your house in favour of other, larger homes for the
Mistake No. 2 - Failing to "Showcase" the home
Buyers look for homes, not houses, and they buy the homes in which they would like to live. Owners who fail to make necessary repairs, who don't spruce up the house inside and out, touch up the paint and landscaping, and keep it clean and neat chase buyers away as rapidly as Realtors can bring them. If you were selling a car, you would wash it, or maybe even detail it to get the highest price. Houses are no different.
Mistake No. 3 - Using the "Hard Sell" during showings
Buying a house is an emotional decision. People like to "try on" a house and see if it is comfortable for them. It's difficult for them to do that if you follow them around pointing out every improvement that you made. It may even have the opposite effect you want, by making them feel they are intruding on your private space. Resist the temptation to talk the entire time a buyer is there... let them discover things on their own. Try a tasteful sign posted on a door or wall to point out some hidden amenity that they might miss.
Mistake No. 4 - Mistaking lookers for buyers
For Sale By Owners often get more activity than houses listed with an agent. Realtors will only bring qualified buyers, and these will be fewer than if you open your front door to everyone who walks down the street. A qualified buyer is one who is ready, willing, and able to buy your house. We find that most people who go looking at "For Sale By Owners" are just starting to think about moving. They may be good buyers, but they're just 6-9 months away from being ready. They don't want to bother an agent yet, so they call the "By Owner" ads to get a feel for what's available.
Many potential buyers may have a house to sell first, or may need to save some more or may have credit that needs fixing. When everything is in place, that's when they go out looking with a Realtor.
An agent will ask a buyer how much he can really spend for a house, how much he has to put down, how good his credit is, how much he can pay each month, how much he will realize (realistically!) when he sells his present home - and about a dozen other questions like that. But unless your Realtor finds out all the facts first, you must ask all these questions before the buyer crosses your threshold. Otherwise, you may have a parade of Sunday afternoon shoppers with a dream of owning a home someday.
Mistake No. 5 - Not knowing your rights and obligations
Real estate law is extensive and complex; the Contract of Purchase and
Mistake No. 6 - Signing a Listing Contract with no way out
Circumstances can always change, whether it's on the part of the listing salesman, or for you, the seller. Some realtors refuse to allow their clients to cancel their listings, they have to wait until it expires! In some companies, if your realtor is unable to manage your listing, the broker will randomly reassign your listing to someone else in the office! Always protect yourself by getting a guarantee of performance with the right to cancel. Adam Wahed guarantees that he will cancel the listing at any time you wish to do so.
Mistake No. 7 - Believing that a bank mortgage appraisal is the market value of your house
An appraisal is an opinion of value for a certain purpose. If the lender wants to lend you the money, they are motivated to have the appraisal come in high. The appraiser may ignore lower priced foreclosure or distress sales in order to justify the higher value. But a real buyer in the real world will not ignore these properties. They are your competitors when you try to sell. I can't tell you how many ridiculous bank mortgage appraisals I've seen. Don't make the mistake of thinking that the value you were told even 6 months ago when you re-financed is what a real buyer would pay. Ask your Realtor for ALL the "solds" in your area, then decide.
Mistake No. 8 - Choosing the wrong Realtor, or choosing him or her for the wrong reasons
The quality of your home selling experience is dependent upon your skill at selecting the person best qualified.
It's interesting that in the real estate business, someone with many successfully closed transactions usually costs the
The world is populated with Realtors who are wrong for you. For example, the part-timer who sells an occasional house because he or she needs a little pocket change, the insurance salesman who believes he can handle two careers, or perhaps your cousin George, who really needs your business.
The sale of your home could well be the most important financial transaction you have ever been involved with. The person you select can make it a satisfying and profitable activity, or a terrible experience. It's your home, and your money. The choice of your Realtor is up to you. Make that selection carefully.