Selling homes is hard work—trust me, I know! And there are lessons that you only learn by making(costly) mistakes, or by going through years of real-estate agent training like I did. To help you avoid 6 of the most common for sale by owner mistakes, we’ve put together the most common—and costly—mistakes that I have seen, repeatedly, over the years.
Mistake #1: Pricing on Emotion
Your house isn\’t brick and mortar—it\’s your home. It\’s where your children were born, where your puppy grew up or where you shared your first year of marriage with your partner. Unfortunately, none of those things mean anything to buyers—and they can\’t be included in the price. Don\’t price your home based on emotion. Use comparative analysis of homes in your neighbourhood combined with upgrades you\’ve done to your home to create a feature-driven price.
Mistake #2: Failure to Stage
Your home looks great—for living in with your family. But \’looking good\’ for you, your family and dinner parties is different from \’looking good\’ to potential buyers. Homes being sold should be staged to create a blank canvas for homebuyers—because they want to picture themselves cooking in your kitchen—not you (it\’s the cold but hard truth!). To create a \’blank canvas\’ you need to depersonalize the area by removing pictures, trophies and other personal items. You also need to declutter by removing knickknacks and things that take up counter, table and floor space. You may need to remove a piece or two of furniture from each room to \’open\’ up the space. Watch your sight lines to ensure that there aren\’t bulky items destructing views from room to room. Also, super clean your house until it is spotless, make minor repairs and enhance its curb appeal.
Mistake #3: Paperwork Problems
The real estate industry, currently, requires massive amounts of confusing paperwork—and failing to fill it in properly and file it within proper timelines can cost you tens of thousands of dollars. This specifically applies to offers and closing and their precise dates. Without paperwork deals can not only fall through but can also lead to expensive litigation down the road.
Mistake #4: Not Understanding Costs Involved
Buying and selling real estate doesn\’t only cost the hundreds of thousands of dollars on the sticker price of the home. There are also legal fees, mortgage penalties, mortgage fees, transfer fees, moving fees, taxes, etc. Not being prepared for those fees can cost you in the long run. These fees can be exacerbated if you aren\’t properly prepared. For example, without bridge financing, you may end up paying thousands of dollars to pay for the time period between when you sell a home and buy a new one.
Mistake #5: Assumptions
You know what they say about \’assuming\’ right? Well making assumptions in real estate is extremely costly. One common assumption for people currently selling homes is that homes sell themselves. While this may have been (somewhat) true 8 or 9 years ago when you bought you home—a lot has changed. We\’re in a post-crash society with mortgage bubbles and growing housing costs. You will be amazed at the difference between the home sales then and home sales now. Now, you need proactive selling, advertising and a stellar marketing plan in order to attract the attention you need to get a reasonable sticker price for your home.
Mistake #6: Failing to Respond
While responding to potential buyers sounds like a simple concept—it can be difficult when you\’re prepping your home for an open house, taking your child to soccer practice and finishing off that big presentation for work. A huge mistake made by for sale by owners is failing to respond, in a timely fashion, to their inquiries—and failing to follow up on potential leads from social media and open houses. Another common mistake related to this one is failing to be readily available for appointments—especially on short notice (you\’ll miss tons of showings if you aren\’t available on short-notice).
Mistake #6: Thinking Realtors Don\’t Work for Their Commission
The knowledge, effort, marketing and advertising systems that realtors have in place add value to the selling price of your home. A huge mistake for sale by owners make is discounting that.
If you\’re questioning whether you\’re committing these common for sale by owner mistakes, if you\’re truly prepared to sell your home on your own—or whether an experienced and qualified agent like me could help you through the process and negotiate you a higher price, simply give me a call and we\’ll talk about whether you could benefit from my services